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Old June 9th, 2013, 11:39 AM   #361

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Bulgar rulers and Christianity

Paissius of Hylendar states that khan Tervel was a Christian and that he christianized the Bulgars. Paissius wrote his history using “The kingdom of the Bulgars” of Mavro Orbini. Orbini also reported that khan Sabin was also a Christian who was dethroned by a people's assembly because of his iconoclasm. The Madara horseman was carved on the order of Tervel, next to the second inscription there there is a cross.

There was found a Tervel's seal with the inscription: “Virgin Mary, assist the caesar Tervel”. On the other side of the seal there is a cross. There are also found two seals of khan Telerig with the inscription: “Virgin Mary, help your slave the God anointed patrician Telerjug”, and a cross. On his golden medallion khan Omurtag is portrayed with a crown with a cross, and another cross in his hands. A proof of the existence of the old Bulgarian Christianity are the 38 Bulgar stone inscriptions. 30 of them have crosses and the text of the inscriptions as if composed by Christians. The words are addressed not to Tangra but to ‘God’, and it was the Christian god. The inscriptions of Omurtag, Malamir and Presian say: “From the God appointed khan sjuvigi...”. The word ‘God’ was also used by Omurtag at the building of his palace: “Let God gives him to live for 100 years.” If Omurtag was a pagan, he would mention Tangra instead.

Similar is the case with khan Krum and his inscription from Khambarli: he requests from God to live for many years. In his other inscription Krum requests God to preserve him in his war with emperor Nicephorus. The Bulgarian treasure from Hagy Saint Miklos which probably belonged to khan Omurtag also contains crosses.

The life of the Tiberiopul's saints by Theophilactus of Okhrid records the argument between khan Malamir and his brother Enravot. Enravot says: “I know that you will kill me, but know that here there will be pure churches and pure priests will sing in them”. There were obviously priests in Bulgaria but they were impure, that is - heretical. In his inscription Malamir addresses not Tangra but God: “Long live together with Isbul for many years”. According to prof. Ivan Venedikov the killing of Enravot was not religious but a dynastic one.
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Old June 9th, 2013, 11:52 AM   #362
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Curious, in his table talk, Hitler also deemed the Bulgarians to be "Turkoman" in origin.

Is there any truth in this statement?
Where he deemed that?

No, I think there is no any truth. There is turk influence (due to the Turk haganate contact with Bulgarians), but not turkoman origin.

But in the time of WWII that was the leading theory about ancient Bulgarians, so I am not surprise Hitler or whoever else supported it.
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Old June 9th, 2013, 11:57 AM   #363
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About thracians, latinised thracians they don't say nothing? I will always ask my self why the romanins(vlachs) and bulgars never had a conflict in that time..about vlachs that attacked slavs exist but bulgars no
Well, due to two reasons - first, Vlahians were not there at that part of the Balkans, who was taken first from Bulgarians. Secondly - due to the way of life of Vlachs. They simply supplied with cattles all the Balkans, why should one have a conflict with them?

Yes, they say that the 3-th element were Tracians, or romans remains.. and it is possible, but it is not the main element.
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Old June 9th, 2013, 08:48 PM   #364

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Well, due to two reasons - first, Vlahians were not there at that part of the Balkans, who was taken first from Bulgarians. Secondly - due to the way of life of Vlachs. They simply supplied with cattles all the Balkans, why should one have a conflict with them?

Yes, they say that the 3-th element were Tracians, or romans remains.. and it is possible, but it is not the main element.
This happened in between 10-12 cnt, and probably was related to Asens revolt against bizantines. There are sources which claim a bitter, reciprocal hatred between vlachs and bizantines. I think the vlachs(from south Danube) were favorised in this by Asens rullers, in order to secure vlach communities by ventual bizantine retaliations. To the were joined vlach from all Carpathian arch highlands. And I think that was the main "source of slavisisation" of the vlachs: vlachs simply asimilated huge amounth of slavs, who could not leave the region
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Old June 10th, 2013, 01:44 AM   #365
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Where he deemed that?

No, I think there is no any truth. There is turk influence (due to the Turk haganate contact with Bulgarians), but not turkoman origin.

But in the time of WWII that was the leading theory about ancient Bulgarians, so I am not surprise Hitler or whoever else supported it.
He said it in his Table Talks during the 1940's.

Hitler's Table Talk, 1941-1944 - page 357

It was supposed to have been an old Viennese cliche with no actual credit.
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Old June 10th, 2013, 05:17 PM   #366
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The Origins of Bulgaria: Myths and Facts | Blazing Bulgaria

The origin, nature and level of civilization of the Bulgars

Genetic analysis, linguistic factors and etymology trace the origin of the Bulgars not to Mongolia as was previously thought, but to the land of Bactria in the plains of present-day northern Afghanistan. It was also determined that they belonged to the Iranian genetic group, making them Caucasian, not Asiatic. Additionally, they consumed a tremendous amount of meat (given that the average height of Bulgar skeletons uncovered in northern Bulgaria is a staggering 6 feet), meaning they had access to vast herds of cattle of all kinds. However, they were also skilled craftsmen, metalworkers and agriculturalists – jugs of wheat found intact in Bulgar burial mounds are of a high-yield cultivated sort that could only be obtained through long selection, implying centuries of agricultural tradition. Not only that, but as early as the 4th century an Armenian geographer stated that out of all the tribes North of the Caucasus, only the Bulgars knew how to build cities of stone.

So far so good. The Bulgars could not have been nomads in the true sense of the word. It is likely that their shepherds led their cattle on a cyclical migratory pattern while their craftsmen, miners, blacksmiths, builders and farmers remained in their cities of stone, arming their warriors and manufacturing leather goods for export.
Kubrat and Old Great Bulgaria

In the early 600′s, several Bulgar tribes were part of the Western Turkic Khaganate, in a federation of sorts with other tribes under the power of the Khaganate. Kubrat was the first-born son of the Bulgar federate’s ruler. He was sent to Constantinople and spent about 20 years there, educated alongside future Byzantine emperor Heraclius. The two became friends, and Kubrat was baptized (his tomb, found in the 20th century near the Ukrainian town of Poltava shows Christian insignia on his seal and his weapons). He also had a chance to study statecraft first-hand in the capital of the Byzantine empire.

In 632, Kubrat returned, united the Bulgar tribes, led an uprising against the Khaganate and established a Bulgar state called Old Great Bulgaria with capital Phanagoria on the northern shores of the Black sea.

We should take a step back and examine the role that Byzantium may have played in the establishment of Old Great Bulgaria. In the 7th century, the Byzantine empire is surrounded by enemies. The Persians are a constant threat to the South, only removed by the relentless advance of the Arabs. The Franks are threatening the empire by sea, and the Turkic Khaganate is hostile to the North, having repeatedly raided and pillaged Moesia. Wouldn’t it be excellent for the Byzantines if a friendly state was created to the North that weakened the Khaganate and established a border with the empire, creating a buffer against other barbarian tribes and securing the Danube border for the foreseeable future? This was common practice in Byzantium, and they had a candidate: Kubrat was friendly to the empire, and the Bulgars were fierce warriors who yearned for freedom from the Khaganate. What if Kubrat’s return and accession was a coordinated step of mutual benefit between the Bulgars and the Byzantines? Kubrat’s Bulgaria signed a peace and trade treaty with Byzantium immediately after its formation and his capital Phanagoria was 48 hours by sea from Constantinople, enabling easy coordination of joint plans. When Heraclius died in 641, Kubrat threatened war on Constantinople if his family was harmed in the aftermath. Furthermore, far from being a savage pagan, Kubrat was likely one of the most well-mannered, cultured and educated Bulgarian of the Middle Ages – Christian and raised in Constantinople from a young age.
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Old June 10th, 2013, 05:43 PM   #367
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Bulgarians =/= Bulgars

Bulgarians = Slav

Bulgars = Turkic

The only ones that can claim Bulgar history is the Bulgarian Turks who live in Bulgaria. They amount to 1,5 million in Bulgaria. I don't like the idea of Slavs claiming Turkic history.
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Old June 10th, 2013, 10:10 PM   #368

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Originally Posted by chagatai View Post
Bulgarians =/= Bulgars

Bulgarians = Slav

Bulgars = Turkic

The only ones that can claim Bulgar history is the Bulgarian Turks who live in Bulgaria. They amount to 1,5 million in Bulgaria. I don't like the idea of Slavs claiming Turkic history.
Would you like to explain in a bit more detail your statement?
  • The number of people referring to themselves as turks in Bulgaria are ~580,000, not 1,500,000.
Let us consider for the sake of argument that the far-fetched Turkic theory of Bulgarian origin to be 100% correct and that all of the so called Turks in Bulgaria are clearly distinct from the Bulgarians in terms of ancestry. That would still defy your logic since:
  • The Bulgarian tribes reached their new homeland for first time roughly 1,000 years before the Ottomans.
  • The supposed Turkic Bulgars have no continuity with the Oghuz Turks of the Ottoman empire.

That would be the same as Finns claiming Magyar history or Scots claiming Celtiberian history...
The ethnogenesis of modern Bulgarian is mainly a product of two Bulgarian empires (and the ERE) and the melting of various peoples into one with predominately Slavonic culture. Societies develop themselves, evolve and adapt. The Bulgarian one has come a long way, yet its lineage is never ignored. The claimants of Bulgar history and vessels of its culture are modern ethnic Bulgarians and certain inhabitants of the lands north of the Black Sea.

This imaginary link binding all kinds of Turks through distance and centuries into some mythological collective Turkic unity seems like such a childish notion...
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Old June 11th, 2013, 04:01 AM   #369
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Would you like to explain in a bit more detail your statement?
  • The number of people referring to themselves as turks in Bulgaria are ~580,000, not 1,500,000.
Let us consider for the sake of argument that the far-fetched Turkic theory of Bulgarian origin to be 100% correct and that all of the so called Turks in Bulgaria are clearly distinct from the Bulgarians in terms of ancestry. That would still defy your logic since:
  • The Bulgarian tribes reached their new homeland for first time roughly 1,000 years before the Ottomans.
  • The supposed Turkic Bulgars have no continuity with the Oghuz Turks of the Ottoman empire.

That would be the same as Finns claiming Magyar history or Scots claiming Celtiberian history...
The ethnogenesis of modern Bulgarian is mainly a product of two Bulgarian empires (and the ERE) and the melting of various peoples into one with predominately Slavonic culture. Societies develop themselves, evolve and adapt. The Bulgarian one has come a long way, yet its lineage is never ignored. The claimants of Bulgar history and vessels of its culture are modern ethnic Bulgarians and certain inhabitants of the lands north of the Black Sea.

This imaginary link binding all kinds of Turks through distance and centuries into some mythological collective Turkic unity seems like such a childish notion...
What follows is a tale of two, well, tales. More specifically, two tales of the origin of the Bulgarian state.

One tale says that Bulgaria is 1331 years old (having been founded in 681), speaks of an age-old alliance between the prosperous Slavic tribes on the Balkans and a refugee band of Bulgars pushed out of Crimea by overwhelmingly strong adversaries, and is prominent in every history book, in every cocktail party summary of Bulgarian history, in every Bulgaria-themed blog.

The other, well, makes a little bit more sense. Stick with me through 3400 words and I will show you some fascinating examples of manipulation of historical facts, as well as a more reasonable and logical account of the foundation of the Bulgarian state.


According to our first tale, the Bulgars (or Proto-Bulgarians) were thunder-worshipping Turkic nomads, short, dark and bow-legged, who spent their lives on horseback wandering the steppes of Central Asia with their cattle, living in yurts, pillaging their neighbours and never settling down permanently. Despite their primitive craftsmanship and engineering skills, they were described as “more numerous than the grains of sand on the beach” and as fierce warriors, defeating at various times the professional armies of several kingdoms, including the Byzantine empire, with each Bulgar equipped with scale mail for himself and his horse, composite bow, sword, spear, shield, etc.


as Bulgaria’s chief historian Bozhidar Dimitrov has pointed out in his book “12 Myths in Bulgarian History”. Here they are, briefly:
How does a nomadic, wandering, primitive tribe have the resources (in sheer quantities of steel) to arm itself enough to be the scourge of the century, sowing fear into the hearts of every army that has ever encountered it, including that of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire?
How slow must Asparukh’s tribe have been in order to have fled the Dnieper basin in 665 and to only arrive at the mouth of the Danube in 680?
The distance between the two rivers is some 250 km, giving the nomadic band of refugees an average speed of 40 metres per day – a fifth of the speed of a tortoise.
How did Asparukh envision establishing a state in Moesia, which had for centuries been a well-defended part of the powerful Byzantine empire if he had at most 20 000 at his disposal?
How is it possible for a refugee band of 20 000 (which could send forth 6000 warriors at most) to present such a threat to the Byzantine emperor that he would march against them himself, abandoning Constantinople to the real danger of Arabs, Persians, Franks and Seljuks, at the head of 50 000 men?
Why did Constantine IV include his (extremely expensive and vulnerable to storms) royal fleet in the campaign against the Bulgars if they were only 20 000 people?

The Byzantine fleet was typically only used when the heart of the empire was in grave danger. It has only been deployed against Bulgaria four times: against Asparukh, against his son Tervel in 705, in the time of Constantine V in 776 and against Simeon of Bulgaria (during the Golden Age of the Bulgarian Empire) in 917.

If by some miracle the Bulgaro-Slavonic alliance managed to defeat Constantine’s army once and to settle South of the Danube, why did Constantine not redouble his efforts to expel them the following year? The Danube was considered a vital line of defence for the Byzantine empire, and it had been regained at considerable effort and expense every time it had been lost previously.

From whom did the roving Bulgars learn engineering and construction in order to build their first capital, Pliska, in the Moesian plains?
Pliska was a huge city, built of rectangular stone blocks, distinct both from the Byzantine style of construction (which used bricks and mortar) and of the Slavonic style (which was confined to dugouts and wooden huts)?
Why did the Slavonic tribes accept the Bulgars as their rulers if they outnumbered them so much and could have easily slaughtered them to the last man?
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Old June 11th, 2013, 12:13 PM   #370

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Originally Posted by chagatai View Post
Bulgarians =/= Bulgars

Bulgarians = Slav

Bulgars = Turkic

The only ones that can claim Bulgar history is the Bulgarian Turks who live in Bulgaria. They amount to 1,5 million in Bulgaria. I don't like the idea of Slavs claiming Turkic history.
That's completely wrong. The Bulgaric and Oghuz languages are very different and not intelligible at all, given that they separated about 2000 years ago (or more). The only living member of the Bulgaric sub-group of Turkic languages is Chuvash.

Besides, the Turkic Bulgars were assimilated by local Slavs already during 9th century, whereas first Oghuz Turks came to the Balkans in larger numbers only during the 13th century (ancestors of the Gagauz people). Modern Bulgarian Turks can't claim the medieval Bulgars and their culture as their heritage just because they are Turkic too.
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