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OLD GREAT BULGARIA or GREAT BULGARIA ( Byzantine Greek : Παλαιά Μεγάλη Βουλγαρία, Palaiá Megálē Voulgaría), also often known by the Latin names Magna Bulgaria
Bulgaria
) and PATRIA ONOGURIA ("Onogur land"), was a 7th Century state formed by the Bulgars
Bulgars
and Onogurs on the western Pontic Steppe (modern southern Ukraine
Ukraine
and south-west Russia). Great Bulgaria
Bulgaria
was originally centred on Phanagoria , between the Dniester and lower Volga
Volga
, (in modern Krasnodar Krai , Russia).

In the mid-7th century, Great Bulgaria
Bulgaria
expanded west to include Avar territory and was centered in Poltava . During the late 7th century, however, an Avar-Slavic alliance in the west, and Khazars in the east, defeated the Bulgars
Bulgars
and the Great Bulgaria
Bulgaria
disintegrated. Successor states included the First Bulgarian Empire and Volga Bulgaria .

CONTENTS

* 1 Origins * 2 Establishment * 3 Khan Kubrat
Kubrat
* 4 Disintegration * 5 Aftermath * 6 See also * 7 References * 8 External links

ORIGINS

Main article: Origin of the Bulgars
Bulgars

The etymology of the ethnonym Bulgar is not completely understood and difficult to trace back earlier than the 4th century AD. It is generally believed to derive from the Turkic verb bulğha (to "stir", "mix", "disturb", "confuse"), possibly suggesting that other Turkic peoples regarded the Bulgars
Bulgars
as a "mixed" people, and/or "rebellious".

Later Byzantine scholars implied that the Bulgars
Bulgars
had previously been known as the Onogurs (Onoğur). Agathon
Agathon
wrote about the "nation of Onogur Bulğars", Nikephoros I stated that Kubrat
Kubrat
was lord of the Onogundurs, Theophanes referred to them as Onogundur– Bulgars
Bulgars
and Constantine VII remarked that the Bulgars
Bulgars
formerly called themselves Onogundurs. Variations of the name include: Onoguri, Onoghuri, Onghur, Ongur, Onghuri, Onguri, Onogundur, Unogundur and Unokundur. There are several theories about the origin of the name Onogur. In some Turkic languages on means "10" and ğur "arrow"; and "ten arrows" a federation of ten tribes, i.e. the Western Turkic Khaganate . Within the Turkic languages, "z" sounds in the easternmost languages tend to have become "r" in the westernmost Turkic languages; therefore, the ethnonym Oghuz may be the source of Oghur; that is, on Oğur would mean "ten clans of Oghuz".

ESTABLISHMENT

Between 630 and 635, Khan Kubrat
Kubrat
managed to unite the Bulgars, Onogurs with the tribes of Kutrigurs and Utigurs under a single rule, creating a powerful confederation which was referred to by the medieval authors in Western Europe as Old Great Bulgaria, or Patria Onoguria. According to some scholars, it is more correctly called the Onogundur -Bulgar Empire.

Some scholars assume that it stretched as far west as the Pannonian plain and included among its subjects some of the Pannonian Avars . It is presumed that his capital was the ancient city of Phanagoria on the Taman peninsula . Kubrat's grave was discovered in 1912 at Pereshchepina , Ukraine
Ukraine
.

KHAN KUBRAT

Main article: Kubrat
Kubrat

According to the Nominalia of the Bulgarian khans
Nominalia of the Bulgarian khans
, Kubrat
Kubrat
was from the royal clan Dulo and a rightful heir to the Bulgar throne. H. Zotenberg (1883), while translating John Nikiu Chronicles from old-Ethiopian, intentionally replaced the name Qetrades to Kubrat. Since then, the historiography erroneously holds a misconception that Kubrat
Kubrat
was raised and baptized by the Byzantine court, while the John’s character Qetrades has no real-life connection to the ruler of the Great Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Kubrat.

Kubrat
Kubrat
quickly managed to overthrow Avar domination, extending Onogur influence among the Bulgarians in Pannonia in what subsequently became known as Hungary. Ultimately however, although there is no evidence that the Utigurs were independent of the Onogurs until after Kubrat's empire disintegrated, it is believed he seceded from the Onogurs when they became entangled in dynastic wars. After Kubrat's burial in Mala Pereshchepina , the Khazars , who had triumphed in the collapse of Onoguria, subjugated Kubrat's eldest son and heir Batbayan , forcing his other sons to flee north up the Volga
Volga
(2nd son Kotrag) and west into the Balkans
Balkans
(4th son Kuber
Kuber
"> Bulgars' settlements 6th-7th century

Some Bulgars
Bulgars
remained in the former Onoguria, under the domination of the Khazars . Balkars

Some also believe that the present-day Balkars of the Caucasus are the descendants of the Batbayan horde even though they . and speak a Turkic language of the Kipchak type. But in most Turkic languages the sound "b" became "m". Volga
Volga
Bulgars
Bulgars
Main article: Volga Bulgaria

After Kotrag , the leader of the Kutrigurs, took control on the western Steppe, Batbayan led the ... into the upper Volga-Ural region. There they established Volga Bulgaria , at the confluence of the Volga and Kama . As the Volga
Volga
or Silver Bulgars
Bulgars
(Bessermens), they converted voluntarily to Islam in the 9th century. They managed to preserve their national identity well into the 13th century, by repelling the first Mongol attacks in 1223. However, they were eventually subdued, their capital Bulgar city became one of major cities of the Golden Horde of the Mongols and the Bulgars
Bulgars
mixed with the Tatars . The citizens of the modern Russian republics of Tatarstan and Chuvashia are considered to be descendants of those Bulgars. Bulgars
Bulgars
in Vojvodina and Macedonia

Kuber
Kuber
ruled in Sirmium over a mixed group of peoples – Bulgars, Byzantine subjects, Slavs, Germanic tribes – as a vassal of the Avar khagan. After a revolt he led his people to Macedonia . There he had settled in the region of Keremisia and made an unsuccessful attempt to capture the city of Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki
. After this, he disappears from history and his people were later consolidated into the Bulgarian Empire by Khan Krum . Bulgars
Bulgars
in Italy Main article: Bulgarians in Italy

Other Bulgars, circa 662, led by their "Duke Alzeco" ( Altsek ) sought refuge from the Avars with the Lombards and requested land from the Lombard King Grimoald I of Benevento in exchange for military service "for an uncertain reason", initially staying near Ravenna
Ravenna
and later moving further south. Grimoald sent Altzek and his followers to his son Romuald in Benevento and they were then granted by Romuald land northeast of Naples
Naples
in the "spacious but up till that time deserted" towns of Sepino
Sepino
, Bovianum ( Boiano ), and Isernia , in the present-day region of Molise in the Apennines . Instead of the title "Duke" Altzek was granted the Lombard title of " Gastald ". Paul the Deacon in his Historia Langobardorum
Historia Langobardorum
writing after the year 787 says that in his time Bulgars
Bulgars
still inhabited the area, and that even though they speak "Latin", "they have not forsaken the use of their own tongue".

Excavations in the necropolis of Vicenne- Campochiaro near Boiano which dates from the 7th century, found among 130 burials that there were 13 human burials alongside horses along with artifacts of Germanic and Avar origin. Horse burials are characteristic of Central Asian horse-nomads, and therefore these burials are clearly those of the Bulgar settlers of Molise and Campania . First Bulgarian Empire Main article: First Bulgarian Empire

After the state disintegrated under Khazar attack in 668, Asparukh parted ways with his brothers and led some of the Bulgars
Bulgars
to seek a secure home. He was followed by 30,000 to 50,000 Bulgars.

After the Battle of Ongal Asparukh founded the First Bulgarian Empire, which was officially recognized as an independent state by the Byzantine Empire in 681.

SEE ALSO

* First Bulgarian Empire * Kingdom of Balhara * Kutrigur
Kutrigur
* List of Ukrainian rulers * Mount Imeon * Phanagoria * Utigur

REFERENCES

* ^ Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500-1250, Florin Curta, Cambridge University Press, 2006, ISBN 0521815398 , p. 78. * ^ A B John of Nikiû , Chronicle * ^ Fiedler 2008 , p. 152. * ^ (Agathius, Priscus Rhetor, Zacharias Rhetor, and Pseudo-Zecharias Rhetor) * ^ Leif Inge Ree Petersen (2013). Siege Warfare and Military Organization in the Successor States (400-800 AD. p. 112. * ^ Theophanes ,Op. cit., p. 356-357 * ^ Gurov, Dilian (March 2007). "The Origins of the Bulgars" (PDF). p. 3. * ^ Golden 1992 , p. 103–104. * ^ Bowersock, Brown, Grabar 1999 , p. 354. * ^ Maenchen-Helfen 1973 , p. 384. * ^ Chen 2012 , p. 97. * ^ Leif Inge Ree Petersen (2013). Siege Warfare and Military Organization in the Successor States (400-800 AD): Byzantium, the West and Islam. Brill. p. 369. ISBN 9789004254466 . * ^ A B Golden 1992 , p. 104. * ^ A B Golden 2011 , p. 143. * ^ A B Patriarch Nikephoros I of Constantinople , Historia syntomos, breviarium * ^ Zimonyi Istvan: "History of the Turkic speaking peoples in Europe before the Ottomans". (Uppsala University: Institute of Linguistics and Philology) (archived from the original on 2013-10-21) * ^ Rasho Rashev, Die Protobulgaren im 5.-7. Jahrhundert, Orbel, Sofia, 2005 (in Bulgarian, German summary) * ^ A B Mingazov S. Kubrat
Kubrat
- the Ruler of Great Bulgaria
Bulgaria
and Ketrades - character of John of Nikiu work - Kazan: Institute of History of Academy of Science of Republic of Tatarstan, 2012 * ^ Mingazov S. The Heirs of Great Bulgaria</