Lead:  For centuries the territory of the former Yugoslavia has been awash in political, ethnic and religious dispute. The Balkan War of the 1990s can be seen as the fifth such conflict in the twentieth century alone.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the fourth century A.D. the Emperor Constantine, in large part for administrative efficiency, divided the Roman Empire into two parts. From that point the Eastern and Western sections of the Empire gradually drew apart and began to develop separately in many ways. The line dividing the two divisions ran through present day Bosnia-Herzegovina, and at least since the time of the breach, the area has known almost endless struggle. Essayist Dusko Doder likens the history of this region to the huge tectonic plates that lie just beneath the surface of the earth between which faultlines are the scene of earthquakes and volcanic activity. Over the centuries the two sides of Constantine's line have ground against one another producing near volcanic moral, religious and ethnic friction. Rome and Constantinople, Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, Christianity and Islam, German and Slav, Russia and the West have each vied for domination in the region the result of which has been almost constant war and suffering.

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