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From 9 BC to the end of the 4th century, Pannonia was part of the Roman Empire, located within part of later Hungary's territory.Here, a 600-strong Roman legion created the settlement Aquincum in AD 41–54.As a substantial actor in several industrial and technological sectors, Hungary performs well in international rankings: it is 20th in quality of life, 24th in Good Country Index, 28th in inequality-adjusted human development, 32nd in the Social Progress Index, 33rd in Global Innovation Index and ranks as the 15th safest country in the world.Hungary joined the European Union in 2004 and has been part of the Schengen Area since 2007.Following centuries of successive habitation by Celts, Romans, West Slavs, Gepids and Avars, the foundation of Hungary was laid in the late 9th century by the Hungarian grand prince Árpád in the conquest of the Carpathian Basin.His great-grandson Stephen I ascended the throne in 1000, converting the country to a Christian kingdom.By the 12th century, Hungary became a middle power within the Western world, reaching a golden age by the 15th century.
As a federation of united tribes, Hungary was established in 895, some 50 years after the division of the Carolingian Empire at the Treaty of Verdun in 843, before the unification of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.
A civil city grew gradually in the neighborhood of the military settlement, and in AD 106 Aquincum became the focal point of the commercial life of this area and the capital city of the Pannonian Inferior region.
This area now corresponds to the Óbuda district of Budapest, with the Roman ruins now forming part of the modern Aquincum museum.
Up to half of Hungary's then population of 2,000,000 were victims of the invasion.
As a consequence, after the Mongols retreated, King Béla ordered the construction of hundreds of stone castles and fortifications, to defend against a possible second Mongol invasion.