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After the Austro-Hungarian defeat in World War I, Dalmatia was split between the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes which controlled most of it, and the Kingdom of Italy which held several smaller parts, and after World War II, SFR Yugoslavia took complete control over the area.
Its Latin form Dalmatia gave rise to its current English name.
The latter are historically more influenced by Ottoman culture, merging almost seamlessly at the border with the Herzegovinian Croats and southern Bosnia and Herzegovina in general.
A large part of the agricultural population of present-day Dalmatia is descendent from Vlachs or Morlachs.
The longest-lasting rule was the one of the Republic of Venice, which controlled most of Dalmatia between 14, with the exception of the small but stable Republic of Ragusa (1358–1808) in the south.
The Italian speakers constituted (according to the Italian linguist Bartoli) nearly one third of Dalmatians in the second half of the 18th century.
In the Venetian language, once dominant in the area, it is spelled Dalmàssia, and in modern Italian Dalmazia.
The modern Croatian spelling is Dalmacija, Dalmatia signified not only a geographical unit, but was an entity based on common culture and settlement types, a common narrow eastern Adriatic coastal belt, Mediterranean climate, sclerophyllous vegetation of the Illyrian province, Adriatic carbonate platform, and karst geomorphology.
Seventy-nine islands (and about 500 islets) run parallel to the coast, the largest (in Dalmatia) being Brač, Pag and Hvar.
The largest city is Split, followed by Zadar, Dubrovnik and Šibenik.
It was part of the Illyrian Kingdom between the 4th century BC and the Illyrian Wars (220, 168 BC) when the Roman Republic established its protectorate south of the river Neretva.