The name is believed to have been derived from the hydronym of the river Bosna coursing through the Bosnian heartland.
According to philologist Anton Mayer the name Bosna could be derived from Illyrian "Bass-an-as" which would be a diversion of the Proto-Indo-European root "bos" or "bogh", meaning "the running water".
In the 12th century the Banate of Bosnia was established, which evolved into the Kingdom of Bosnia in the 14th century, after which it was annexed into the Ottoman Empire, under whose rule it would remain from the mid-15th to the late 19th centuries.
The region was administered by the Ottomans as the Sanjak of Herzegovina (Hersek) within the Eyalet of Bosnia up until the formation of the short-lived Herzegovina Eyalet in the 1830s, which was remerged in the 1850s, after which the entity became commonly known as "Bosnia and Herzegovina".
On initial proclamation of independence in 1992, the country's official name was the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina but following the 1995 Dayton Agreement and the new constitution that accompanied it the name was officially changed to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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Moreover, the country was simply called "Bosnia" until the Austro-Hungarian occupation at the end of the 19th century.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has a bicameral legislature and a three-member Presidency composed of a member of each major ethnic group.
According to English medievalist William Miller the Slavic settlers in Bosnia "adapted the Latin designation [...] Basante, to their own idiom by calling the stream Bosna and themselves Bosniaks [...]".
Hum, formerly Zahumlje, was an early medieval principality that was conquered by the Bosnian Banate in the first half of the 14th century.
The inland is a geographically larger region and has a moderate continental climate, with hot summers and cold and snowy winters.
The southern tip of the country has a Mediterranean climate and plain topography.
However, the central government's power is highly limited, as the country is largely decentralized and comprises two autonomous entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska, with a third region, the Brčko District, governed under local government.