A History of Bulgaria, 1393-1885

A History of Bulgaria, 1393-1885

A History of Bulgaria, 1393-1885

A History of Bulgaria, 1393-1885

Excerpt

The epoch of Turkish rule in Bulgaria had so profound an effect upon the pattern of national life, and lasted so long, that even the Bulgarians themselves began to forget that things had ever been different. Yet, before the Turkish Conquest, mediaeval Bulgaria had been one of the foremost states in Europe in the field of culture and education, while militarily her power had attained heights which made Tsar Simeon's claim to the imperial crown of Byzantium by no means impertinent.

The territory which we now call Bulgaria has been inhabited from the earliest times. Remains dating from the Old Stone Age have been found in the caves of the Stara Planina, or Balkan Range. In the second or third millennium BC the territory was settled by Thracian tribes, and in the sixth century BC the slave-owning Greek states began colonizing the Black Sea coast, where they set up trading centres at Odessos (Varna), Apolonia (Sozopol), and Mesembria (Nesebŭr). The Thracian State was conquered first by Philip of Macedon and later by the Romans. Owing to their fine fighting qualities, many Thracian slaves took part in Roman spectacles as gladiators. Spartacus, the leader of the Slaves' Revolt, was himself born within the borders of present-day Bulgaria. When the Roman Empire was divided into two, the territory of Bulgaria was included in the eastern half with its capital at Constantinople, and subsequently formed part of the Byzantine Empire.

During the sixth and seventh centuries AD pagan Slavonic tribes invaded and settled in the Balkans in spite of Byzantine opposition. The Slavs were a freedom-loving, agricultural people, loosely knit into tribes based on the zadruga or large patriarchal family, which owned and cultivated the land in common. A feature of their tribal life was the absence of private property or any single permanent leader. Temporary leaders might be elected in time of war or danger, but normally decisions were taken by popular assemblies. During . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.