"Bulgars and Bulgarians",
by Prof. Dr. Plamen S. Tzvetkov, (2002);
"Bulgars and Bulgarians",
by Prof. Dr. Plamen S. Tzvetkov, (2002);
Last edited by Onur; 03-18-2012 at 02:33 PM.
"On the origin of the Proto-Bulgarians",
by Rasho Rashev, Shumen, (1992)
Every attempt to intervene in the century-old question regarding the origin of the Proto-Bulgarians inevitably makes its author repeat well-known facts and interpretations. All possible theories, it seems, has been proposed and most of them have been reviewed and scrutinised. The written sources, upon which the interpretations have been based, have been studied and commented many times over .
The archaeology, with its not so definite but more abundant data, however, gives hope for a new approach towards the problem. It cannot be said that these data have been overlooked so far. As it will be shown below, there exists a not large but authoritative group of archaeologists, whose view on the ethnogenesis of the Proto-Bulgarians differs from the officially imposed one. However, it has been laid down quite laconically, frequently just in footnotes, and its unpopularity should not come as a surprise. Another reason lays in the fact that this view was in apparent contradiction to the official one, which on its part is based on the written sources. A non-declared, hidden discussion was going on. This begs us to restate the question about the origin of the Proto-Bulgarians, with stress at some relevant facts which shed a different light upon the question.
So, the question is: were the Proto-Bulgarians Türks? Were the people, led by Asparukh to the Lower Danube, Turkic-speaking? All modern scholars answer positively .
The Turkic anthropological type and the Turkicness of the Proto-Bulgarians have not been questioned. The linguistic data in the Namelist of the Bulgarian rulers, in the Byzantine written sources as well as the Proto-Bulgarian stone inscriptions are given as an irrefutable evidence to that. The Turkic names, phrases and words they contain, leave little room for discussion.
A number of Middle Asian elements in the material culture of the First Bulgarian kingdom, such as the 12-year cyclic animal calendar, the cult of Tangra, etc., all with undeniable analogies in the culture of the Turkic khaganate, are also brought forward .
An important point, which has evaded attention so far and which was the main reason for the imposition of the Turkic theory about the origin of the Proto-Bulgarians, has to be mentioned from the start. It is that the Turkic linguistic remains and elements of material culture represent exclusively the language and the culture of the Proto-Bulgarian military-administrative and clan leadership. It concerns the khan, its family and court, but not the ordinary population. The available data has been generalised and mechanically transferred not only to the whole aristocracy but also to the rest of the population, designated as Proto-Bulgarian. We have no direct evidence about the language and origin of the latter. There is no evidence of a widespread worship of Tangra, the Turkic god of the sky. On the contrary, we have quite definitive evidence which leaves the Turkic theory in doubt. For example, the anthropological data portray the Proto-Bulgarians as Europeids with weak Mongoloid influences. The attested practice of artificial skull deformation was characteristic not for the Türks, but for the old population of the European steppes – the Sarmatians . Especially indicative is the evidence regarding the old Turkic remains in the Bulgarian language. In the Old Bulgarian literary language they are represented solely by the words kumir (idol) and kapishte (heathen shrine). Some 15 other words resurface in the modern Bulgarian language . Recently, the total number of Turkic words reached 40, but with the significant stipulation that they cannot be proven to be old-Turkic, i.e. pre-Ottoman and pre-Pechenego-Kumanic in origin . In comparison, some 300 words of old-Turkic origin in the Hungarian language are said to be a Proto-Bulgarian legacy. Taking into account the widely held view about the Turkicness of the Proto-Bulgarians, the situation in the Bulgarian language appears strange. The linguist St. Mladenov tended to explain this phenomenon by the small number of Proto-Bulgarians, calling them in this connection “a Turanian band of people” (Turanski narodec). The question about the numbers of the Proto-Bulgarians has been studied too generally, relying mainly on one’s intuition rather than more definite data. This way, they were estimated from 30,000 (by V. Zlatarski, in the first quarter of the XX c.) to some 300,000 by some modern scholars. The only objective criterion is the data from the necropolises. They indeed offer a temporary but, nevertheless, objective picture, which will vary quantitatively in the future. As for now, the inhumations, which are the most reliable sign of Proto-Bulgarian ethnic affiliation, constitute 29 % of all graves in the pagan necropolises of north-eastern Bulgaria. The figure will increase by 2-3 % if we add the inhumations from the necropolises yet to be published and it will come to represent a third of all graves. This is not a negligible share. Therefore, not the alleged small numbers of Proto-Bulgarians is the explanation for the lack of old Turkic linguistic remains in the Bulgarian language. The conclusion may be unexpected, but looks completely natural – the majority of Proto-Bulgarians have not spoken a Turkic language.
We have grounds to speak of two Proto-Bulgarian groups and cultures – that of the Turkic in its origin aristocracy, which occupied the upper positions in the centralised military-administrative apparatus, and that of the ordinary Proto-Bulgarian populace, engaged in agriculture and stock-breeding. These were apparently two different groups, differing not only in their social status, but also in their language and traditional culture. St. Mladenov compared the role of the Proto-Bulgarians amongst the South Slavs to the role of the Franks amongst the Gauls, and to that of the Varangians amongst the Eastern Slavs. His comparison should be corrected in the sense that his “Proto-Bulgarians” should refer to the ruling Turkic Proto-Bulgarian elite, and not the Proto-Bulgarians as a people. It has long been established that during the early Middle Ages ethnical identification was a dynamic category because of the mass migrations and ethnic mixing. Thus, we should not be surprised when V. Beshevliev distinguishes three different ethnical components even in the homogeneous Proto-Bulgarian aristocracy: Turkic, Iranian and Ugro-Finnic . To this we have to add the observations of eminent Turkologists on the strangely sounding Turkic language of the Danubian Proto-Bulgarians . If such an ethnic variety had place in the narrow confines of the aristocracy, we should expect the same and even more within the Proto-Bulgarian massif as a whole.
This is exactly what some Soviet and Bulgarian archaeologists have been assuming . They think that the remains of the old Iranian (Alano-Sarmatian) and Ugro-Finnic population of the Eastern Europe joined the proper Turkic Proto-Bulgarian group, when the latter appeared from the expanses of Central Asia. This population – especially the Sarmatians and the Alans, left a significant mark in the material culture of the Proto-Bulgarians, but were assimilated linguistically, adopting the Turkic language of the new-comers. The alleged process of the hypothetic Turkicisation, however, is not supported by any evidence, it has been assumed a priori, in the same way as the Turkic speech of the Proto-Bulgarians has been assumed. An indirect indication could be the Turkic language of the Danubian Proto-Bulgarians, reflected in the Namelist of the Bulgarian rulers, in the Byzantine chroniclers and in the Bulgarian stone inscriptions. But, as we pointed out already, this takes into account the language of the aristocracy only. Another indirect indication are the runic inscriptions, found in different places in the area of the Saltovo-Majack culture. Part of the runic signs have analogies in the Central Asiatic Turkic runic writing. It is entirely possible that this writing was brought to Europe by the Türks, who had the lands around the Sea of Azov and the North Caucasus under their control during the second half of the VI and the first half of the VII c. AD, and that there it had been preserved in the following centuries in a narrow circle of Turkic priests and educated people. This question (of the SE European runes) can be re-stated more generally. The newest research shows that two types of runic writing had been used in Eastern Europe, out of the six in total types of runic writing spread from Hungary to Mongolia during the early Middle Ages. It cannot be excluded that the runic writing had been used not by Türks only, but by other ethnic groups as well . Maybe the best example are the runic-like inscriptions from the Old Bulgarian monasteries at Murfatlar/Basarab and Ravna.
Orthodox christians probably knows the eastern Roman missionaries, the brothers called Cyril&Methodious.
In this book, the author relates all this information from a book named "Vita Constantini". "Vita Constantini" is a memoir written by Methodius himself in the years of 870-880 AD, shortly after the death of his brother, Cyril. According to the memoirs of Cyril&Methodius, they have gone to Khazar empire in the year of 861 AD. This is the time when Danube Bulgars started to be converted to christianity by eastern Romans. I checked wiki for it and it says that the Bulgars at Danube has been converted to christianity at 864 AD.
As Methodious states here, the brothers fails to convert Khazars and in another quote from "Vita Constantini", Cyril expresses his frustration like that;
"The world of the Khazars: new perspectives", Peter B. Golden,Haggai Ben-Shammai,András Róna-Tas,Mekhon Ben-Tsevi le-ḥeḳer ḳehilot Yiśraʼel ba-Mizraḥ
We can see here from the quote in "Vita Constantini", Cyril&Methodius also confirms the origin of Danube Bulgars by calling them as one of the seven tribes along with Khazars. That "seven tribes" as he called are the Turkic tribes (Cyril says "Hunnic people" instead) which mentioned as early as first century AD in the Jewish chronicles where they ascribes this info to the old testament`s genealogy section and by trying to further elaborate the info in it.
The medieval Jewish scholar Joseph ben Gorion lists in his Josippon the ten sons of Togarmah as follows:
1. Kozar (the Khazars)
2. Pacinak (the Pechenegs)
3. Aliqanosz (the Alans)
4. Bulgar (the Bulgars)
5. Ragbiga (Ragbina, Ranbona)
6. Turqi (possibly the Kökturks)
7. Buz (the Oghuz)
9. Ungari (either the Hungarians or the Oghurs/Onogurs)
10. Tilmac (Tilmic)."
In the Chronicles of Jerahmeel, they are listed as:
1. Cuzar (the Khazars)
2. Pasinaq (the Pechenegs)
3. Alan (the Alans)
4. Bulgar (the Bulgars)
6. Turq (possibly the Kökturks)
7. Buz (the Oghuz)
9. Ugar (either the Hungarians or the Oghurs/Onogurs)
An exchange of letters in the 950's or 960's between Hasdai ibn Shaprut, foreign secretary to the Caliph of Cordoba, and Joseph, King of the Khazars.
This is the letter of Khazar Khan Joseph to the Caliph of Cordoba. This letter is believed to be written in the 950's or 960's AD. Khan Joseph explains how they expelled Bulgars out from Volga region and how they fled to the Balkans.King Joseph's Reply;
I have a record that although our fathers were few in number, the Holy One blessed be He, gave them strength, power, and might so that they were able to carry on war after war with many nations who were more powerful and numerous than they. By the help of God they drove them out and took possession of their country. Upon some of them they have imposed forced labor even to this very day. The land in which I now live was formerly occupied by the Bulgarians. Our ancestors, the Khazars, came and fought with them, and, although these Bulgarians were as numerous as the sand on the shores of the sea, they could not withstand the Khazars. So they left their country and fled while the Khazars pursued them as far as the Danube River. Up to this very day the Bulgars camp along the Danube and are close to Constantinople. The Khazars have occupied their land up till now.
http://www.spiritus-temporis.com/khazars/ ... http://www.spiritus-temporis.com/khazar-correspondence/
Lol at identity issues
In the article above, Bulgarian prof. Rasho Rashev talks about the Turkic runes found in the the Old Bulgarian monasteries at Murfatlar/Basarab region in today`s Romania-Bulgaria border.
This is an unusual 9-10th century cave monastery in Basarabi, Romania. There are pictures and writings carved on the walls of cave and it is multi-lingual with old church slavonic and Turkic words, mostly written by using Turkic runic script and few in Glagolitic.
Inscriptions and pictures in the Monastery dated from the era of first Bulgar kingdom, late 9th century and early 10th century. Some inscriptions mentions about Bulgar king Simeon I of 890 AD. So, it`s few decades after Bulgar people started to be converted to christianity. Some scholars says that the inscriptions belongs to Pecheneg(Patzinak) Turks, some says it belongs to Bulgars but it`s not known for sure.
Basarabi Cave Complex
The complex of cave churches situated near the village of Basarabi, in Dobrudja (Romania), not far from Constanta, was discovered in 1957. Until the last third of the tenth century the entire complex consisted probably of a group of limestone quarries which provided various blocks of chalk used in the construction of the upper part of the Great Stone Wall of Dobrudja, from Constanta up to Cernavoda. According to I. Barnea, the extraction of stone could have ended under John Tzimiskes (969-976) or Basil the 2nd (976-1025).
The abandoned caves could have been then transformed into a monastery. It so happened that the complex changed into a group of churches and burial chambers, located inside the limestone hill, at different levels, and interconnected through galleries.
Most of the chamber-walls are covered with overlapping graffiti, including drawings and inscriptions, thus making possible to discern different periods of the site’s history.
The variety of the graffiti is wide: there are Christian symbols, drawings of animals and men, Turkic runes, and Cyrillic inscriptions. These drawings could have appeared as early as mid-tenth century, as supposed by D. Ovcharov. Among the Basarabi graffiti there is a large number of runic inscriptions and separate signs, undoubtedly of Turkic origin.
These are some drawings of christian saints with Turkic runic inscriptions on them in old church slavonic or Turkic words;
There is a video of this cave monastry in this Romanian website;
For more info and pictures;
An Article about this cave by prof. Florin Curta, Cornell University, NY, USA. F. Curta translates and explains the inscriptions here;
You better tell your "true scientific" opinion to them, not to me, tell them to stop spreading their "pseudo-scientific" thoughts and start listening you and your VMRO, ATAKA fascists.
Once again this is very interesting.
As a Pomak(Muslim Bulgarian) who adopted Turkish identity tries to make a link between Bulgars and Turkics to conform yourself.
So far, genetically there is not detected any Central Asian influence on Modern Bulgarians.
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