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) are a nation and South Slavic ethnic group located at the crossroads of Central Europe and the Balkans.
The major basis for this connection was the perceived similarity between Hrvat and inscriptions from the Tanais dated to the 2nd and 3rd centuries CE, mentioning the name Khoro(u)athos.
Similar arguments have been made for an alleged Gothic-Croat link.
Another theory is that the name comes from Old Church Slavonic Churvatinu "Croat," literally "mountaineer, highlander," from churva "mountain" which also has its cognate in the Russian word khrebet "mountain chain").For much of the subsequent period, Savia was probably directly ruled by the Carinthian Duke Arnulf, the future East Frankish King and Emperor. The Royal Frankish Annals mention several Bulgar raids, driving up the Sava and Drava rivers, as a result of a border dispute with the Franks, from 827.By a peace treaty in 845, the Franks were confirmed as rulers over Slavonia, whilst Srijem remained under Bulgarian clientage.These included the Guduscans (based in Liburnia), the Narentines (around the Cetina and Neretva) and the Sorabi (Serbs) who ruled some other eastern parts of ex-Roman "Dalmatia".Also prominent in the territory of future Croatia was the polity of Prince Liutevid, who ruled the territories between the Drava and Sava rivers ("Pannonia Inferior"), centred from his fort at Sisak.