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The Bulgars (also Bulghars, Bulgari, Bolgars, Bolghars, Bolgari, Proto-Bulgarians) were
Turkic Turkic may refer to: * anything related to the country of Turkey * Turkic languages, a language family of at least thirty-five documented languages ** Turkic alphabets (disambiguation) ** Turkish language, the most widely spoken Turkic language * T ...
semi-nomadic warrior tribes that flourished in the
Pontic–Caspian steppe The Pontic–Caspian steppe, formed by the Caspian steppe and the Pontic steppe, is the steppe File:Steppe of western Kazakhstan in the early spring.jpg, Steppe in Kazakhstan In physical geography, a steppe () is an ecoregion cha ...
and the
Volga region Image:Volgarivermap.png, 300px, Volga drainage basin The Volga Region (russian: Поволжье, ''Povolzhye'', literally: "along the Volga") is a historical region in Russia that encompasses the drainage basin of the Volga River, the longest ri ...
during the 7th century. They became known as nomadic equestrians in the
Volga-Ural region Idel-Ural ( tt, Идел-Урал, russian: Идель-Урал), literally Volga-Ural, is a historical region in Eastern Europe, in what is today Russia. The name literally means ''Volga-Urals'' in the Tatar language. The frequently used Russian v ...
, but some researchers say that their ethnic roots can be traced to
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east, and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north, including the former Soviet Union, Soviet republics of the Sov ...

Central Asia
. During their westward migration across the
Eurasian steppe The Eurasian Steppe, also simply called the Great Steppe or the steppes, is the vast steppe ecoregion of Eurasia in the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome. It stretches through Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Europ ...
, the Bulgar tribes absorbed other ethnic groups and cultural influences in a process of ethnogenesis, including
Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation ...
,
Finno-Ugric Finno-Ugric ( or ; ''Fenno-Ugric'') or Finno-Ugrian (''Fenno-Ugrian''), is a traditional grouping of all languages in the Uralic language family except the Samoyedic languages. Its formerly commonly accepted status as a subfamily of Uralic is ba ...

Finno-Ugric
and
HunnicHunnic, in the English language, most often refers to: * relating to or of the Huns, a former nomadic tribe of the Eurasian steppe * the Hunnic language spoken by the Huns, or, * Hunnic grapes, a class of grapes grown in German-speaking countries, d ...

Hunnic
tribes. Modern genetic research on Central Asian Turkic people and ethnic groups related to the Bulgars points to an affiliation with Western Eurasian populations. The Bulgars spoke a
Turkic language The Turkic languages are a language family of at least 35 documented languages, spoken by the Turkic peoples of Eurasia from Eastern Europe and Southern Europe to Central Asia, East Asia, North Asia (Siberia), and Western Asia. The Turkic langu ...

Turkic language
, i.e.
Bulgar language Bulgar (also Bulghar, Bolgar, Bolghar) is an extinct Oghur Turkic language which was spoken by the Bulgars. The name is derived from the Bulgars, a tribal association which established the Bulgar state, known as Old Great Bulgaria in the mid-7 ...
of
Oghuric The Oghur, Onogur or Ogur languages (also known as Bulgar, Pre-Proto-Bulgar or Lir-Turkic and r-Turkic) are a branch of the Turkic languages, Turkic language family. The only extant member of the group is the Chuvash language. The first to branch ...
branch. They preserved the military titles, organization and customs of Eurasian steppes, as well as pagan shamanism and belief in the sky deity Tangra. The Bulgars became semi-sedentary during the 7th century in the Pontic-Caspian steppe, establishing the polity of
Old Great Bulgaria Old Great Bulgaria or Great Bulgaria (Medieval Greek: Παλαιά Μεγάλη Βουλγαρία, ''Palaiá Megálē Voulgaría''), also often known by the Latin names ''Magna Bulgaria'' and ''Patria Onoguria'' ("Onoğurs, Onogur land"), w ...

Old Great Bulgaria
c. 630-635, which was defeated by the
Khazar Empire The Khazars (, ; he, כוזרים, ''Kuzarim''; tr, Hazarlar; az, Xəzərlər; ba, Хазарҙар; tt, Хәзәрләр, ''Xäzärlär''; ''Xazar''; fa, خزر; uk, Хоза́ри, ''Khozáry''; rus, Хаза́ры, ''Khazáry''; ...

Khazar Empire
in 668 AD. In c. 679, Khan
Asparukh Asparuh (also ''Ispor''; bg, Аспарух, Asparuh or (rarely) bg, Исперих, Isperih) was а ruler of Bulgars in the second half of the 7th century and is credited with the establishment of the First Bulgarian Empire in 681. Early life ...

Asparukh
conquered
Scythia Minor Scythia Minor or Lesser Scythia (: , ) was in ancient times the region surrounded by the at the north and west and the at the east, roughly corresponding to today's , with in , and in . By the 7th century BC, several Greek colonies were bui ...
, opening access to
Moesia Moesia (; Latin: ''Moesia''; el, Μοισία, Moisía) was an ancient region and later Roman province situated in the Balkans south of the Danube River. It included most of the territory of modern-day Central Serbia, Kosovo and the northern ...
, and established the Danubian Bulgaria - the
First Bulgarian Empire The First Bulgarian Empire ( cu, блъгарьско цѣсарьствиѥ, blagarysko tsesarystviye) was a medieval Bulgar- Slavic and later Bulgarian Bulgarian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Bulgaria * Bulg ...

First Bulgarian Empire
, where the Bulgars became a political and military elite. They merged subsequently with established , as well as with previously settled
Slavic tribes This is a list of Slavic peoples Slavs are an ethno-linguistic group of people who speak the various Slavic languages of the larger Balto-Slavic language, Balto-Slavic linguistic group of the Indo-European languages. They are native to Euras ...
, and were eventually
Slavicized Slavicisation or Slavicization, is the acculturation or adoption of something non-Slavic into Slavic culture or terms or (to a greater degree) the acculturation of something Slavic into a non-Slavic culture, cuisine, region, or nation. The proce ...
, thus forming the ancestors of modern
Bulgarians Bulgarians ( bg, българи, Bǎlgari, ) are a nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target. "Le ...
. The remaining Pontic Bulgars migrated in the 7th century to the
Volga River The Volga (; russian: Во́лга, a=Ru-Волга.ogg, p=ˈvoɫɡə) is the longest river in Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention ra ...
, where they founded the
Volga Bulgaria Volga Bulgaria ( tt, Идел Болгар, chv, Атӑлçи Пӑлхар) or Volga–Kama Bulghar, was a historic Bulgar state that existed between the 7th and 13th centuries around the confluence of the Volga The Volga (; russian: Во ...

Volga Bulgaria
; they preserved their identity well into the 13th century. The
Volga Tatars The Volga Tatars or simply referred to as Tatars ( tt, татарлар, tatarlar) are a Turkic Turkic may refer to: * anything related to the country of Turkey * Turkic languages, a language family of at least thirty-five documented languages ...
and
Chuvash people The Chuvash people ( , ; cv, чӑваш ; russian: чуваши ) are a Turkic ethnic group, a branch of Oghurs The Oghurs were a group of -speaking nomads who moved west across the from about 450 to 950 AD. They drove before them the ...
claim to have originated from the Volga Bulgars.


Etymology and origin

The etymology of the ethnonym ''
Bulgar Bulgar may refer to: *Bulgars The Bulgars (also Bulghars, Bulgari, Bolgars, Bolghars, Bolgari, Proto-Bulgarians) were Turkic Turkic may refer to: * anything related to the country of Turkey * Turkic languages, a language family of at least th ...
'' is not completely understood and difficult to trace back earlier than the 4th century AD. Since the work of
Wilhelm Tomaschek Wilhelm Tomaschek, or Vilém Tomášek (May 26, 1841, Olomouc – September 9, 1901, Vienna) was a Czech people, Czech-Austrians, Austrian geographer and oriental studies, orientalist. He is known for his work in the fields of historical topography ...
(1873), it is generally said to be derived from
Proto-Turkic The Proto-Turkic language is the linguistic reconstruction Linguistic reconstruction is the practice of establishing the features of an unattested ancestor language of one or more given languages. There are two kinds of reconstruction: * Inter ...
root *''bulga-'' ("to stir", "to mix"; "to become mixed"), which with the consonant suffix ''-r'' implies a noun meaning "mixed". Other scholars have added that ''bulğa'' might also imply "stir", "disturb", "confuse" and
Talat Tekin Talat or Talaat may refer to: People *Talat (given name), includes Tallat *Mehmet Ali Talat (born 1952), President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Geographic designations *Talat Sao, a morning market in Vientiane, Laos Thailand

* ...
interpreted ''bulgar'' as the verb form "mixing" (i.e. rather than the adjective "mixed"). Both Gyula Németh and
Peter Benjamin Golden Peter Benjamin Golden (born 1941) is an American historian who is Professor Emeritus ''Emeritus'' (; female: ''Emerita''), in its current usage, is an adjective used to designate a retired chair, professor, pastor, bishop, pope, director, presi ...

Peter Benjamin Golden
initially advocated the "mixed race" theory, but later, like
Paul Pelliot Paul Eugène Pelliot (28 May 187826 October 1945) was a French Sinologist and Oriental studies, Orientalist best known for his explorations of Central Asia and his discovery of many important Chinese texts among the Dunhuang manuscripts. Early ...
, considered that "to incite", "rebel", or "to produce a state of disorder", i.e. the "disturbers", was a more likely etymology for migrating nomads. According to Osman Karatay, if the "mixed" etymology relied on the westward migration of the Oğurs, meeting and merging with the Huns, north of the Black Sea, it was a faulty theory, since the Oghurs were documented in Europe as early as 463, while the Bulgars were not mentioned until 482 – an overly short time period for any such
ethnogenesis Ethnogenesis (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is app ...
to occur. However, the "mixing" in question may have occurred before the Bulgars migrated from further east, and scholars such as Sanping Chen have noted analogous groups in
Inner Asia Inner Asia refers to landlocked regions within East Asia and North Asia that are part of today's Western China, Mongolia Mongolia (, Mongolian language, Mongolian: , Mongolian script, Traditional Mongolian: ') is a landlocked country in ...
, with phonologically similar names, who were frequently described in similar terms: during the 4th century, the '' Buluoji'' (
Middle Chinese Middle Chinese (formerly known as Ancient Chinese) or the Qieyun system (QYS) is the historical variety of Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country ...
''b'uo-lak-kiei''), a component of the " Five Barbarian" groups in Ancient China, were portrayed as both a "mixed race" and "troublemakers".
Peter A. Boodberg Peter Alexis Boodberg (Born Pyotr Alekseyevich Budberg; 8 April 1903 – 29 June 1972) was a Russian-American scholar, linguist, and sinologist Sinology or Chinese studies, is an academic discipline that focuses on the study of China Ch ...
noted that the ''Buluoji'' in the Chinese sources were recorded as remnants of the
Xiongnu The Xiongnu (, ) were a tribal confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common action. Usually created by a treaty A treaty is a formal ...

Xiongnu
confederation, and had strong Caucasian elements. Another theory linking the Bulgars to a Turkic people of Inner Asia has been put forward by Boris Simeonov, who identified them with the ''Pugu'' (僕骨; ''buk/buok kwət''; ''Buqut''), a
Tiele Tiele may refer to: *Tiele people The Tiele (, Turkic ''*Tegreg'' " eople of theCarts"), also transliterated as Dili (), Chile (), Zhile (), Tele (), also named Gaoche or Gaoju (, "High Carts"), were a tribal confederation of Turkic ethnic orig ...
and/or
Toquz Oguz Toquz Oghuz ( otk, 𐱃𐰸𐰆𐰔:𐰆𐰍𐰔, ''Toquz Oγuz''; Chinese: 九姓 ''Jĭu Xìng'' "Nine Surnames"; Tibetan ''Drugu Rus Dgu'' "Turks of Nine Bones") was a political alliance of nine Turkic-speaking Tiele tribes The term tribe i ...
tribe. The Pugu were mentioned in Chinese sources from 103 BC up to the 8th century AD, and later were situated among the eastern Tiele tribes, as one of the highest-ranking tribes after the
Uyghurs The Uyghurs ( or ; ; ; zh, s=, t=, p=Wéiwú'ěr, IPA: ), alternatively spelled Uighurs, Uyghers, Uygurs or Uigurs, are a Turkic peoples, Turkic ethnic group originating from and culturally affiliated with the general region of Central Asi ...

Uyghurs
. According to the ''Chronicle'' by
Michael the Syrian Michael the Syrian ( ar, ميخائيل السرياني, Mīkhaʾēl el Sūryani:),( syc, ܡܺܝܟ݂ܳܐܝܶܠ ܣܽܘܪܝܳܝܳܐ, Mīkhoʾēl Sūryoyo), died 1199 AD, also known as Michael the Great ( syr, ܡܺܝܟ݂ܳܐܝܶܠ ܪܰܒ݁ܳܐ, Mī ...
, which comprises several historical events of different age into one story, three mythical
Scythian The Scythians (from grc, Σκύθης , ) or Scyths, also known as Saka and Sakae ( ; egy, 𓋴𓎝𓎡𓈉 The ancient Egyptian Hill-country or "Foreign land" hieroglyph (𓈉) is a member of the sky, earth, and water hieroglyphs. A ...
brothers set out on a journey from the mountain Imaon (
Tian Shan The Tian Shan,; dng, Тянсан, ; otk, 𐰴𐰣 𐱅𐰭𐰼𐰃, ; tr, Tanrı Dağı; mn, Тэнгэр уул, ; ug, تەڭرىتاغ, , ; kk, Тәңіртауы / Алатау, , ; ky, Теңир-Тоо / Ала-Тоо, , ; uz, Tyan- ...

Tian Shan
) in Asia and reached the river Tanais (
Don Don, don or DON and variants may refer to: Places *Don, BeninDon is a town in Benin, Africa. It has a population of 696,969. Nearest large airports are Cadjehoun Airport, Cotonou Cadjehoun in Cotonou and Lomé-Tokoin Airport, Lomé-Tokoin in Lom ...
), the country of the
Alans The Alans or Alāns (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power o ...

Alans
called Barsalia, which would be later inhabited by the Bulgars and the Pugurs (''Puguraje''). The names Onoğur and Bulgar were linked by later Byzantine sources for reasons that are unclear.Tekin derived ''-gur'' from the Altaic suffix ''-gir''. Generally, modern scholars consider the terms ''oğuz'' or ''oğur'', as generic terms for
Turkic tribal confederations The Turkic Turkic may refer to: * anything related to the country of Turkey * Turkic languages, a language family of at least thirty-five documented languages ** Turkic alphabets (disambiguation) ** Turkish language, the most widely spoken Turkic l ...
, to be derived from Turkic ''*og/uq'', meaning "kinship or being akin to". The terms initially were not the same, as ''oq/ogsiz'' meant "arrow", while ''oğul'' meant "offspring, child, son", ''oğuš/uğuš'' was "tribe, clan", and the verb ''oğša-/oqša'' meant "to be like, resemble". There also appears to be an etymological association between the Bulgars and the preceding Kutrigur (''Kuturgur'' > ''Quturğur'' > ''*Toqur(o)ğur'' < ''toqur''; "nine" in Proto-Bulgar; ''toquz'' in Common Turkic) and
Utigur Utigurs were nomadic equestrians who flourished in the Pontic–Caspian steppe '' Tulipa suaveolens'', one of the most typical spring flowers of the Pontic-Caspian steppe The Pontic–Caspian steppe, formed by the Caspian steppe and the Ponti ...
(''Uturgur'' > ''Uturğur'' < ''utur/otur''; "thirty" in Proto-Bulgar; ''otuz'' in Common Turkic) – as '' 'Oğur'' (Oghur) tribes, with the ethnonym Bulgar as a "spreading" adjective. Golden considered the origin of the Kutrigurs and Utigurs to be obscure and their relationship to the Onogurs and Bulgars – who lived in similar areas at the same time – as unclear. He noted, however, an implication that the Kutrigurs and Utigurs were related to the Šarağur (''šara oğur'', ''shara oghur''; "white oğhurs"), and that according to
Procopius Procopius of Caesarea ( grc-gre, Προκόπιος ὁ Καισαρεύς ''Prokópios ho Kaisareús''; la, Procopius Caesariensis; – after 565) was a prominent late antique Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, fr ...
these were Hunnish tribal unions, of partly
Cimmerian The Cimmerians (also Kimmerians; Greek: , ''Kimmérioi'') were a nomadic Indo-European people, who appeared about 1000 BC and are mentioned later in 8th century BC in Assyrian records. While the Cimmerians were often described by contempo ...
descent. Karatay considered the Kutrigurs and Utigurs to be two related, ancestral people, and prominent tribes in the later Bulgar union, but different from the Bulgars. Among many other theories regarding the etymology of Bulgar, the following have also had limited support. * an
Eastern Germanic The East Germanic languages, also called the Oder The Oder (, ; Czech, Lower Sorbian and pl, Odra;, szl, Ôdra; hsb, Wódra) is a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lak ...
root meaning "combative" (i.e. cognate with the Latin ''pugnax''), according to D. Detschev; * the Latin ''burgaroi'' – a Roman term mercenaries stationed in ''burgi'' ("forts") on the ''
limes Limes is the plural of lime. It is also the Latin word for ''limit'' which refers to: * Limes (Roman Empire), a border marking and defense system of the ancient Roman Empire * Limes (magazine), ''Limes'' (magazine), an Italian geopolitical magazi ...
'' (G. A. Keramopulos); * an Indo-European or Turkic root shared with the river
Volga The Volga (; russian: Во́лга, a=Ru-Волга.ogg, p=ˈvoɫɡə) is the longest river in Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention ra ...

Volga
(e.g. Turkic ''yiylga'', "moisture"), and/or * a reconstructed but unattested early Turkic term meaning "five oğhur", such as ''*bel-gur'' or ''*bil-gur'' (
Zeki Velidi Togan Zeki Velidi Togan ( ba, Әхмәтзәки Әхмәтшаһ улы Вәлиди, Äxmätzäki Äxmätşah ulı Wälidi; russian: Ахмет-Заки Ахметшахович Валидов, tr, Ahmet Zeki Velidi Togan, 1890–1970 Istanbul ...
).


History


Turkic migration

The origin of the early Bulgars is still unclear. Their homeland is believed to be situated in
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan ( kk, Қазақстан, Qazaqstan; russian: Казахстан, Kazakhstan), officially the Republic of Kazakhstan,; russian: Республика Казахстан, Respublika Kazakhstan, link=no) is a country located mainly in ...

Kazakhstan
and the North Caucasian steppes. Interaction with the Hunnic tribes, causing the migration, may have occurred there, but the
Pontic–Caspian steppe The Pontic–Caspian steppe, formed by the Caspian steppe and the Pontic steppe, is the steppe File:Steppe of western Kazakhstan in the early spring.jpg, Steppe in Kazakhstan In physical geography, a steppe () is an ecoregion cha ...
seems a more likely location. The first clear mention and evidence of the Bulgars was in 480, when they served as the allies of the Byzantine Emperor
Zeno Zeno or Zenon ( grc, Ζήνων) may refer to: People * Zeno (name), including a list of people and characters with the name Philosophers * Zeno of Elea (), philosopher, follower of Parmenides, known for his paradoxes * Zeno of Citium (333 – 2 ...
(474–491) against the
Ostrogoths The Ostrogoths ( la, Ostrogothi, Austrogothi) were a Roman-era The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: P ...
. Anachronistic references about them can also be found in the 7th-century geography work ''
Ashkharatsuyts ''Ashkharatsuyts'' or ''Ašxarhac′oyc′'' (Աշխարհացոյց (Traditional Armenian orthography, traditional); Աշխարհացույց (Reformed Armenian Orthography, reformed)), often translated as ''Geography'' in English sources, is an ...
'' by
Anania Shirakatsi Anania Shirakatsi ( hy, Անանիա Շիրակացի, ''Anania Širakac’i'', anglicized: Ananias of Shirak) was a 7th-century Armenians, Armenian polymath and Natural philosophy, natural philosopher, author of extant works covering mathematics, ...

Anania Shirakatsi
, where the ''Kup'i Bulgar'', ''Duč'i Bulkar'', ''Olxontor Błkar'' and immigrant ''Č'dar Bulkar'' tribes are mentioned as being in the North Caucasian-Kuban steppes. An obscure reference to ''Ziezi ex quo Vulgares'', with
Ziezi According to an anonymous Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened to ''Romans'', a letter in the New Testamen ...
being an offspring of Biblical
Shem Shem (; he, שֵׁם ''Šēm''; ar, سام, Sām ''Sḗm''; Ge'ez: ሴም, ''Sēm'') was one of the sons of Noah The Generations of Noah or Table of Nations, broadly referred to as ''Origines Gentium'', is a genealogy of the sons of No ...
, is in the ''
Chronography of 354 270px, Personification of June The ''Chronograph of 354'' (or "Chronography"), also known as the ''Calendar of 354'', is a compilation of chronological and calendrical texts produced in 354 AD for a wealthy Roman Christian named Valentinus by the ...
''. According to D. Dimitrov, the 5th-century ''
History of Armenia The history of Armenia covers the topics related to the history of the Armenia, Republic of Armenia, as well as the Armenians, Armenian people, the Armenian language, and the regions historically and Armenian Highlands, geographically conside ...
'' by
Movses Khorenatsi Movses Khorenatsi (ca. 410–490s AD; hy, Մովսես wikt:խորենացի, Խորենացի, , also written as ''Movses Xorenac‘i'' and Moses of Khoren, Moses of Chorene, and Moses Chorenensis in Latin sources) was a prominent Armenian histo ...

Movses Khorenatsi
speaks about two migrations of the Bulgars, from
Caucasus The Caucasus (), or Caucasia (), is a region spanning Europe and Asia. It is situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and mainly occupied by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia (country), Georgia, and parts of Southern Russia. It is home to ...
to
Armenia Armenia (; hy, Հայաստան, translit=Hayastan, ), officially the Republic of Armenia,, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is ...
. The first migration is mentioned in the association with the campaign of Armenian ruler Valarshak (probably
Varazdat Varazdat (, Latinisation of names, Latinized: ''Varasdates''; el, Βαρασδάτης; flourished 4th century) was a king of Arsacid dynasty of Armenia, Arsacid Kingdom of Armenia (antiquity), Armenia from 374 until 378. Derived from Middle Per ...
) to the lands "named Basen by the ancients... and which were afterwards populated by immigrants of the vh' ndur Bulgar Vund, after whose name they (the lands) were named
Vanand Vanand () is the area of historic Armenia Armenia,, officially the Republic of Armenia,, is a landlocked country located in the Armenian Highlands of Western Asia.The UN]classification of world regions places Armenia in Western Asia; t ...
". The second migration took place during the time of the ruler
Arshak III Arshak III, also known as Arsaces III, Arsak III and Arshak III-Vagharshak ( hy, Արշակ Գ, flourished 4th century – died 387), was a prince who served as a Roman client king of Arsacid The Parthian Empire (), also known as the Arsacid E ...
, when "great disturbances occurred in the range of the great Caucasus mountain, in the land of the Bulgars, many of whom migrated and came to our lands and settled south of Kokh". Both migrations are dated to the second half of the 4th century AD. The "disturbances" which caused them are believed to be the expansion of the Huns in the East-European steppes. Dimitrov recorded that the toponyms of the Bolha and Vorotan rivers, tributaries of the Aras river, are known as ''Bolgaru-chaj'' and ''Vanand-chaj'', and could confirm the Bulgar settlement of Armenia. Around 463 AD, the
AkatziroiThe Akatziri or Akatzirs ( gr, Άκατίροι, Άκατζίροι, ''Akatiroi'', ''Akatziroi''; la, Acatziri) were a tribe that lived north of the Black Sea, west of Crimea Crimea (; ; uk, Крим, Krym; crh, Къырым, translit=Kir ...
and other tribes that had been part of the Hunnic union were attacked by the Šarağurs, one of the first Oğuric Turkic tribes that entered the Ponto-Caspian steppes as the result of migrations set off in Inner Asia. According to
Priscus Priscus of Panium (; el, Πρίσκος; 410s AD/420s AD-after 472 AD) was a 5th-century Eastern Roman Empire, Eastern Roman diplomat and Byzantine Greeks, Greek historian and rhetorician (or Sophist (dialogue), sophist)...: "For information ab ...

Priscus
, in 463 the representatives of Šarağur, Oğur and Onoğur came to the Emperor in Constantinople, and explained they had been driven out of their homeland by the
Sabirs 300px, Near East in 500 AD, showing the Sabirs and neighboring peoples. The Sabirs (Savirs, Suars, Sawar, Sawirk among others; el, Σάβιροι) were nomadic people A nomad ( frm, nomade "people without fixed habitation") is a member of a com ...
, who had been attacked by the
Avars Avar(s) or AVAR may refer to: Peoples and states * Avars (Caucasus), a modern Northeast Caucasian-speaking people in the North Caucasus, Dagestan, Russia **Avar language, the modern Northeast Caucasian language spoken by the Avars of the North Ca ...
. This tangle of events indicates that the Oğuric tribes are related to the Ting-ling and
Tiele people The Tiele (, Turkic ''*Tegreg'' " eople of theCarts"), also transliterated as Dili (), Chile (), Zhile (), Tele (), also named Gaoche or Gaoju (, "High Carts"), were a tribal confederation of Turkic Turkic may refer to: * anything related to th ...
. It seems that Kutrigurs and Unigurs arrived with the initial waves of Oğuric peoples entering the Pontic steppes. The Bulgars were not mentioned in 463. The account by
Paul the Deacon Paul the Deacon ( 720s 13 April in 796, 797, 798, or 799 CE), also known as ''Paulus Diaconus'', ''Warnefridus'', ''Barnefridus'', or ''Winfridus'', and sometimes suffixed ''Cassinensis'' (''i.e.'' "of Monte Cassino"), was a Benedictine monk, sc ...
in his ''
History of the Lombards The ''History of the Lombards'' or the ''History of the Langobards'' ( la, Historia Langobardorum) is the chief work by Paul the Deacon Paul may refer to: *Paul (name), a given name (includes a list of people with that name) *Paul (surname), a l ...
'' (8th century) says that at the beginning of the 5th century in the North-Western slopes of the
Carpathians The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians () are a range of mountains forming an arc throughout Central and Eastern Europe Central and Eastern Europe is a term encompassing the countries in Central Europe Central Europe is the central regio ...
the ''Vulgares'' killed the
Lombard The term Lombard refers to members of or things related to Lombardy (man) it, Lombarda (woman) lmo, Lombard (man) lmo, Lombarda (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 ...
king Agelmund. Scholars attribute this account to the Huns, Avars or some Bulgar groups were probably carried away by the Huns to the Central Europe. The Lombards, led by their new king Laimicho, rose up and defeated the Bulgars with great slaughter, gaining great booty and confidence as they "became bolder in undertaking the toils of war." The defeated Bulgars then became subjects of the Lombards and later migrated in Italy with their king
Alboin Alboin (530s – 28 June 572) was king of the Lombards The Lombards () or Langobards ( la, Langobardi) were a Germanic people The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of ...
. When the army of Ostrogoth chieftain
Theodoric Strabo Theodoric (or Theoderic) Strabo ( la, Theodericus; died 481) was a Gothic Gothic or Gothics may refer to: People and languages *Goths or Gothic people, the ethnonym of a group of East Germanic tribes **Gothic language, an extinct East Germanic l ...
grew to 30,000-men strong, it was felt as a menace to Byzantine Emperor Zeno, who somehow managed to convince the Bulgars to attack the Thracian Goths. The Bulgars were eventually defeated by Strabo in 480/481. In 486 and 488 they fought against the Goths again, first as allies of the Byzantium, according to
Magnus Felix Ennodius Magnus Felix Ennodius (473 or 47417 July 521 AD) was Bishop of Pavia in 514, and a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in t ...
, and later as allies of the
Gepids The Gepids ( la, Gepidae, Gipedae, grc, Γήπαιδες) were an East Germanic tribe who lived in the area of modern Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern ...
, according to Paul the Deacon. However, when
Theoderic the Great Theodoric (or Theoderic) the Great (454 – 30 August 526), also called Theodoric the Amal ( la, Flāvius Theoderīcus; el, Θευδέριχος, Theuderichos), was king of the Ostrogoths The Ostrogoths ( la, Ostrogothi, Austrogothi) were a ...
with Ostrogoths parted for Italy in 489, the
Illyricum Illyricum may refer to: * Illyria In classical antiquity, Illyria ( grc, Ἰλλυρία, ''Illyría'' or , ''Illyrís''; la, Illyria, ''Illyricum'') was a region in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula inhabited by numerous tribes of peopl ...
and
Thrace Thrace (; el, Θράκη, Thráki; bg, Тракия, Trakiya; tr, Trakya) or Thrake is a geographical and historical region in Southeast Europe, now split among Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey, which is bounded by the Balkan Mountains to th ...
were open for Bulgar raids. In 493, according to
Marcellinus ComesMarcellinus Comes (died c. 534) was a Latin chronicler of the Eastern Roman Empire. An Illyrians, Illyrian by birth, he spent most of his life at the court of Constantinople. His only surviving work, the ''Chronicle'', focuses on the Eastern Roman E ...
, they defeated and killed
magister militum (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic ...
Julian. In 499, crossed Danube and reached Thrace where on the banks of the river Tzurta (considered a tributary of
Maritsa el, Έβρος tr, Meriç , name_other = , , name_etymology = , image = Maritsaorigin2.JPG , image_caption = The source valley of the Maritsa river in the Rila Mountains , source1_location = Rila Mountain ...

Maritsa
) defeated 15,000 men strong Roman army led by magister militum Aristus. In 502, Bulgars again devastated Thrace as reportedly there were no Roman soldiers to oppose them. In 528–529 again invaded the region and defeated Roman generals
Justin Justin may refer to: People * Justin (name), including a list of persons with the given name Justin * Justin (historian), a Latin historian who lived under the Roman Empire * Justin I (c. 450–527), or ''Flavius Iustinius Augustus'', Eastern Roma ...
and
Baduarius Baduarius was an East Roman (Byzantine) aristocrat, the son-in-law of Byzantine emperor Justin II Justin II or Justin the Younger ( la, Iustinus Iunior; grc-gre, Ἰουστῖνος, Ioustînos; c. 520 – 5 October 578) was Eastern Roman E ...
. However, Gothic general,
Mundus Mundus may refer to: People * Mundus (general) (died 536), an East Roman general * Frank Mundus (1925–2008), an American fisher Places * Mundus, ancient port in Somaliland on the site of Heis (town) Popular culture * Characters of Devil May Cr ...
, offered allegiance to the Emperor
Justinian I Justinian I (; la, Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus; grc-gre, Ἰουστινιανός ; 48214 November 565), also known as Justinian the Great, was the Byzantine emperor This is a list of the Byzantine emperors from the foundation o ...
(527–565) in 530, and managed to kill 5,000 Bulgars plundering Thrace.
John Malalas John Malalas ( el, , ''Iōánnēs Malálas'';  – 578) was a Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late ...
recorded that in the battle was captured Bulgar warlord. In 535, magister militum
Sittas Sittas ( el, Σίττας; died 538) was a Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Age ...
defeated the Bulgar army at the river
Yantra Yantra () (literally "machine, contraption") is a geometrical diagram, mainly from the traditions of the . Yantras are used for the worship of deities in temples or at home; as an aid in meditation; used for the benefits given by their supposed ...
. Ennodius,
Jordanes Jordanes (), also written as Jordanis or Jornandes, was a 6th-century bureaucrat widely believed to be of who became a historian later in life. Late in life he wrote two works, one on Roman history and the other on the Goths. The latter, alon ...
and
Procopius Procopius of Caesarea ( grc-gre, Προκόπιος ὁ Καισαρεύς ''Prokópios ho Kaisareús''; la, Procopius Caesariensis; – after 565) was a prominent late antique Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, fr ...
identified the Bulgars with the Huns in a 6th-century
literary toposIn classical Greek rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of persuasion, which along with grammar and logic (or dialectic – see Martianus Capella), is one of the Trivium, three ancient arts of discourse. Rhetoric aims to stu ...
, in which Ennodius referred to a captured Bulgar horse as "''equum Huniscum''". In 505, the alleged 10,000 Hun horsemen in the Sabinian army, which was defeated by the Ostrogoths, are believed to be the Bulgars. In 515, Bulgar mercenaries were listed along with others from the Goths, Scythians and Hunnic tribes as part of the Vitalian (general), Vitalian army. In 539, two Hunnic "kinglets" defeated two Roman generals during the raid into
Scythia Minor Scythia Minor or Lesser Scythia (: , ) was in ancient times the region surrounded by the at the north and west and the at the east, roughly corresponding to today's , with in , and in . By the 7th century BC, several Greek colonies were bui ...
and
Moesia Moesia (; Latin: ''Moesia''; el, Μοισία, Moisía) was an ancient region and later Roman province situated in the Balkans south of the Danube River. It included most of the territory of modern-day Central Serbia, Kosovo and the northern ...
. A Roman army led by magister militum Ascum and Constantiolus intercepted and defeated them in Thrace, however, another raiding party ambushed and captured two Roman generals. In 539 and 540, Procopius reported a powerful Hunnic army crossed the Danube, devastated Illyricum and reached up to the Anastasian Wall. Such large distances covered in short time indicate they were horsemen.
Jordanes Jordanes (), also written as Jordanis or Jornandes, was a 6th-century bureaucrat widely believed to be of who became a historian later in life. Late in life he wrote two works, one on Roman history and the other on the Goths. The latter, alon ...
described, in his work ''Getica'' (551), the Pontic steppe beyond the Acatziri, above the Pontic Sea, as the habitat of the ''Bulgari'', "whom the evils of our sins have made famous". In this region, the ''Hunni'' divided into two tribes: the ''Altziagiri'' (who trade and live next to Chersonesus, Cherson) and ''Saviri'', while the ''Hunuguri'' (believed to be the Onoğurs) were notable for the marten skin trade. In the Middle Ages, marten skin was used as a substitute for minted money. The Syriac translation of Pseudo-Zacharias Rhetor's ''Ecclesiastical History'' (c. 555) in Western Eurasia records:
"The land Bazgun... extends up to the Derbent, Caspian Gates and to the sea, which are in the Hunnish lands. Beyond the gates live the Burgars (Bulgars), who have their language, and are people pagan and barbarian. They have towns. And the Alans - they have five towns... Avnagur (Aunagur, considered Onoğurs) are people, who live in tents".
Then he records 13 tribes, the ''wngwr'' (Onogurs, Onogur), ''wgr'' (Oğur), ''sbr'' (Sabirs, Sabir), ''bwrgr'' (Burğa, i.e. Bulgar), ''kwrtrgr'' (Kutriğurs), ''br'' (probably pannonian Avars, Vars, also known as the Avars), ''ksr'' (''Kasr''; possibly Akatziri), ''srwrgwr'' (Saragur), ''dyrmr'' (unknown), ''b'grsyq'' (''Bagrasir'', i.e. Barsils, Barsil), ''kwls'' (unknown), ''bdl'' (probably Durrani, Abdali), and ''ftlyt'' (Hephthalite). . They are described in typical phrases reserved for nomads in the ethnographic literature of the period, as people who "live in tents, earn their living on the meat of livestock and fish, of wild animals and by their weapons (plunder)". Agathias (c. 579–582) wrote:
...all of them are called in general Scythians and Huns in particular according to their nation. Thus, some are Koutrigours or Outigours and yet others are Oultizurs and Bourougounds... the Oultizurs and Bourougounds were known up to the time of the Emperor Leo I the Thracian, Leo (457–474) and the Romans of that time and appeared to have been strong. We, however, in this day, neither know them, nor, I think, will we. Perhaps, they have perished or perhaps they have moved off to very far place.
According to D. Dimitrov, scholars partially managed to identify and locate the Bulgar groups mentioned in the Armenian ''Ashkharatsuyts''. The ''Olxontor Błkar'' is one of the variations used for the Onoğurs Bulgars, while others could be related to the ancient river names, such as the ''Kup'i Bulgar'' and the Kuban river, Kuban (Kuphis). The ''Duč'i'' could read ''Kuchi Bulkar'' and as such could be related to the Dnieper (Kocho). However, the ''Č'dar Bulkar'' location is unclear. Dimitrov theorized that the differences in the ''Bulgar'' ethnonym could be due to the dialect differentiations in their language. By the middle of the 6th century, the Bulgars momentarily fade from the sources and the Kutrigurs and Utigurs come to the front. Between 548 and 576, mostly due to Justinian I (527–565), through diplomatic persuasion and bribery the Kutrigurs and Utigurs were drawn into mutual warfare, decimating one another. In the end, the Kutrigurs were overwhelmed by the Avars, while the Utigurs came under the rule of the Western Turks. The Oğurs and Onoğurs, in the 6th- and 7th-century sources, were mentioned mostly in connection with the Avar and Turk conquest of Western Eurasia. From the 8th century, the Byzantine sources often mention the Onoğurs in close connection with the Bulgars. Agathon (early 8th century) wrote about the nation of Onoğurs Bulğars. Nikephoros I of Constantinople, Nikephoros I (early 9th century) noted that Kubrat was the lord of the ''Onoğundurs''; his contemporary Theophanes the Confessor, Theophanes referred to them as ''Onoğundur–Bulğars''. Constantine VII (mid-10th century) remarked that the Bulğars formerly called themselves ''Onoğundurs''. This association was previously mirrored in Armenian sources, such as the ''Ashkharatsuyts'', which refers to the ''Olxontor Błkar'', and the 5th century ''History'' by Movses Khorenatsi, which includes an additional comment from a 9th-century writer about the colony of the Vłĕndur Bułkar. Marquart and Golden connected these forms with the ''Iġndr'' (*Uluġundur) of Hisham Ibn Al-Kalbi, Ibn al-Kalbi (c. 820), the ''Vnndur'' (*Wunundur) of Hudud al-'Alam (982), the ''Wlndr'' (*Wulundur) of Al-Masudi (10th century) and Hungarian name for Belgrad ''Nándor Fejérvár'', the ''nndr'' (*Nandur) of Abu Saʿīd Gardēzī, Gardīzī (11th century) and ''*Wununtur'' in the Khazar Correspondence, letter by the Khazar King Joseph (Khazar), Joseph. All the forms show the phonetic changes typical of later Oğuric (prothetic v-). Scholars consider it unclear how this union came about, viewing it as a long process in which a number of different groups were merged. During that time, the Bulgars may have represented a large confederation including the remnants of Onoğurs, Utigurs and Kutrigurs among others.


Old Great Bulgaria

The Turk rule weakened sometime after 600, allowing the Avars to reestablish the control over the region. As the Western Turkic Khaganate declined, finally collapsing in the middle of the 7th century, it was against Avar rule that the Bulgars, recorded as ''Onoğundur–Bulğars'', reappeared. They revolted under their leader Kubrat (c. 635), who seems to have been prepared by Heraclius (610–641) against the Sasanian–Avar alliance. With his uncle Organa in 619, Kubrat had been baptized in Constantinople. He founded the
Old Great Bulgaria Old Great Bulgaria or Great Bulgaria (Medieval Greek: Παλαιά Μεγάλη Βουλγαρία, ''Palaiá Megálē Voulgaría''), also often known by the Latin names ''Magna Bulgaria'' and ''Patria Onoguria'' ("Onoğurs, Onogur land"), w ...

Old Great Bulgaria
(''Magna Bulgaria''), also known as ''Onoğundur–Bulğars'' state, or ''Patria Onoguria'' in the ''Ravenna Cosmography''. Little is known about Kubrat's activities. It is considered that Onogur Bulgars remained the only steppe tribes in good relations with the Byzantines. His date of death is placed between 650 and 663 AD. According to Nikephoros I, Kubrat instructed his five sons to "never separate their place of dwelling from one another, so that by being in concordance with one another, their power might thrive". Subsequent events proved Old Great Bulgaria to be only a loose tribal union, as there emerged a rivalry between the Khazars and the Bulgars over Turk patrimony and dominance in the Pontic–Caspian steppe. Some historians consider the war an extension of the Western Turks struggle, between the ''Nushibi'' tribes and Ashina tribe, Ashina clan, who led the Khazars, and the ''Duolu/Tu-lu'' tribes, which some scholars associated with the Dulo clan, from which Kubrat and many Bulgar rulers originated. The Khazars were ultimately victorious and parts of the Bulgar union broke up.


Subsequent migrations

It is unclear whether the parting ways by brothers was caused by the internal conflicts or strong Khazar pressure. The latter is considered more likely. The Bulgars led by the first two brothers Batbayan and Kotrag remained in the Pontic steppe zone, where they were known as ''Black Bulgars'' by Byzantine and Rus sources, and became Khazar vassals. The Bulgars led by Kotrag migrated to the middle
Volga The Volga (; russian: Во́лга, a=Ru-Волга.ogg, p=ˈvoɫɡə) is the longest river in Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention ra ...

Volga
region during the 7th and 9th centuries, where they founded
Volga Bulgaria Volga Bulgaria ( tt, Идел Болгар, chv, Атӑлçи Пӑлхар) or Volga–Kama Bulghar, was a historic Bulgar state that existed between the 7th and 13th centuries around the confluence of the Volga The Volga (; russian: Во ...

Volga Bulgaria
, with Bolghar as its capital. According to Ahmad ibn Rustah (10th century), the Volga Bulgars were divided into three branches: "the first branch was called Bersula (Barsils), the second Esegel, and the third Bulgar". In 922 they accepted Islam as the official religion. They preserved their national identity well into the 13th century by repelling the first Mongol invasion of Volga Bulgaria, Mongol attacks in 1223. They were eventually subdued by the Mongols in 1237. They gradually lost their identity after 1431 when their towns and region were captured by the Russians. The third and most famous son,
Asparukh Asparuh (also ''Ispor''; bg, Аспарух, Asparuh or (rarely) bg, Исперих, Isperih) was а ruler of Bulgars in the second half of the 7th century and is credited with the establishment of the First Bulgarian Empire in 681. Early life ...

Asparukh
, according to Nikephoros I: Asparukh, according to the ''Pseudo''–Zacharias Rhetor, "fled from the Khazars out of the Bulgarian mountains". In the Khazar ruler Joseph's letter is recorded "in the country in which I live, there formerly lived the Vununtur (< Vunundur < Onoğundur). Our ancestors, the Khazars warred with them. The Vununtur were more numerous, as numerous as the sand by the sea, but they could not withstand the Khazars. They left their country and fled... until they reached the river called Duna (Danube)". This migration and the foundation of the Danube Bulgaria (the
First Bulgarian Empire The First Bulgarian Empire ( cu, блъгарьско цѣсарьствиѥ, blagarysko tsesarystviye) was a medieval Bulgar- Slavic and later Bulgarian Bulgarian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Bulgaria * Bulg ...

First Bulgarian Empire
) is usually dated c. 679. The composition of the horde is unknown, and sources only mention tribal names Čakarar, Kubiar, Küriger, and clan names Dulo, Uokil, Ukil/Vokil, Ermiyar, Ugain and Duar. The ''Onglos'' where Bulgars settled is considered northern Dobruja, secured to the West and North by Danube and its Danube Delta, Delta, and bounded to the East by the Black Sea. They re-settled in North-Eastern Bulgaria, between Shumen and Varna, Bulgaria, Varna, including Ludogorie plateau and southern Dobruja. The distribution of pre-Christian burial assemblages in Bulgaria and Romania is considered as the indication of the confines of the Bulgar settlement. In the Balkans they merged with the Slavs and other autochthonous Romance and Greek speaking population, like the Thracians and Vlachs, becoming a political and military elite. However, the influence of the pre-Slavic population had relatively little influence on the Slavs and Bulgars, indicating their population was reduced in previous centuries. The hinterlands of the Byzantine territory were for years occupied by many groups of Slavs. According to Theophanes, the Bulgars subjugated the so-called Seven Slavic tribes, of which the Severians, Severeis were re-settled from the pass of Beregaba or Veregava, most likely the Rish Pass of the Balkan Mountains, to the East, while the other six tribes to the Southern and Western regions as far the boundary with the Pannonian Avars. Scholars consider that the absence of any source recording the Slavic resistance to the invasion was because it was in their interest to be liberated from the Byzantine taxation. It is considered that the Slavic tribal organization was left intact, and paid tribute to the ruling Bulgars. According to Nikephoros I and Theophanes, an unnamed fourth brother, believed to be Kuber, "having crossed the river Ister, resides in Pannonia, which is now under the sway of the Avars, having made an alliance with the local peoples". Kuber later led a revolt against the Avars and with his people moved as far as the region of Thessaloniki in Greek Macedonia (Greece), Macedonia. The fifth brother, reported by Nikephoros I and Theophanes, "settling in the five Ravennate cities became a subject of the Romans". This brother is believed to be Alcek, who after a stay in Avar territory left and settled in Italy, in Sepino, Bojano and Isernia. These Bulgars preserved their speech and identity until the late 8th century.


Bulgarian empires

The First Bulgarian Empire (681–1018) had a significant political influence in the Balkans. In the time of Tervel of Bulgaria, Tervel (700–721) the Bulgars helped Byzantines two times, in 705 the Emperor Justinian II to regain his throne, and 717–718 defeating the Arabs during the siege of Constantinople. Sevar of Bulgaria, Sevar (738–753) was the last ruler from the Dulo clan, and the period until c. 768-772 was characterized by the Byzantino-Bulgar conflict and internal crisis. In the short period followed seven rulers from the Uokil and Ugain clan. Telerig of Bulgaria, Telerig (768–777) managed to establish a pacific policy with Byzantium, and restore imperial power. During the reign of Khan Krum (803-814), the Empire doubled its size, including new lands in Macedonia and Principality of Serbia (early medieval), Serbia. He also successfully repelled the invading force of the Byzantines, as well defeated the Pannonian Avars where additionally extended the Empire size. In 865, during the reign of Khan Boris I of Bulgaria, Boris I (852–889), the Bulgars accepted Christianity as the official religion, and Eastern Orthodoxy in 879. The greatest expansion of the Empire and prosperity during the time of Simeon I of Bulgaria, Simeon I (893–927) is considered as the Bulgarian Golden Age of medieval Bulgarian culture, Golden Age. However, from the time of Peter I of Bulgaria, Peter I (927–969) their power declined. The Hungarians, Kievan Rus' Slavs, as well Pechenegs and Cumans held many raids into their territory, and so weakened were eventually conquered in 1018 by the Byzantine Empire. In 1185, the Bulgarians and Vlachs held a Uprising of Asen and Peter, revolt against the Byzantine Empire, and helped by the settled Cumans from Hungary, created the Second Bulgarian Empire (1186–1396) ruled by the Asen dynasty (1187–1280). From 1280 till 1322 periodically ruled the Terter dynasty, and from 1323 till 1396 the House of Shishman, Shishman dynasty, all the three of Cuman origin. In 1396, the Bulgarians were conquered by the Ottoman Turks, and only in 1878 established an autonomous principality, while in 1908 declared independence.


Society

Bulgars had the typical culture of the nomadic equestrians of Central Asia, who migrated seasonally in pursuit of good pastures, as well attraction to economic and cultural interaction with sedentary societies. Being in contact with sedentary cultures, they began mastering the crafts of blacksmithing, pottery, and carpentry. The politically dominant tribe or clan usually gave its name to the tribal confederation. Such confederations were often encouraged by the Imperial powers, for whom it was easier to deal with one ruler than several tribal chieftains. In nomadic society the tribes were political organizations based on kinship, with diffused power. Tribes developed according to the relation with sedentary states, and only managed to conquer them when had social cohesion. If the raiding by the nomads had negative effect on the economic development of the region it could significantly slow down their own social and cultural development. In a nomadic state the nomad and sedentary integration was limited, and usually had vassal tribute system. When the Bulgars arrived in the Balkan their first generations probably still lived a nomadic life in yurts, but they quickly adopted the Pit-house, sunken-featured building of rectangular plan and sedentary or seasonal lifestyle of the Slavs and autochthonous population. The Bulgar and Slavic settlements cannot be distinguished other than by the type of biritual cemeteries.


Social structure

The Bulgars, at least the Danubian Bulgars, had a well-developed clan and military administrative system of "inner" and "outer" tribes, governed by the ruling clan. They had many titles, and according to Steven Runciman the distinction between titles which represented offices and mere ornamental dignities was somewhat vague. Otto J. Maenchen-Helfen, Maenchen-Helfen theorized that the titles of the steppe peoples did not reflect the ethnicity of their bearers. According to Magnus Felix Ennodius, the Bulgars did not have nobility, yet their leaders and common men became noblemen on the battle field, indicating social mobility. Tribute-paying sedentary vassals, such as the Slavs and Greek-speaking population, formed a substantial and important part of the ''khanates maintenance. The ruler title in Bulgar inscriptions was ''Khan (title), khan''/''kana''. A counterpart of the Greek phrase (''ho ek Theou archon'') was also common in Bulgar inscriptions. The ''kavhan'' was the second most important title in the realm, seemingly chief official. Some Bulgar inscriptions, written in Greek and later in Old Church Slavonic, Slavonic, refer to the Bulgarian rulers respectively with the Greek title ''archon'', or the Slavic titles ''knyaz'' and ''tsar''. There are several possible interpretations for the ruler title, ''Kanasubigi, kana sybigi'', mentioned in six inscriptions by the Khan Omurtag of Bulgaria, Omurtag and two by Malamir of Bulgaria, Malamir. Among the proposed translations for ''sybigi'' or ''subigi'' are "lord of the army", from the reconstructed Turkic phrase ''syu-beg'' (army master) paralleling the attested Old Turkic language, Orkhon Turkic ''Subaşi, syubashi''. Runciman and J. B. Bury considered ''ubige'' or ''uvege'' to be related to the Cuman language, Cuman-Turkic ''öweghü'' (high, glorious); "bright, luminous, heavenly"; and more recently "(ruler) from God", from the Indo-European ''*su-'' and ''bhaga, baga-'', i.e. ''*su-baga''. Florin Curta noted the resemblance in the use of the ''kana sybigi'' with the Byzantine name and title ''basileus''. Members of the upper social class bore the title ''boila'' (later ''boyar''). The nobility was divided onto ''small'' and ''great'' boilas. In the 10th century, there were three classes of boyars: the six ''great'' boilas, the ''outer'' boilas, and the ''inner'' boilas, while in the mid-9th century there were twelve ''great'' boyars. The ''great'' boilas occupied military and administrative offices in the state, as well the council where they gathered for decisions on important matters of state. ''Bagaïns'' were the lesser class of the nobility, probably a military class which also participated in the council. The title ''Baghatur, bagatur'', once as ''bogotor'', is found in several instances within the inscriptions. It derives from Turkish ''bagadur'' (hero) and was a high military rank. The Bulgarian military commander who was defeated by the Croats in the Croatian–Bulgarian battle of 926, Battle of the Bosnian Highlands (926) was called Alogobotur, which is actually a title comprised by ''alo'' (considered Turkic ''Alıp, alp, alyp''; chief) and ''bagatur''. There are several title associations with uncertain meaning, such as ''boila kavkhan'', ''ičirgu boila'', ''kana boila qolovur'', ''bagatur bagain'', ''biri bagain'', ''setit bagain'' and ''ik bagain''. ''Kolober'' (or ''qolovur''), a rank title, is cited in two inscriptions, and it derives from the Turkish term for a guide, ''golaghuz''. The title ''župan'', also once as ''kopan'' in the inscriptions, was often mentioned together with the bearer's name. They were traditionally seen as Slavic chiefs. It seems to have meant "head of a clan-district", as among the South Slavs (Croats, Serbs) where it was more widely used, it meant "head of a tribe" with a high district and court function. The title ''tarkhan'' probably represented a high military rank, similar to the Byzantine ''strategos'', of the military governor of a province. The variations ''kalutarkan'' and ''buliastarkan'' are considered to be officers at the head of the ''tarkans''. Curta interpreted the title ''zhupan tarqan'' as "''tarqan of (all the) zhupans''". Although it was not recorded on inscriptions, the title ''sampses'' is considered to be related to the royal court. The title ''tabare'' or ''iltabare'', which derives from the old Turkish ''ältäbär'', like ''sampses'' is not mentioned on inscriptions, but is related to the legates and ambassadors. The Anastasius Bibliothecarius listed Bulgarian legates at the Fourth Council of Constantinople (Roman Catholic), Council at Constantinople in 869–870. They were mentioned as Stasis, Cerbula, Sundica (''vagantur''=''bagatur''), Vestranna (''iltabare''), Praestizisunas (''campsis''), and Alexius Hunno (''sampsi'').


Religion

Very little is known about the religion of the Bulgars, but it is believed to have been monotheism, monotheistic. In Greek language inscriptions from pagan Danube Bulgaria, Bulgar monarchs describe themselves as "ruler from God", indicating authority from a divine origin, and making an appeal to the deity's omniscience. Presian's inscription from Philippi (837) states: It is traditionally assumed that the God in question was the Turkic supreme sky deity, Tengri. In the Chinese transcription as ''zhenli'', and Turkic as ''Tangara'' and ''Tengeri'', it represents the oldest known Turco-Mongolian word. Tengri may have originated in the Xiongnu confederacy, which settled on the frontiers of China in the 2nd century BC. The confederacy probably had both pre-Turkic and pre-Mongolian ethnic elements. In modern Turkish, the word for god, ''Tanrı'', derives from the same root. Tengrism apparently engaged various shamanic practices. According to Mercia MacDermott, Tangra was the male deity connected with sky, light and the Sun. The cult incorporated Tangra's female equivalent and principle goddess, Umay, the deity of fertility. Their tamgha , which can be frequently found in early medieval Bulgaria is associated with deity Tangra. However, its exact meaning and use remains unknown. The most sacred creatures to Tangra were horses and eagles, particularly white horses. Broze amulets with representations of the Sun, horses and other animals were found at Bulgar archeological sites. This could explain the variety of Bulgars taboos, including those about animals. Ravil Bukharaev believed that such an autocratic and monotheistic religionhenotheism, as seen in the report by Ahmad ibn Fadlan (10th century) about the Oghuz Turks, kindred to the Bulgars, made the acceptance of Islam more natural and easier in Volga Bulgaria: Another mention of Tengri is on the severely damaged Greek inscription found on a presumed altar stone near Madara, tentatively deciphered as "Khan ''sybigi'' Omurtag, ruler from god...was...and made sacrifice to god Tangra...''itchurgu boila''...gold". An Ottoman manuscript recorded that the name of God, in Bulgarian, was "Tängri". A piece of ethnographic evidence which has been invoked to support the belief that the Bulgars worshipped Tengri/Tangra is the relative similarity of the name "Tengri" to "Tură", the name of the supreme deity of the traditional religion of the
Chuvash people The Chuvash people ( , ; cv, чӑваш ; russian: чуваши ) are a Turkic ethnic group, a branch of Oghurs The Oghurs were a group of -speaking nomads who moved west across the from about 450 to 950 AD. They drove before them the ...
, who are traditionally regarded as descendants of the Volga Bulgars. Nevertheless, the Chuvash religion today is markedly different from Tengrism and can be described as a local form of polytheism, due to pagan beliefs of the forest dwellers of
Finno-Ugric Finno-Ugric ( or ; ''Fenno-Ugric'') or Finno-Ugrian (''Fenno-Ugrian''), is a traditional grouping of all languages in the Uralic language family except the Samoyedic languages. Its formerly commonly accepted status as a subfamily of Uralic is ba ...

Finno-Ugric
origin, who lived in their vicinity, with some elements borrowed from Islam. Paganism was closely connected with the old clan system, and the remains of totemism and shamanism were preserved even after the crossing of Danube. The Shumen Province, Shumen plate in the archaeological literature is often associated with shamanism. In the 9th century, it was recorded that before a battle the Bulgars "''used to practice enchantments and jests and charms and certain auguries''". Liutprand of Cremona reported that Baian, son of Simeon I of Bulgaria, Simeon I (893–927), could through ''magicam didicisse'' transform into a wolf. Clement of Ohrid reported the worship of fire and water by the Bulgars, while in the 11th century Theophylact of Ohrid remembered that before the Christianization the Bulgars respected the Sun, Moon and the stars, and sacrificed dogs to them. Allegedly, the Dulo clan had the dog as its sacred animal. To this today Bulgarians still use the expression "he kills the dog" to mean "he gives the orders", a relic of the time when the Dulo Khan sacrificed a dog to the deity Tangra. Remains of dog and deer have been found in Bulgars graves, and it seems the Wolves in folklore, religion and mythology#Turco-Mongolian, wolf also had a special mythological significance. The Bulgars were bi-ritual, either cremating or burying their dead, and often interred them with personal objects (pottery, rarely weapons or dress), food, and sacred animals. Because of the cult of the Sun, the Bulgars had a preference for the south. Their main buildings and shrines faced south, as well their yurts, which were usually entered from the south, although less often from the east. Excavations showed that Bulgars buried their dead on a north–south axis, with their heads to the north so that the deceased "faced" south. The Slavs practiced only cremation, the remains were placed in urns, and like the Bulgars, with the conversion to Christianity inhumation, inhumed the dead on west–east axis. The only example of a mixed Bulgar-Slavic cemetery is in Istria, Constanța, Istria near ancient Histria (ancient city), Histria, on the coast of the Black Sea. D. Dimitrov has argued that the Kuban Bulgars also adopted elements of Iranian religious beliefs. He noticed Iranian influences on the cult of the former Caucasian Huns capital Varachan (Balanjar), making a religious syncretism between the principal Turkic deity Tengri and the Iranian sun god Hvare-khshaeta, Hvare. Dimitrov cited the work by V.A. Kuznetsov, who considered the resemblance between the layout of the Zoroastrianism, Zoroastrian temples of fire and the Kuban Bulgar centre, Humarin citadel, situated 11 km to the north of the town Karachayevsk, where the pottery belonged to the Saltovo-Mayaki culture. Kuznecov also found a connection in the plan of the Danube Bulgars sanctuaries at Pliska, Veliki Preslav, and Madara (village), Madara. The architectural similarities include two squares of ashlars inserted one into another, oriented towards the summer sunrise. One of these sites was transformed into a Christian church, which is taken as evidence that they served a religious function. The view of the Parthian Empire, Parthian and Sasanian Empire, Sasanian influence, which Franz Altheim also argued, is considered debatable, showing the cultural impact of the Iranian world on communities in the Pontic–Caspian steppe. Many scholars believe that the square shape, with the north–south and east–west axis of the Bulgar sacral monuments is very similar to those of Turkic khagans in Mongolia. However, that the Bulgar residence in Pliska and Palace of Omurtag were inspired by the Byzantine architecture is considered indisputable. Christianity had already begun to penetrate, probably via their Slavic subjects, when it was adopted in the First Bulgarian Empire by Knyaz Boris I in 865 as a state religion. There was interest in Islam as well, seen in the book ''Answers to the Questions of the King of the Burgar addressed to him about Islam and Unity'' by the Abbasid Caliphate, Abbasid caliph Al-Ma'mun (813–833) for the Pontic/Bosporan Bulgars, while it was officially adopted in Volga Bulgaria as a state religion in 922.


Language

The origin and Bulgar language, language of the Bulgars has been the subject of debate since around the start of the 20th century. It is generally accepted that at least the Bulgar elite spoke a language that was a member of the Oghur languages, Oghur branch of the Turkic languages, Turkic language family, alongside the now extinct Khazar language, Khazar and the solitary survivor of these languages, Chuvash language, Chuvash. According to P. Golden this association is apparent from the fragments of texts and isolated words and phrases preserved in inscriptions. In addition to language, their culture and state structure retain many Central Asian features. Military and hierarchical terms such as ''khan/qan'', ''kanasubigi'', ''qapağan'', ''tarkan'', ''bagatur'' and ''boila'' appear to be of Turkic origin. The Bulgar calendar within the ''Nominalia of the Bulgarian khans'' had a twelve-year animal cycle, similar to the one adopted by Turkic and Mongolian peoples from the Chinese calendar, Chinese, with animal names and numbers deciphered as Turkic. Tengri (in Bulgar ''Tangra/Tengre'') was their supreme god. Bulgar inscriptions were written mostly in Greek alphabet, Greek or Cyrillic characters, most commonly in Greek or Graeco-Bulgar, sometimes with Slavic terms, thus allowing scholars to identify some of the Bulgar Gloss (annotation), glosses. Several Bulgar inscriptions were found in Northeastern Bulgaria and parts of Romania, written in runes similar to the Old Turkic alphabet; they apparently have a sacral meaning. Altheim argued that the runes were brought into Europe from Central Asia by the Huns, and were an adapted version of the old Sogdian alphabet in the Hunnic language, Hunnic/Oghur Turkic language. The custom of stone engravings are considered to have Sasanian, Turkic and Roman parallels. The Madara Rider resembles work of the Sasanian Empire, Sasanian rock relief tradition, but its actual masonry tradition and cultural source is unknown. The Danubian Bulgars were unable to alter the predominantly Slavic character of Bulgaria, seen in the toponymy and names of the capitals Pliska and Preslav. They preserved their own native language and customs for about 200 years, but a bilingual period was recorded since the 9th century. Golden argued that Bulgar Turkic almost disappeared with the transition to Christianity and Slavicisation in the middle of the 9th century. When the ruling class abandoned its native language and adopted Slavic, according to Jean W. Sedlar, it was so complete that no trace of Turkic speech patterns remained in Old Slavic texts. The Bulgarian Christian Church used Slavic dialect from Macedonia. Among Bulgarian academics, notably Petar Dobrev, a hypothesis linking the Bulgar language to the Iranian languages (Pamir languages, Pamir) has been popular since the 1990s. Most proponents still assume an intermediate stance, proposing certain signs of Iranian influence on a Turkic substrate. The names Asparukh (name), Asparukh and Bezmer from the ''Nominalia of the Bulgarian khans, Nominalia'' list, for example, were established as being of Iranian origin. Other Bulgarian scholars actively oppose the "Iranian hypothesis". According to Raymond Detrez, the Iranian theory is rooted in the periods of anti-Turkish sentiment in Bulgaria and is ideologically motivated. Since 1989, anti-Turkish rhetoric is now reflected in the theories that challenge the thesis of the proto-Bulgars' Turkic origin. Alongside the Iranian or Aryan theory, there appeared arguments favoring an autochthonous origin.


Ethnicity

Due to the lack of definitive evidence, modern scholarship uses an Ethnogenesis#Ethnogenesis in historical scholarship, ethnogenesis approach in explaining the Bulgars origin. More recent theories view the nomadic confederacies, such as the Bulgars, as the formation of several different cultural, political and linguistic entities that could dissolve as quickly as they formed, entailing a process of ethnogenesis. According to Walter Pohl, the existential fate of the tribes and their confederations depended on their ability to adapt to an environment going through rapid changes, and to give this adaptation a credible meaning rooted in tradition and ritual. Slavs and Bulgars succeeded because their form of organization proved as stable and as flexible as necessary, while the Pannonian Avars failed in the end because their model could not respond to new conditions. Pohl wrote that members of society's lower strata did not feel themselves to be part of any large-scale ethnic group; the only distinct classes were within the armies and the ruling elite. Recent studies consider ethnonyms closely related with warrior elites who ruled over a variety of heterogeneous groups. The groups adopted new ideology and name as political designation, while the elites claimed right to rule and royal descent through origin myths. When the Turkic tribes began to enter into the Pontic–Caspian steppe in the Post-Hunnic era, or as early as the 2nd century AD, their confederations incorporated an array of ethnic groups of newly joined Turkic, Altaic-Turkic, Caucasian, Iranian, and Finno-Ugric peoples. During their Western Eurasian migrations to the Balkans, they also came into contact with Armenian, Semitic, Slavic, Thracian and Anatolian Greek among other populations. From the 6th to 8th centuries, distinctive Bulgar monuments of the Sivashovka type were built upon ruins of the late Sarmatians, Sarmatian culture of the 2nd to 4th centuries AD, and the 6th century Penkovka culture of the Antes people, Antes and Slavs. Early medieval Saltovo-Mayaki (an Alans, Alanic-based culture) settlements in the Crimea since the 8th century were destroyed by the Pechengs during the 10th century. Although the older Iranian tribes were enveloped by the widespread Turkic migration into the Pontic–Caspian steppe, the following centuries saw a complete disappearance of both the Iranian and Turkic languages, indicating dominance of the Slavic language among the common people.


Anthropology and genetics

Genetic and anthropological researches have shown that the tribes of the Eurasian steppes were not always ethnically homogeneous, and were often Ethnogenesis#Ethnogenesis in historical scholarship, unions of multiple ethnicities. Skeletal remains from
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan ( kk, Қазақстан, Qazaqstan; russian: Казахстан, Kazakhstan), officially the Republic of Kazakhstan,; russian: Республика Казахстан, Respublika Kazakhstan, link=no) is a country located mainly in ...

Kazakhstan
(Central Asia), excavated from different sites dating between the 15th century BC to the 5th century AD, have been analyzed. The distribution of east and west Eurasian lineages through time in the region agrees with available archaeological information. Prior to the 13th - 7th century BC, all samples belong to European ethnic groups, European lineages, while later, an arrival of East Asian sequences that coexisted with the previous genetic substratum was detected. Hundreds of excavated mummies in the Tarim Basin (West China) have Caucasoid features, revealing the presence of an ancient Caucasoid substratum in East Asia. These findings are associated with the ancient Tocharians and Tocharian languages. According to P. Golden, the Central Asian Turkic peoples have multiple points of origin and are a mixture of steppes ethnic groups. Eric Hobsbawm considered the languages to be "almost always semi-artificial constructs". Political processes, rather than linguistic, tribal or ethnic elements, created new communities. Golden noted that the Turkic tribes in the Western Eurasia since the 1st millennium BC had contacts with Proto-Indo-Europeans. Those tribes were considered by Golden to be the ancestors of the Oğuric Turks. Recent blood and DNA studies of present-day populations in Central Asia confirm the extreme genetic heterogeneity. The latest DNA studies on Turkic people in Central Asia and Eastern Europe also confirm genetic heterogeneity, indicating that the Turkic tribal confederations included various haplogroups. A comparative genetic study shows the Bulgarians primarily represented by the Western Eurasian Human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup, Y haplogroups, with 40% belonging to haplogroups Haplogroup E-V68#E-V13, E-V13 and Haplogroup I-M170#I-M423, I-M423, and 20% to Haplogroup R-M17, R-M17 (R-M198 and Haplogroup R-M17#R-M458, R-M458). Haplogroups common in the Middle East (Haplogroup J-M172, J-M172, Haplogroup J-M267, J-M267, and Haplogroup G-M201, G-M201) and in South Western Asia (Haplogroup R1b (Y-DNA)#R1b1a2 (R-M269), R-L23*) occur at frequencies of 19% and 5%, respectively. Haplogroups Haplogroup C-M130, C, Haplogroup N-M231, N and Q-M242, Q together occur at the negligible frequency of only 1.5% among Bulgarians. A 2015 Bulgarian study found that Bulgars were "genetically distant from Northern and Western Europeans and populations from the Near East and Caucasus. On the greatest distance from Proto-Bulgarians are Volga-Ural and Arabic populations." The study further mentions that "...proto-Bulgarians are genetically similar to modern Bulgarians and to certain South-Eastern European as well as Italian populations." The DNA studies of the
Chuvash people The Chuvash people ( , ; cv, чӑваш ; russian: чуваши ) are a Turkic ethnic group, a branch of Oghurs The Oghurs were a group of -speaking nomads who moved west across the from about 450 to 950 AD. They drove before them the ...
, who speak a Turkic language (Chuvash language, Chuvash), show that they are genetically related to Caucasians, Mediterraneans, and Middle Easterners, partially Central or Northern Europeans (Finno-Ugric), but with little Central Asian-Altaic gene flow. The DNA studies of the Tatars, Bashkirs and Russians in Chelyabinsk Oblast show European and Finno-Ugric impact on the Tatars; Caucasoid and East Asian impact were reported for the Bashkirs. Some aspects of genetic relationships were found between Tatars and Chuvashes, as well Bulgarians, which could support the view that the Tatars may be descendants of ancient Bulgars. It is currently unknown with which haplogroup the Bulgars should be associated; some scholars consider the possibility that only a cultural and low genetic influence was brought into the region. The paleoanthropological material from all sites in Volga region, Ukraine and Moldova attributed to the Bulgars testify complex ethno-cultural processes. The material shows the assimilation between the local population and the migrating newcomers. In all sites can be traced the anthropological type found in the Zlivka necropolis near the village of Ilichevki, the district of Donetsk, of brachiocranic Caucasian race, Caucasoid with small Mongoloid, East Asian admixtures but with Bulgar males being more Mongoloid than females. Despite the morphological proximity, there is a visible impact of the local population, in the Volga region of Finno-Ugric and ancient Turkic, in Ukraine of Sarmatians, Sarmatian-
Alans The Alans or Alāns (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power o ...

Alans
, and in Moldova of Slavic people. The comparative analysis showed large morphological proximity between the medieval and modern population of the Volga region. The examined graves in Northern Bulgaria and Southern Romania showed different somatic types, including Caucasoid-Mediterranean race, Mediterranean and less often East Asian. The pre-Christian burial customs in Bulgaria indicate diverse social, i.e. nomadic and sedentary, and cultural influences. In some necropolises specific to the Danube Bulgars, artificial deformation was found in 80% of the skulls. The Bulgars had a special type of shamanic "medicine-men" who performed Trepanning, trepanations of the skull, usually near the sagittal suture. This practice had a medical application, as well as a symbolic purpose; in two cases the patient had brain problems. According to Maenchen-Helfen and Rashev, the artificial deformation of skulls, and other types of burial artifacts in Bulgars graves, are similar to those of the Sarmatians, and Sarmatized Turks or Turkicized Sarmatians of the post-Hunnic graves in the Ukrainian steppe.


Legacy

In modern ethnic nationalism there is some "rivalry for the Bulgar legacy" (see Bulgarism). The
Volga Tatars The Volga Tatars or simply referred to as Tatars ( tt, татарлар, tatarlar) are a Turkic Turkic may refer to: * anything related to the country of Turkey * Turkic languages, a language family of at least thirty-five documented languages ...
and
Chuvash people The Chuvash people ( , ; cv, чӑваш ; russian: чуваши ) are a Turkic ethnic group, a branch of Oghurs The Oghurs were a group of -speaking nomads who moved west across the from about 450 to 950 AD. They drove before them the ...
, are said to be descended from the Volga Bulgars, and there may have been ethnogenic influences on the Bashkirs, Karachays and Balkars also.


See also

*
Bulgar language Bulgar (also Bulghar, Bolgar, Bolghar) is an extinct Oghur Turkic language which was spoken by the Bulgars. The name is derived from the Bulgars, a tribal association which established the Bulgar state, known as Old Great Bulgaria in the mid-7 ...
* Oghur languages * Turkic migration * Eurasian nomads *
Turkic tribal confederations The Turkic Turkic may refer to: * anything related to the country of Turkey * Turkic languages, a language family of at least thirty-five documented languages ** Turkic alphabets (disambiguation) ** Turkish language, the most widely spoken Turkic l ...
*
Bulgarians Bulgarians ( bg, българи, Bǎlgari, ) are a nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target. "Le ...
* History of Bulgaria *
Volga Bulgaria Volga Bulgaria ( tt, Идел Болгар, chv, Атӑлçи Пӑлхар) or Volga–Kama Bulghar, was a historic Bulgar state that existed between the 7th and 13th centuries around the confluence of the Volga The Volga (; russian: Во ...

Volga Bulgaria


References


Sources

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Further reading

* * * * * *Karatay, Osman. "The Bulgars in Transoxiana: Some Inferences from Early Islamic Sources." Migracijske i etničke teme 1-2 (2009): 69–88. * *Karatay, Osman. "The Bulgars in Transoxiana: Some Inferences from Early Islamic Sources." Migracijske i etničke teme 1-2 (2009): 69–88.


External links


Encyclopædia Britannica Online - BulgarsEncyclopædia Britannica Online - Arrival of the Bulgars
{{DEFAULTSORT:Bulgar Bulgars, Turkic peoples of Europe Migration Period Medieval Bulgaria Moldova in the Early Middle Ages Romania in the Early Middle Ages History of Ural Saltovo-Mayaki culture