In the so-called Legend of Thessalonica, which is about a man called Cyril of Cappadocia, here confused with Cyril (Constantine), it is said that the Bulgarian language was also spoken hi the market place of Thessalonica
12th c.

I was born in Cappadocia and studied in Damascus. One day, as I was in the church of the Great Patriarchate of Alexandria, I heard from the altar a voice which told me: Cyril, go to the land among the Slav peoples called Bulgarians, because, it said, God has ordained you to convert them to the faith and to give them the law.

I became very sad because I did not know where the Bulgarian land was and I wanted to return home. I feared, however, lest I should become like the prophet Ionas, and I went to Crete as well and there I was told: Go down to the town of Thessalonica.

I went and appeared before Metropolitan Ionas and when I told him what had happened, he laughed at me much, and said: 'Oh, you silly old man, the Bulgarians are man-eaters and they will eat you.' I went out into the market place and heard Bulgarians talking; my heart was terrified and I felt as though I were in hell and in darkness ...

The Bulgarians heard about me. The great Prince Desimir of Moravia, Radivoy, the Prince of Preslav, and all Bulgarian princes gathered round Thessalonica and fought for three years against Thessalonica, shedding a great deal of blood, saying: 'Give us the man whom God has sent to us.' It was in this way that I was handed over to them.

The Bulgarians received me with great joy and took me to the town of Raven on the Bregalnitsa river. I wrote 32 letters for them. I taught them a lit­tle, and they themselves learned a lot ...

I. Duichev, From the Old Bulgarian Literature I, pp. 142-143; the original is in Old Bulgarian
The List of the Archbishop of Ohrid Ioannes Comnenus1 (Ducange's List) of the Archbishops of Bulgaria
12th c.
Archbishops of Bulgaria
1. Protogenus,2 Archbishop of Serdica, through whom the holy fathers op­posed the philosopher who abused the Holy Ghost, as can be seen from the minutes of the First Council.
2.  Methodius,3 true brother of Saint Cyril the Philosopher, consecrated Archbishop of Moravia in Pannonia by Pope Nicholas, who succeeded Hadrian in Rome.
3.  Gorazd,4 consecrated by Methodius, and later driven away by the Dukhobors.5
4.  Clement, who became Bishop of Tiberiopolis or Velika, and was later charged by the Bulgarian Tsar Boris with the supervision of the third part of the Bulgarian Kingdom as well, i.e. from Thessalonica to Yericho and Kanina or Tasipiat.
5.  Damyan in Dorostol, now Dristra. Under him Bulgaria, too, was recognized as autocephalous.  On the orders of the Emperor Romanus Lecapenus6 he was proclaimed Patriarch by the Imperial Council, and was later removed by loannes Tzimisces.7
6.  Germanus, called Gavril, in Voden   and Prespa.
7.  Philip in Lichnida, called Sasaripa in antiquity, and now Achrida.8
8.  Ioannes9 also in Achrida. He was from Debur, from the village of Agnoandniki, abbot of the monastery of the Holy Virgin there.
9.  Leo,10 first among the Byzantines, chartophylax of the Great Church. He built the lower church (in Ohrid) in the name of God's sacred wisdom ..... (i.e. St. Sofia).

Yordan   Ivanov,   Bulgarian   Antiquities in Macedonia, pp.565-566; cf. ГИБИ, VII, pp. 109 110; the original is in Greek
1 loannes Comnenus was the son of Prince Isaac Comnenus
2 Protogenus was Bishop of Serdica (Sofia) in the  4th c.
3 Methodius became Archbishop of Pannonia, consecrated by Pope Hadrian II in 870.
4 One of the disciples of Cyril and Methodius
5 The 'Spiritual fighters,' followers of the German bishop Viching
6 Emperor of Byzantium (919-944)
7 Emperor of Byzantium (969-976)
8 Present-day Ohrid
9Archbishop of Ohrid immediately after Bulgaria's conquest by Byzantium in 1018
11 Leo of Ohrid, of Greek origin, was the first archbishop directly appointed by the Emperor of Byzantium in 1036-1037

In the Life of Nicon Metanoeite1 it is said that Samufl's Bulgarians attacked Hellas
12th c.

Not long afterwards, Basil, nicknamed Apocaucus, recently appointed to the post of praetor in Corinth, defended the isthmus there against the Bulgarian invasion. He was severely tormented ... not only by the disease, terrible and dif­ficult to cure, which afflicted him, but much more by the fear of an attack on the part of the Bulgarian people.2 Because the rumour had it that the Bulgarian people were advancing all over the country and were marching on Hellas and Peloponnese3 ... Therefore Apocaucus sent people to Lacedaemon and supplicated the saint to come4 ...

And the godly man, in his effusive love, accepted Apooaucus' supplica­tion, and as he had no urgent work, which he could not interrupt or postpone for a certain time, ignoring everything else, he arrived at Corinth at a flying speed, disregarding the fatigue and the exhausting walk. Upon his arrival in Corinth the sick man not only felt better due to the prayer of the righteous man and the grace with which the great man was endowed by God and which had already been brought home to the ignorant, but Apocaucus was relieved of his anxiety caused by the Bulgarians, as the blessed man foretold him their defeat...

He was accused5 before the then scepter-holder of the Byzantine state. He was Basil,6 the son of the young Roman and the happiest of all emperors, whose life was brilliant and the time of rule rather long and strewn with numerous victories against the enemies. He (Basil Bulgaroctonus) also defeated that Samuil, who governed the Bulgarian tribe, the invincible in strength and unsurpassed in bravery, and at the same time the whole tribe of the Bulgarian countless multitude was annihilated and subdued as history relates at greater length.

1Nicon Metanoeite lived during the 10th c. His life story was written by an unknown author in the 12th c.
2A reference to attacks by the Bulgarians, led by Samuil, in Thessaly and the Peloponnese at the end of the 10th century
3 A reference to the events of 996, and in particular, to the battle by the river Sperkhos
4 A reference to St. Nicon Metanoeite.                                                                                  
5 A reference to John Malachi, the Messenger. He was slanderously accused of his good will to the Bulgarians and sent into exile to Constantinople. Cf. V.N. Zlatarski, History, I, 2, p. 714
6 The Byzantine Emperor Basil II (976-1025)
The Byzantine historian loannes Zonaras1 describes how the Bulgarians revolted in 976 and entrusted the power to the Kometopouli
12th c.
And again there was discontent in Bulgaria. As soon as the death of Tzimisces became known, the Bulgarians entrusted power to the four brothers David, Moses, Aaron and Samuil, namedKometopouli,because they were the sons of one of their prominent comites. Because their royal family had come to an end, since there remained only one of Peter's sons, namely Roman, who was aneunuch.Of these four sons Kometopouli, David was the first to end his life. Moses was struck by a stone at the siege of Seres and died immediately. Aaron was slain with all his family by his brother Samuil, either because he himself wanted to usurp power or because he sympathized with the Byzantines (both are said). Of his sons only one survived, with two names - Svetoslav and Ivan. Power in Bulgaria passed to Samuil alone. While the Byzantine troops were engaged in internecine wars, he traversed without fear all the western regions of the Byzantine state and not only sacked, but also appropriated the regions, together with the towns...
Th. Buttner-Wobst, Ioannis Zonarae Epitome historiarum libri XIII-XVIII, ed. Bonn., 1897, pp. 547-548; cf. ГИБИ, VII, p. 185; the original is in Greek
1 Ioannes Zonaras lived during the first half of the 12th c. There is a Slavonic translation of his chronicle

Fig. 6. Excerpt from the chronicle of the Byzantine historian Ioannes Zonaras. See Document 34, Part One

Ioannes Zonaras writes hi detail about the wars between Tsar Samuil and the Byzantines
12th c.

On his arrival he himself /Basil II/ began to make preparations for the siege of Serdica, i.e. Triaditsa ... Samuil took up his position on the peaks of the mountains because he dared not fight at close range, and, having seen the un­expected retreat, decided that they were acting out of fear, and advanced on the Byzantines. After frightening them all, he put them to flight. He seized the camp, the Emperor's tent and the insignia of imperial power.

The leader of the Bulgarians /Samuil/ plundered not only the lands of Thrace and Macedonia, but also Hellas and the Peloponnese itself. And the Emperor /Basil II/ sent the chief of the West, magister Nicephorus Uranus, and, as Samuil had established his camp by the Sperkhas river, he settled on the opposite bank. Since there were heavy rains and the river could not be crossed by swimming, Samuil was not expecting an attack by the Byzantines. At night, however, Uranus sought a ford and, having found one, he crossed the river noiselessly together with his troops, and attacked Samuil's unsuspecting army. The barbarians, stunned by the unexpected blow, were killed before they could even resist. Blows were also inflicted on Samuil and his son Roman and they would have been taken prisoner, had they not hidden among the slain and thus were able to flee secretly.

After that the Emperor launched a campaign against the Bulgarians, and, after destroying some fortifications in Serdica, returned to Mosynopolis. He sent military commanders who also took Great and Little Preslav and Pliska. Berrhoea was surrendered to him by Dobromir, who joined the Byzantines. Ser-via was also taken by siege, and the man to whom its defence was entrusted - Nikola, called Nikolitsa because of his small stature, was captured. Although he was honoured with the rank of patrician, he again escaped and went to Samuil. After this, the Emperor once more set out on a campaign against Vidin and took the town. While he was besieging it, however, Samuil suddenly at­tacked Adrianople, and, as there was a fair outside the town, he carried off the objects displayed for sale, and, having taken numerous prisoners, he returned. The Emperor subdued Vidin to his rule and, on his way back, caught up with Samuil, who was camping along the Axios river. The ancient people called this river Vardar. As the waters of the river were high, the barbarians were camping in a carefree manner. They did not believe that the Byzantine army could cross the river. A ford was, however, discovered, and through it both the Emperor and the army passed. Many of the Bulgarians were slain, and Samuil fled, while his tent and the entire camp were looted. The Emperor also took the town of Skopje, which was surrendered to him by Roman, the son of the Bulgarian ruler Peter. Samuii had entrusted him with the defense of his town.

Th. Buttner-Wobst, op. cit., pp. 548-549; 558 560; cf. ГИБИ, VII, pp. 186, 187-198; the original is in Greek

Ioannes Zonaras recounts how Basil II blinded the captive Bulgarian soldiers of Samuil and conquered the whole of Bulgaria
12th c.

The Emperor frequently attacked Bulgaria, caused damage and devastated it. Samuil, unable to oppose the Byzantine army, tried to block his roads with ditches, while barring the gorges with fortifications and by putting guards in them. And so the Emperor came again and tried to enter by force, but was repulsed by the guards, who put up valiant resistance. He did not give up his attempt, however, and remained there in order to take the fortification, and sent one of the commanders with his detachment in another direction, to see if he could make a detour and find some way to get through. And he, passing across many mountains and steep slopes, attacked the guard of the fortification in the rear unnoticed by the Bulgarians, who, taken by surprise, no longer bothered to defend the fortification, but thought only of how to save themselves from destruction. Then the Byzantine army broke the palisade without fear, passed through it and started a pursuit. Many were slain and many more were captured, and Samuil had a narrow escape. The Emperor gouged out the eyes of all the prisoners, who numbered about 15,000 men, save for one in every hundred to lead them, and ordered them to go to their leader. On seeing them, unable to stand the agony, he lost consciousness and fell senseless to the ground. After recovering somewhat he had a heart attack and died. Supreme power over the Bulgarians now passed to his son Gavril Roman, who had not even ruled one year when he was murdered by his uncle Aaron's son, Ivan Vladislav, who also had two names. And so the Emperor, having, as I said, crossed the fortification in the gorge, captured many other fortified places, together with the Bulgarians in them, and went to Mosynopolis, where he was informed of Samuil's death. He then immediately moved on, attacked Bulgaria and captured towns and fortresses. Samuil's son Gavril Roman, who had not yet been killed, sent envoys to the Emperor and promised to obey him. But, after a certain time, a servant of Ivan Vladislav's, the murderer of Gavril, arrived, announcing the murder of Samuil's son and carrying a letter promising submission to the Emperor. He was joined by many other prominent Bulgarians. Realizing that Vladislav had no intention of fulfilling his promise, the Emperor again set out against Bulgaria, ravaged much of her land, took by siege the town of Ohrid where the palaces of the Bulgarian Tsars stood; he also sent his military commanders to seize other fortresses by siege and returned to Constantinople.

And again the Emperor set out on a campaign against the Bulgarians; again he destroyed fortresses and slew many of the barbarians, whilst others he captured alive. The Tsar of the Bulgarians, Ivan Vladislav, marched against Dyrrachium, and died during the siege of that town, after having ruled for two years and five months. As soon as he heard this, the Emperor moved on and, when he reached Adrianople, some members of the Bulgarian nobility came to him and surrendered Pernik and thirty-five other fortresses to him, and many of these barbarians went over to his side. Ivan Vladislav's wife, Maria, sent the Bulgarian Archbishop David to the Emperor with a letter in which she promised to renounce Bulgaria if she received what she wanted. The woman soon came to the Emperor, bringing her three sons and six daughters. Her three other sons had fled to the mountains, but, after the mountains had been oc­cupied by soldiers, they too were compelled to go to the Emperor. They were Prusian and his brothers; Prusian was created magister and the others — patricians. After he had conquered the whole of Bulgaria, and had destroyed some of the fortresses, while reinforcing others, and leaving them with sufficient protection, he arrived in Athens in order to hold a service of thanksgiving to the Mother of God. After leaving many extremely valuable gifts in the temple, he returned to the capital and held a triumph, at which he wore a tiara ... So he arrived in God's church of Sophia and there offered thanks to God. The Patriarch succeeded in persuading him to abolish the allelengyon and he promised to do so if he defeated the Bulgarians ...


Th. Buttner Wobst, op. cit., pp. 563-567; cf. THEM, VII, pp.    188-190; the original is in Greek

loannes Zonaras describes the uprising of the Bulgarians under the leadership of Peter Delyan
12th c.
After the Bulgarians, as I have already said, were conquered by Emperor Basil and after their state was subjugated, for a while the barbarians endured the yoke of slavery. After that, they decided to throw it off and rose up, but the absence of a leader made them abandon the idea. A man of unknown family, named Delyan, full of cunning and inventiveness, who called himself the son of Aaron, the brother of Samuil, the former leader of this people, and who, so they say, had fled from Constantinople, was elected Tsar of the barbarians, after having persuaded the people that he was Aaron's son by his illegitimate wife, and not by his legitimate spouse. Then the people rose in open revolt, began to loot and devastate the Byzantine lands. A strategus with troops was, however, sent to put an end to their attacks and plundering. As he treated his subor­dinates badly, he incited them against himself and would have perished, had he not fled by night. So the soldiers subordinated to him took fright, revolted and elected as their leader one of their comrades named Tihomir, of Bulgarian des­cent, and proclaimed him Tsar of Bulgaria. And thus the Bulgarians were split, some joining Delyan and others - Tihomir. Delyan, however, set a trap for his rival. He called him to share power and to fight against the Byzantines. Tihomir believed this. And thus, when the two leaders met and the army of the Bulgarians gathered, Delyan told the assembly that the Bulgarian people would never save themselves as long as they had two leaders, adding: 'If you value your salvation, one of us has to go. Since you know that I am of Samuil's fami­ly, discard Tihomir; otherwise obey him and discard me. Then there was tumult and all greeted him as Tsar, and Tihomir was stoned to death. Delyan having become absolute ruler, captured Dyrrachium and marched on Hellas and also annexed the region of Nikopolis, whose population came over to him of their own free will, because they could not endure the greed and insatiability of the orphanotroph. And so, under Delyan, as the saying goes, the Byzantine lands became the spoil of the Moesians. When the news reached the Emperor he immediately set out to capture the rebel. He said that he considered it ig­nominious to allow a part of the state to be detached after he himself had added nothing to it. As he was not in good health - he was already suffering from dropsy and his body was swollen - his relatives advised him to abandon the campaign and the notables of the Senate did not approve of his decision either. But he, drawing strength from his zeal and fighting the disease with his spirit, set out against the Scythians. And then a miracle happened. At night he was tormented by the disease, and it was thought that he would not rise in the mor­ning. But at dawn he appeared on horseback and led the army. As soon as he reached the mountains of' the Scythians he made ready for battle. Before the two armies met, something happened that gave the Emperor a swift and easy victory. Aaron's son, the Patrician Alusianus, who was still with the Byzantines and had somehow offended the Emperor, had been ordered to stay at home and had been forbidden to enter the palace, or to go to Constantinople without special permission. When he heard of the unrest among the people and of Delyan's election as leader, he fled from his home, changed his clothes and, putting on an Armenian national costume, pretended to be Theodorakan's ser­vant going to the camp. Thus unnoticed by anybody, he arrived in Bulgaria. He did not at once reveal his identity, but in conversation with some people, he mentioned Aaron and said: 'If one of his children were present here, would you have the legitimate son as your leader rather than the illegitimate one?' Since everybody expressed the wish to be ruled by Aaron's legitimate son and also said that the royal power should be entrusted to a man with indisputable rights, who was undoubtedly descended from an old royal family, Alusianus revealed his secret to a person acquainted with Aaron's family. And that man looked more carefully at his face, then asked him whether he had some indisputable mark, and asked to see it. It was a black mole on his right elbow, covered with thick hair. Having seen this, he had no doubt whatsoever, and knelt down before this man and embraced his legs. The others were informed that a descen­dant of the royal family had arrived. And many were those, who renounced the dubious son of the Tsar and joined the legitimate one, and thus power was split. Since the state could not exist if there was discord among its leaders, they un­ited and were reconciled, but they were suspicious of each other and on the alert. Alusianus was, however, more skilled in his evil intentions and anticipated Delyan's strategem. He gave a banquet and, having invited his co-ruler, at­tacked him during the feast and plucked out the poor wretch's eyes. After this, the Scythians obeyed a single ruler. Later he secretly informed the Emperor that he would go over to his side if he were to be favourably received and if he were not deprived of the appropriate reward. The Emperor accepted his terms and informed him that he would reward him in a worthy manner. He im­mediately arrived and was honoured as a magister. Then the Emperor im­mediately set out against the people and, since they had no leader and were dis­united, they were easily defeated and again submitted to Byzantine domination. The Emperor returned to Constantinople and arranged a triumphal procession in which he led numerous prisoners, and Delyan himself with his eyes gouged out.
Th. Buttner-Wobst, op. cit, pp. 598-603; cf. ГИБИ, VII, pp. 172-174; the original is in Greek

Demetrius Chomatianus, Archbishop of Ohrid, in a letter to the Serbian King Stefan Radoslav testifies that the population in his bishopric speak Bulgarian
12th-13th c.
We ... having received your questions, shall answer each of them in accor­dance with the teaching of our holy fathers and with the written and unwritten customs of the Church; but not into our artistic language, but in ordinary sim­ple, prosaic speech, so that, in this fashion, what is written may be well un­derstood, because without sufficient knowledge, particularly of the Bulgarian language, it stands to reason that one cannot interpret or speak.
Yordan Ivanov, The Bulgarians in Macedonia, p. 148; the original is in Greek
Demetrius Chomatianus in the Brief Life of Clement of Ohrid, compiled by him, testifies that Clement is Bulgarian and that the population in Macedonia is Bulgarian
12th-13th c.

This great father of ours and light of Bulgaria /Clement/ originated from the European Moesians whom the people usually know also as Bulgarians ... First, together with the divine Nahum, Angelarius and Gorazd, he diligently studied the Holy Scriptures, translated, with divine assistance, into the local Bulgarian tongue by Cyril, a true father of godlike wisdom and equal to the Apostles, and from the very beginning he was with Methodius, the well-known teacher of the Moesian people in piety and the Orthodox faith.

When the divine Cyril passed to the better life, having already appraised Hadrian, at that time Pope of ancient Rome, of his apostolic mission and the perfecting of the talent vouched safe to him, and after Methodius had been ap­pointed Archbishop of Moravia and Bulgaria by the self-same Pope, then Cle­ment was also elevated to a bishop's throne, since Methodius appointed him as Bishop of the whole of Illyricum and of the Bulgarian people who possessed the country.

He /Clement/ most frequently resided in the Illyrian town of Lichnida, centre of the surrounding towns and which nowadays is called Ohrid in the language of the Moesians, and in Cephalinia, which, in Bulgarian, is Glavinitsa, where he also left monuments.

A. Milev, The Greek Lives of Clement of Ohrid, Sofia, 1966, pp. 175-176; the original is in Greek


Fig. 7. Excerpt from the Short Life of Clement of Ohrid by the Byzantine chronicler Demetrius Chomatianus. See Document 39, Part One

Tsar Kaloyan in a letter to Pope Innocent III states that the Bulgarian Tsars Peter, Samuil and others have received crowns from Rome
In the first place we, as a beloved son, want from our mother, the Roman Church, a Tsar's crown and dignity, as our Emperors of old had them. As we find it recorded in our books, one was Peter, the second Samuil and others who preceded them on the throne.
ЛИБИ, III, p. 310, letter No. 2; р CCXIV, col. 1112 -1113, letter No. 115; I . Duichev, Correspondence of Pope Innocent III with the Bulgarians, ГСУ, ифф PP-22-23; letter No. 2; the original is in Latin
Pope Innocent III replies to Tsar Kaloyan's letter
You, however, humbly asked the Roman Church to give you a crown, as it is said in your books that it was granted to Peter, Samuil and your other predecessors of illustrious memory ... We, therefore, gave instructions that our registers be carefully read the better to assure ourselves and we learned clearly that many tsars were crowned in the land subordinated to you.

ЛИБИ, Ш. p. 312, letter No. 3; Pgr CCXIV, col. 1113-1115, letter No. 116; I. Duichev, op. cit, PP- 22-25, letter No. 3; the original is in Latin
In a letter to Pope Innocent in Tsar Kaloyan calls the Bulgarian Tsars Simeon, Peter and Samuil his ancestors
After that, last June, our Majesty sent our Archbishop and /head/ of the entire Bulgarian land and of the universal holy and great Church of Turnovo and a great man of my Kingdom, now raised to a Primate and Archbishop of all Bulgaria and Wallachia, named Vassilii, who, on his arrival in Drac was not allowed to proceed to Your Holiness, so that Your Holiness might fulfill the wish of our Majesty in accordance with the custom of my predecessors, the Tsars of the Bulgarians and the Wallachians - Simeon, Peter and Samuil, the ancestors of myself and of all other Tsars of the Bulgarians.

ЛИБИ, III p. 338, letter No. 19; Pgr CCXXV, col. 290-291, letter No. 6; I. Duichev, op. cit, pp 47-48; the original is in Latin

The Bulgarian Bishops of Kyustendil, Skopje, Prizren and Nis ask Pope Innocent III to send them a pallium
Bending our necks beneath the right hand of your power as before the most holy Father and Pope, we bow with bent heads and on our knees. In the first place Anastasius, sinner and humble Metropolitan of the holiest church of Velbuzhd1; after him, Sava, sinner and humble Metropolitan of the great church of Preslav; and Marin, the Bishop, though unworthy, of the holiest church of the Virgin in Skopje; Avram, the humble Bishop of the holiest bishopric of Prizren; Kirik, sinner and humble Bishop of the holiest church of the blessed and glorious martyr Procopius in Nis, and Clement, the unworthy sinner and Bishop of the holiest church of the Virgin in Vidin - we beg you most humbly as our sole shepherd and oecumenical father and lord to have the beneficence to send us a pallium for the benefit of the priestly order, so that, all days of our lives, we shall not cease to pray for your glory.

ЛИБИ, III p. 337, letter No. 18; Pgr CCXXV, col. 289-290, letter No. 5; I. Duichev, op. cit, p. 46, letter No. 17; the original is in Latin.

1 Present-day Kyustendil
In a letter to the Hungarian King Emeric, Pope Innocent III reaffirms that the Bulgarian Tsars Peter, Samuil and others have received crowns from Rome
Although you write to us that, even if he has occupied and is at present holding part of your kingdom and another part of somebody else's kingdom, the above-mentioned loannicius /Kaloyan/ is not the legitimate ruler of any land, and therefore you are astonished that, without consulting you, we have so suddenly proposed to crown your open enemy as Tsar, let us declare without arguing, to a certain extent this is not the case, as you well know. The truth is that in olden times many Tsars of Bulgaria were successively crowned through the apostolic power, such as Peter and Samuil and some others after them. The truth is that as a result of the preaching of Pope Nicholas, our predecessor of sacred memory, the Tsar of the Bulgarians, to whose enquiries he often replied, deserved to be converted together with his whole kingdom. And finally, because the Greeks proved to be stronger, the Bulgarians lost their royal dignity and were even compelled to become slaves under the heavy yoke of Constantinople until recently, when the two brothers, i.e. Peter and loannicius, who were descended from the family of the former Tsars, began not so much to occupy as to regain the land of their fathers, so that one day they won a great victory over mighty rulers and countless people. We do not, therefore, deny that they may have forcibly invaded a certain part of the country, but we firmly maintain that they have recovered the greater part of the country by right of inheritance.

ЛИБИ, III, p. 353, letter No, 29; Pgr CCXXV, col. 413-417, letter No. 127; I. Duichev, op. cit., p. 59, letter No. 28; the original is in Latin
The Byzantine writer Theodore Scutariot calls Ohrid the Archbishopric of Bulgaria
13th c.
And so the Emperor1  sent his brother, Prince Ioannis, against the secessionist.2 He gave him his army and commanders and ordered him to go forth until he encountered the army of the secessionist. He acted according to his orders. And the secessionist, together with his wife and household, had camped around Castoria.3 Suddenly he heard a cry that the Byzantine forces had crossed the Voden gorge and were advancing towards them. Therefore, seized by no small fear, they fled. But it was night and no one could see where he was going, and many died in the ravines. Thus Theodore Petralipha, brother of the secessionist's wife, who had mounted a wilder horse, fell in a gulch together with his horse and perished. And so they fled back to their lands, or to the Pyrenean Mountains, which divide Old and New Epirus from the Greek land and ours. And the Prince took advantage of the situation and, since he found that the land was undefended, he began to attack the fortresses of the country. And first he went to Ohrid, the Archbishopric of Bulgaria, taking with him the Archbishop Kavasilia, whom Emperor Theodore had kept in the East, because he was suspected of being unloyal to the Emperor, for his brothers Ioannis and Theodore had been with the secessionist Michael.

Bibliotheca Graeca medii aevi, ed. Constant. Sathas. vol. VII
, Parisiis, 1894, pp. 5427-54610 - Cf. ГИБИ, VШ, pp. 299-300.

1 The Nicaean Emperor Ioannis Vatatzes (R. 1222-1254).
2 The Epirean despot Michael II Angel (1237-1271).
3 Present-day Kostour, a town in Southwestern Macedonia.
The Byzantine historian Georgius Acropolita1 writes in his history that the greater part of the Empire's western regions are populated by Bulgarians
13th c.
The reason for his2 hastening his departure from Nicaea was as follows. When the Bulgarian ruler Mihail,3 who was the brother of Emperor Theodore's wife and the son of his father-in-law, Ivan Assen, by Theodore Angel's daughter, learned of the death of Emperor Ioannis, because he knew that the western lands had been laid bare by the Byzantine troops, he desired to return to the Bulgarian state the land which Emperor Ioannis had taken from the Bulgarians, together with the towns in it. This had long been a source of sorrow to the Bulgarians. Finding, as he believed, the moment suitable, he descended from Haemus4 and, crossing the Hebrus,5 he rapidly conquered vast lands and easily annexed many towns. The populace, who were Bulgarians, went over to their compatriots and shook off the foreign yoke. And the fortresses, left only with a Byzantine guard that was inadequate to offer resistance under the cir­cumstances, were easily accessible to the Bulgarians. Some panicked from fear and gave up the fortresses in exchange for freedom to go home, others took flight and left them unprotected because of the sudden attack, because they could not immediately think of anything useful to do, and still others were, naturally, tired of the long service, since they had been ordered to keep guard for too long a time. And most of the fortresses were unfinished and insufficient­ly armed. Stanimaka, Peroushtitsa, Krichim and Tsepena were immediately captured, together with everything in the Ahrid region except Mniak, which alone remained in Byzantine hands. Ustra, Perperek, Krivus and the Adrianople Plain called Ephraim also fell to the Bulgarians. After this turn of events and after the Byzantine State also found itself in difficulties in the West, a rumour /about this/ reached the Emperor's ears, informing him that evils even greater than the present ones were expected. Then the people in the palace became exceedingly anxious, for it was known that the greater part of the western regions were populated by Bulgarians, who had long ago split away from the Byzantines and were, until recently, subjugated to Emperor Ioannis, but they had not been thoroughly subdued and they always harboured a great hatred for the Byzantines.

Georgii Acropolitae Opera, rec. A. Heisenberg, I-II, Lipsiae 1903, PP-107-109; cp. ГИБИ, VIII, pp. 183 184; the original is in Greek

1Georgius Acropolita occupied high posts at the Emperor's Court. As a military commander and a participant in the events, he was familiar with the population in the Empire's western regions
2 The Nicean Emperor Theodore II Lascaris (R. 1254^1258) arrived in the Balkan Peninsula iron Asia Minor in order to stop the advance of Bulgarian Tsar Mihail II Assen towards the south and southeast
3 The Bulgarian ruler Mihail II Assen (R. 1246-1257)
4 The Balkan Range
5 The river Maritsa
The Byzantine author Georghis Acropolita calls Demetrius Chomatianus the Archbishop of the Bulgarians
13th c.
21. And Theodore Comnenus,1 whom we mentioned a little while ago, was not content with his position and assumed royal dignity. After he had become lord of Salonica and had subjugated much of the Byzantine land which had been seized by the Italians,2 as well as much of that which had been con­quered by the Bulgarians, he dressed himself in purple and put on red shoes. This move was most rigorously opposed by the Archbishop of Salonica, Constantino Mesopotamit, who, because he upheld canon law, exposed himself to many calamities and exile. The Bulgarian Archbishop Demetrius,3 however, crowned him with the royal diadem, saying that he was independent and ac­countable to none, and that he therefore had the right to anoint kings whom­soever, wheresoever and whensoever he wished.

Georgii Acropolitae Opera, rec. A. Heisenberg, I-II, Lipsiae 1903; ГИБИ, VIII, p. 158; the original is in Greek
1 Theodore Angel Duka Comnenus, Byzantine despot of Epirus (R. 1215-1224) and Emperor of Salonica (R. 1224-1230)
i.e. the crusaders of the Fourth Crusade
3 Demetrius Chomatianus, Archbishop of Ohrid at the beginning of the 13th century (1216-1235)
The Byzantine Emperor, Andronicus II Paleologus,1 presented the Archbishop of Ohrid with a mantle with an inscription saying that the Archbishop was the spiritual head of the Bulgarian population
13th-14th c.
Shepherd of the Bulgarians, at sacrificial mass remember the ruler An­dronicus Paleologus!

Йордан Иванов, Българите в Македония (Yordan Ivanov, The Bulgarians in Macedonia), pp. 149-150; the original is in Greek

1Emperor of Byzantium (1282-1328)

The Byzantine historian Nicephorus Gregora1 writes of Bulgarians in Stroumitsa, whom he calls Moesians
14th c.
... I will skip everything that happened to us up to the Strymon. There, however, we experienced something that deserves mention more than all other things which awake a feeling of tears and laughter in men's souls. We com­mitted an act so foolish as to be worthy of Democritus’s2 laughter; and it exposed us to a danger worthy of Heraclitus's3 tears. All know that the Strymon cannot be crossed either on foot or on horseback, because it is the biggest of the rivers which cross Thrace and Macedonia and flow into the Hellespont and the Aegean. It rises in the very high mountains which stretch continuously to the Ionian Sea, beginning from the Pont Euxine4 and bounded, to the south, by Thrace and Macedonia, and to the north by the lands of the Moesians5 and the river Ister.6 This is the biggest of the rivers which irrigate the Scythian land and it flows into the Pont Euxine through five mouths. It was in a somewhat small boat that we tried to cross the Strymon, which has its begin­ning in certain springs and is full of whirlpools. We spent a whole day crossing the river, sometimes one by one, sometimes three at a time, together with the baggage animals. The number of the baggage animals and our own number was 20 to 140. By the time we had managed to cross over, the sun was past noon, and was setting in the west. We should have pitched camp and un­harnessed the animals somewhere. But we led ourselves astray, and continued our journey, hoping we would soon find a convenient place hi which to rest before we had covered 15 stadia.7 But this hope was vain. Constant raids by robbers had recently plundered those places and turned them into a desert. That is why we roamed around that place like wanderers, trusting in God alone and in our own uncertain hopes. Then night fell, because the sun set, and all the roads were plunged into darkness. There was no moon. It had gone only half of its course around the earth and was of little use to us with its rays, because it was in its first quarter. We went along this road in pitch darkness, like those of whom it is said that they descend from Tenar into hell,8 or like those who descended into the prophetic cave of Trophonius.9 Then the moonless night was aggravated by the shadow of the surrounding hills. Their tall peaks so hid the sky from our eyes that we could not find our difficult way even by the stars. My heart stood still, for there was a long and difficult road ahead of us. We soon came to extremely thick and dense brush, full of many holes and crevices. In it, we paid no attention to our shoes and clothes which were being torn by the thorns, because we were looking after our eyes alone, for numerous sheaves of branches were constantly hitting us with enmity across the face. Nor did we worry any longer about the halters and reins with which we drove the horses, and we protected our eyes with our hands. Some of the servants accompanying us were completely oblivious of the fear that had come over us, and they were emitting loud shouts and singing tragic songs. These glorified men of whom we had only heard but had not seen. The surrounding chasms and deep gulches in the mountains around us took up their shouts and, like living beings, repeated them with precision and without altering them, completely preserving the rhythm, echoing them and singing them back in turn, as choirs do when they repeat verses in reply to those already sung. In these circumstances, I tried in every way to keep up my spirits so that I would not be broken by so many horrors. But my spirit refused to obey and never ceased criticizing me for the untimely passage. Turning constantly in on itself, my spirit saw constantly recurring images of ambushes and blood-thirsty men, who would attack us from some hiding place and kill us with swords. And while we were still in this difficult position, there suddenly appeared from the surrounding rocks and chasms some men dressed in black clothes made of wool and sheepskins, which they themselves prepared from sheep whenever they needed. Those men were truly like demoniac visions. It was true that they were not clad in iron like heavily-armed soldiers, but they were not without weapons, either. Most of them held in their hands some weapon for close combat, such as a spear or an axe. Others had arrows. Initially our people were overcome by horror and fear. And how could it be otherwise? Were we not in strange places amidst the im­penetrable darkness of the night, and, moreover, among people who did not know our language? Most of the local population are old immigrants from Moesia and have the same way of life as our compatriots. Afterwards we regained our spirits and recovered, because they greeted us pleasantly and cor­dially in their own language. They showed no signs of wanting to rob us, either because they were too few in comparison with us and did not feel equal to fighting us, or because God had stopped them. I think it was more the second than the first, because, as locals experienced in laying ambush in those places against us foreigners, and with the dense forest as their ally in such pitch darkness, they could have fought us, like people who see against blind men, had they so desired. After we had similarly greeted them (some of our men knew something of their language), they briefly informed us of the reason for their presence there. They were guardians of the roads and were supposed to chase away everyone who, by stealthy attack, tried to plunder the vicinity. It was already past the third part of the night,10 as we observed from some stars overhead. We soon heard dogs barking, which not only attracted our attention, but also spoke of a village with many people, which could welcome those tired after much labour, and offer them at least some comforts, if not all. After we had hurriedly taken ourselves there, we dispersed into the houses, like men saved from storm and shipwreck in some part. They say that all bread tastes good to a hungry man, and to us the bread rolled in ashes did, indeed, taste sweet and pleasant. We traveled all the following day and reached a small town located above the clouds, so to speak, and called Stroumitsa in the local language. It is built on a tall mountain, so the people who perch on its fortresses resemble birds of some sort, if one observes them from the field ...

Nicephori Gregorae Byzantina historia, I, Bonnae 1829-1830, p. 374-379.

1 Nicephorus Gregora, together with other persons, was sent by the Byzantine Emperor Andronici II to the King of Serbia, Stefan Dechanski, to settle relations between Serbia and Byzantium during the '30s of the 14th c.
2 Democritus was an ancient Greek philosopher who believed that atoms are the basis of matter. He also viewed things from their lighter side                                
3 Heraclitus was an ancient Greek philosopher who believed that fire was the basis of all things. He was gloomy and mourned for the world which was doomed to destruction.
4 i.e. the Black Sea
5 Byzantine writers called the Bulgarians 'Moesians'
6 The river Danube
7A stadium was equal to 180 meters
8 Tenar is a mountain in Greek mythology which held the entrance to the underworld
9 The prophet Trophonius lived in Beotia. According to the legend, anyone who entered his cave did not smile for a whole year afterwards,
10 The night was divided into four parts: from 18 to 21 hrs, from 21 hrs to midnight, from midnight to 03 hrs, and from 03 to 06 hrs. Consequently, the text refers to the period from midnight.
The Synodicon of Tsar Boril (Palaouzov's copy) states that the Archbishops of Ohrid are subordinated to the Turnovo Patriarchate
14th c.
And those Metropolitans whom we shall now mention, they were at the time of the pious Tsar Assen under the rule of the Turnovo Patriarchate and died then.
158. Ioannicius and Sergius, Archbishops of Ohrid, may their memory live for ever.

М. Г. Нопруженко, Синодик царя Борила, Бъл­гарски старини (М. G. Popruzhenko, Synodicon of Tsar Boril,   Bulgarian Antiquity),   vol. VIII, Sofia, p. 93; the original is in Old Bulgarian
The Serbian King Stefan Dusan in a letter to the Venetian Doge Andrea Dandolo styles himself also ruler of no small part of the Bulgarian Kingdom
By the grace of God Stefan, King of Serbia, Dioclea, Zachulmia, Zeta, Albania and the Primorie, and ruler of no small part of the Kingdom of Bulgaria,1 and Lord of almost all Romania.

Monumenta Slavorum meridionalium II, Zagrabiae, 1870, p. 278; Йордан Иванов, Българите в Маке­дония, (Yordan Ivanov, The Bulgarians in Macedonia), p. 154; the original is in Latin

1 This refers mainly to Macedonia, which Stefan Dusan annexed to Serbia
Documents of the notary Manoli Braschiano concerning the sale and liberation of slaves of Bulgarian nationality from Macedonia1
On September 12, 1381 for sale 'a slave ... Maria, of Bulgarian stock, from the settlement of Prilep' (No. 19)
On November 4, 1381 for sale '... Theodora, of Bulgarian stock, from the settlement of Kostour ...' (No. 31)
On July 5, 1382 for sale ‘... a slave named Alexos of Bulgarian stock, from the settlement of Seres ...' (No. 99)
On July 8, 1382 for sale '... a slave named Irina, of Bulgarian stock, from the settlement of Kostour.' (No. 100)
On July 12, 1382 for sale ‘... a slave named Irina, of Bulgarian stock, from the settlement of Devol ...' (No. 105)
On September 18, 1382 for sale '... a slave named Dimiter, a Bulgarian, from the settlement of Voden ..’ (No. 125)
On September 21, 1382 for sale a slave '... of Bulgarian stock, from the settlement of Veles ...' (No, 126)
On September 23, 1382 for sale ‘... a slave named Theodora, of Bulgarian stock, from the settlement of Prilep ,..' (No. 129)
On September 28, 1382 for sale '… a slave of Bulgarian stock, from the settlement of Prilep, named Mila in Bulgarian and now renamed Margarita ...' (No. 136)
On December 5, 1382 for sale a slave '... Mihail, of Bulgarian stock, from the settlement of Philocarana, near Thessalonica ...' (No. 155)
On February 9, 1383 for sale a slave '... Irina, of Bulgarian stock, from the settlement of Kostour ...' (No. 174)
On March 4, 1383 for sale a slave'... Mihail, of Bulgarian stock, from the settlement of Skopje ...' (No. 184)
On March 7, 1383 for sale 'a slave named Maria, a Bulgarian from Prespa ...' (No. 189)
On March 8, 1383 freed the slave '... Dimiter, of Bulgarian stock, from the settlement of Skopje ...' (No. 190)
On May 10, 1383 for sale 'a slave, named Kali, of Bulgarian stock, from settlement of Devol ...' (No. 205)

Ив. Сакъзов, Новооткрити документи от края на XIV в. за българи от Македония, продавани като роби, Мак. преглед , (I. Sakuzov, Newly-found documents from the end of the 14th c. about Bulgarians from Macedonia sold as slaves, Makedonski Pregled), 1932, No. 2-3, pp. 1 52; the original is in Italian

1 During the 14th c., more precisely in 1381, 1382 and 1383 in the town of Candia, on the isle of Crete, there was a slave market, where the sale and liberation of slaves was confirmed by a notarial deed. The notary, Manoli Braschiano, questioned the slave and, according to the answer, wrote down his name, nationality and his native town. Bulgarians, Greeks, Wallachians, Turks, Russians, Tartars, Hungarians and Serbians were sold there, but all slaves from Skopje, Veles, Prilep, Bitola, Kostour, Voden, Prespa, Debur, etc., i.e. from all Macedonia, with the exception of a few Greeks and Wallachians, are recorded as being Bulgarians

The Serbian writer Mihail of Ostrovitsa reports in his chronicle that Dusan's successor, Uros Ludi, ordered the two brothers Vulkasin and Ugljes to rule over the Bulgarian lands
15th c.
He allowed the two brothers1 to govern the Bulgarian Kingdom ... When was only four miles away from Drenopole,2 the two brothers, who had oc-»ied the Bulgarian land, rose up against their lord.

Йордан Иванов, Българите в Македония (Yordan Ivanov, The Bulgarians in Macedonia), p. 157; the original is in Serbian

1 Vulkasin ruled western Macedonia, and Ugljes — south-eastern Macedonia, and for this reason the source states that they ruled Bulgarian lands
2 Adrianople
Information from Dubrovnik about the Bulgarian monastery of St Yakun Osogovsky or Sarandoporsky, near Kriva Palanka (Northern Macedonia)
The Dubrovhik Council decided to give 20 perperi (gold coins) 'as alms to Bulgarian monastery of St. Yakim.'

Йордан Иванов, Българите в Македония (Yordan Ivanov, The Bulgarians in Macedonia), Sofia, 1917, p. 165; the original is in Latin
Signature of Gregorius, the Archbishop of Ohrid, on a parchment deed
16th c.
By God's grace, of all Bulgaria and Justiniana Prima Ohrid Archbishop, Gregorius.1

Йордан Иванов, Българите в Македония (Yordan Ivanov, The Bulgarians in Macedonia), Sofia, 1917, pp. 130-131; the original is in Greek

1 The signature is on a Greek parchment deed preserved in the Rumyantsev Museum in Moscow, in the Grigorovich Collection, under the number 820
In the Synodicon of Tsar Boril (Drinov's copy) Samuil, Radomir and Vladimir appear in the list of the ancient Bulgarian Tsars. Of Cyril the Philosopher it says that he translated the sacred books from the Greek into the Bulgarian language
16th c.

87. Beginning of the Bulgarian Tsars: To Boris, the First Bulgarian Tsar, named Mihail at his holy baptism, who brought the Bulgarian race to wisdom through holy baptism, eternal memory.

To his son Simeon and his grandson Tsar Peter, of Plenimir, Boris, Roman, Samuil, Radomir Gavril, Vladimir, Vladislav, old Bulgarian Tsars, who, with an earthly kingdom, inherited also the Kingdom of heaven – eternal memory.

To the old Bulgarian Queen Maria — eternal memory.

88. To Cyril the Philosopher, who translated the Holy Scriptures from the Greek language into the Bulgarian and enlightened the Bulgarian race, the new second apostle, during the reign of Mihail and the Orthodox Queen Theodora, his mother, who adorned God's church with sacred icons and strengthened the Orthodox faith - eternal memory.


М. Г. Попруженко, Синодик царя Борила, Бъл­гарски старини, (М. G. Popruzhenko, Synodicon of Tsar Boril, Bulgarian Antiquities), vol. VIII, Sofia, 1928, p. 77; the original is in Old Bulgarian
Citizens of Dubrovnik in Skopje report that the plague in Macedonia is exterminating Bulgarians and Turks equally
June 30th, 1502
... We, Vladislav de Sorgo and Luca de Bona, report in good faith what we know. May your highnesses know that the plague spread in the region of Skopje during January, then it disappeared from this land for a few days in February. After that, from the middle of March, it began to appear in many places in Skopje, penetrating chiefly into small places, and it affected good peo­ple in the homes of Bulgarians and in the homes of Turks ... It is still raging today in many places in the town.
As regards the surrounding area, the disease was discovered in Kratovo, Polog, Veles and Ovche Pole in October. It is true that in Kratovo it has almost subsided, but in the other three places there are still quite a number of cases. Besides, Gentlemen, in the villages of the Skopje plain which are situated two or three miles from the town of Skopje, such as Dzhakovo and many others, in which, since December, the disease has not appeared in a severe form, there are still quite a few cases...

Diversa notarie, vol. 81, pp. 138-139; the original is in Italian
From the Third Zograf BeadroU, containing the names of donors to the Zograf Monastery at Mt. Athos from settlements and regions indicated as Bulgarian lands

Zagorie: Turnov town, Bulgarian land - Gabrovo town, Svishtov town, Tryavna village, Prisoi village, Elena village, Dryanovo Monastery, Kostenets mine, Yambol, Lovech town, Etropole area, Teteven (Tetovian) village, Sveta Troitsa (Holy Trinity) Monastery, Bdin (Vidin) town, Silistra town, Ruschuk, Mitropolia village, Bryast village, Vratsa town, Chirepiesh Monastery, Kasinets Monastery, Kiporovtsi area, Chervena Voda, Oryahovitsa.

Sredets: Sofia town, Vrubnitsa village, Dragalevtsi village, Lokorsko village, Zhelen village, Kremikovtsi Monastery, Divotino Monastery, St. Archangel Monastery ‘on the river Erma,' Pernik village, Meshtitsa village, Zheleznitsa Monastery, Koroubiiane village, Chelopechani village, Krivina village, Zhelyava village, Ponor village, Rila Monastery, Dryan village, Samokov town, Palikaria (Pokraina), Rila smeltery, Dryan village, Rila village.


Pirot town: Visok area3

Pelagonia4: Bitola town - Malivishta, Grulyani, Kovanets Monastery, Orle Monastery, Dolna Prespa, St. Ilia Monastery, Bigor Monastery, Stip town, Novolod Stip village, Poloshki Monastery, Prodrom Monastery, Dihovo Monastery, Ressen village, Treskavets Monastery, Zurzei Monastery, Boshava Monastery, Gradishte Monastery, Strezhevo Monastery, Kichava (Kyuchevo - Ed.) town, Enidje-Pazar town, Sermenin, Houma, Vudrishta village, Gvozdovo village, Haivatovo, Krakopetsi village, Tikvesh, Prilep town, Veles, Stroumitsa, Radovisht, Dedino village, Chichevo village, Orizare, Rosoman village, Grunchishta village, Krivolok, Zlatare, Yanko(vechki) Monastery, Skopje, Gomendje, Strouga, Vrubani, Debre (Debur Ed.), Lesnovo Monastery, Kostour, Ber, Kriva Reka, Magarevo village, Pozharsko, Polyanin (Doiran — Ed.), Koukoush.

Razlog: Bansko village, St. Theodore of Turliz Monastery, Oshtava village, Nevrokop town, Kosovrasti Dolno, Belasitsa village.

Plovdiv Plain: Plovdiv town, Peshtera area, Pazardjik town, Peroushtitsa village, Krichim, St. Vrachi Monastery, Kara Dere, Raikovo, Chokmanovo, Stanimaka (Assenovgrad - Ed.) ...


Йордан Иванов, Български старини в Македо­ния,   (Yordan   Ivanov,   Bulgarian   Antiquities   in Macedonia), phototype edition, Sofia, 1970, pp. 495 500, 507, 508, 511, 512

1 These are the initial and final dates of the document. The beadroll contains the names of Christians who have donated ten silver coins each. Since, among the names, there are names of women and of nuns, it is clear that the entries of the donations were not made at Zograf Monastery by male pilgrims only, but were also made in the regions covered by the monastery's collectors, who were thoroughly familiar with the ethnic composition of the population. The text published here quotes only the names of the regions and settlements under the heading of 'Bulgarian land,' and the names of the donors can be seen in the facsimiles
2A region covering the Breznik and Trim areas
3 This is still the name of the eastern part of the area around Pirot up to the Balkan Range
4 Peflagonia in the original. This heading includes the settlements in Macedonia




Representatives of the Osogovo Monastery at Kriva Palanka, of the Monastery of the Annunciation at Kyustendil and of the Bilina Monastery at Trun appear in Moscow to ask Tsar Feodor Ivanovich for aid
/The Russian Tsar was informed/ 'of the arrival from the Bulgarian land of Vissarion of Kolossia, from the Monastery of the Annunciation, of the anchorite Yoakim and the abbot Gervasii, from the monastery in the great mountain of Osogovitsa, and of the priest Stefan, from the Monastery of the Archangel near Bilina.'

Сношения Росени с Востоком по делам церковньiм (Russia's Relations with the East on Church Matters), St Petersburg, 1858, vol. I, 182; Йордан Иванов, Българите в Македония (Yordan Ivanov, The Bulgarians in Macedonia), Sofia, 1917, pp. 168-169; the original is in Russian
Evidence from the Venetian Ambassador Lorenzo Bernardo on the Bulgarian character of the settlements in Macedonia

They say that Strouga is a town but, in fact, it is more of a village; it is the first settlement one comes to in Bulgaria. Through Strouga there flows a river, which runs out of the lake of Ohrid; here, they say, is also the source of the river of the town of Lesius (Drim River). Practically the whole plain of Strouga is cultivated, tilled and very fertile; a little further away, at the beginning of the plain of Strouga, one crosses a bridge which is on the boundary between Albania and Bulgaria. The Bulgarians speak Slavonic and observe the Greek (East Orthodox) rite.

On May 23, proceeding further on a good road, they reached Bitola at 19 o'clock. Bitola is a Bulgarian town, densely populated, as they say, 1,500 houses, of which 200 are Jewish.

On May 27, descending the hill abounding in water and wells, they followed the foot of the mountain situated opposite the hill and came down into a wide plain which the Turks call Vardar Ova and the Bulgarians - Slanitsa.

They crossed a wooden bridge, 300 paces long, leading across the Vardar River, which further up flows through Skopje ... This bridge is the boundary between Bulgaria and Thessaly. Near the bridge there is a house from which a Bulgarian girl came with a loaf baked under hot ashes.


Йордан Иванов, Българите в Македония (Yordan Ivanov, The Bulgarians in Macedonia), Sofia, pp. 169-170; the original is in Italian
Information about the population of Skopje and its environs by a Russian who was a Turkish prisoner-of-war
17th c.
... And the inhabitants of Skopje are Turks, and there are also many in­habitants who are Christians ... and on three sides around the settlement of Skopje all the inhabitants are Bulgarians.

Описание турецкой империи, составленное русским, бьiвшим в плену у турок в XVII веке, под редакцией П. А. Смрку (Description of the Turkish Empire by a Russian Prisoner of War with the Turks during the 17-th century, edited by P.A. Syrku), S. Petersburg, 1890, p. 38. Cf. Йордан Иванов, Бълга­рите в Македония (Yordan Ivanov, The Bulgarians in Macedonia), Sofia, 1917, p. 182; the original is in Russian
Information from the Turkish traveller Hadji Kalfa1 about the Bulgarian population of certain towns in Macedonia
17th c.

Bitola, between Lerin, Prilep, Prespa and Ohrid. It takes 15 days to travel ere from Constantinople, via Thessalonica, Vardar and   Voden. The in­habitants are Bulgarians, Sultan Murad the Conqueror in 784 (1382-1383) sent Timurtash Pasha, who took the town by the sword ...

Hrupishta, on the shore of the Lake Kostour, 2 hours away from Kostour. Kostour, Biglishta, Naselitsa are situated nearby. The inhabitants are Bulgarians.

Ohrid, south-west of Skopje, 16 days' journey from Constantinople, on the eastern side of a lake. The boundaries are: Prespa, Starovo, Kichevo. The inhabitants are Bulgarians; there are gold and silver mines here.

Geographical description of Roumelia and Bosnia by Mustafa ben Abdulah Hadji Kalfa. From the German edition by Joseph von Hammer translated and an­notated by Stoyan Argirov, Archives of Investigations of Settlements, I, Sofia, 1938, vol. 3, pp. 60, 61, 84; the original is in Turkish

1 Author of many works, including a general geography
Information about the Bulgarian population in settlements in Macedonia, contained in the travel notes of Evliya Chelebi1
17th c.

In Skopje there is an Armenian, a Bulgarian and a Serbian church and a Jewish synagogue. The French, Hungarians and Germans have nothing. The Latins are quite numerous and attend the Serbian church.

From here /Kratovo/, having set out towards the east, we passed through the Bulgarian village of Nagorichani and took horses from the village of Murad, which has six hundred houses, extracts iron ore and is a Bulgarian village.

... We set out from here /town of Dupnitsa/ eastward and after having walked for a day we reached the village of Durgan. It is a Bulgarian village and has 200 houses.

... Starting from here /the town of Doupnitsa/ in an easterly direction and having walked one day, we reached the village of Dourgan. This is a Bulgarian village consisting of 200 houses.

After having walked an hour and a half northward, we reached the village of Izvor, situated by a river and at the foot of a mountain. This Bulgarian village has one hundred and fifty houses and is a spahi one. From here we proceeded southwards along one bank for six hours and reached the fortress of Prilep, which is in a wooded locality.

In general here /Prilep/ the Bulgarian language is spoken, because all Christians are Serbians and Bulgarians.

All the urban /about Pirot/ rayah are Bulgarian.

А. Шопов, Евлия Челеби, Периодическо списание на българското книжовно дружество в София (А. Shopov, Evliya Chelebi, Periodical of the Bulgarian Scholarly Society in Sofia), ХП, Sofia, 1902, pp. 175, 179, 182, 184, 185, 192; the original is in Turkish

1 A Turkish traveller and geographer (1611-1682), famous for his extensive travel notes, 'Geyahatname,' giving a full description of the countries and regions he traversed, mainly the lands in the Balkan Peninsula
Information from the Turkish historian Hodja Saadeddin1 in his chronicle Crown of Histories about the Bulgarian character of North Macedonia at the time of Constantine Deyan2
17th c.
Indeed, the Kyustendil ruler, known by the name of Constantine and famous for possessing extensive lands and spahis (warriors - editor's note), was the supreme ruler in the Bulgarian region and was in possession of the lands in which the Tala and Nakra mines were situated ...

Йордан Иванов, Българите в Македония (Yordan Ivanov, The Bulgarians in Macedonia), Sofia, 1917, p. 162; the original is in Turkish

1 The author of travel notes
2 Constantine Deyan, ruler of the Velbuzhd principality in south-western Bulgaria, who became a Turkish vassal and died in 1394 in the war against the Wallachian chieftain Mircca.
Information in the manuscript General and Turkish History, written by Ramazan-Zaade, concerning the conquest of Northern Macedonia and of the Kratovo mines by the Turks
After the remaining towns and places had also been conquered, the Kyustendil ruler, /Constantine Deyan - Ed./ who possessed the Bulgarian land with the gold and silver mines ... /was subjugated - Ed./

Йордан Иванов, Българите в Македония (Yordan Ivanov, The Bulgarians in Macedonia), Sofia, 1917, p. 162; the original is in Turkish
Information from the Catholic Bulgarian Bishop Peter Bogdan about the boundaries of the Bulgarian land

Bulgaria and her boundaries. Today all that land once named First Moesia Superior, part of Moesia Inferior, all Thrace, with the exception of the Gallipoli littoral, where the Greek language is spoken, the greater part of Macedonia, all Morava, as far as Ohrid, up to the boundaries of Albania and Greece, and from Serbia eastwards to the Black Sea is called Bulgaria. In the north the Danube separates it from Wallachia and Moldavia, in olden times called Ancient Dacia, Transdanubian Dacia, etc.

E. Fermendzin, Acta Bulgariae ecclesiastica ab A. 1565 usque ad 1799. Zagrabiae 1887, p. 69. Йордан Иванов, Българите в Македония (Yordan Ivanov, The Bulgarians in Macedonia), Sofia, 1917, pp. 173 174; the original is in Italian
Information about the town of Skopje to a Catholic document
... in the town of Skopje, a Bulgarian town, Monsignor Don Andrea is Bishop.

Н. И. Милев, Католишката пропаганда в Бълга­рия през XVII век (N. I. Milev, Catholic Propaganda in Bulgaria during the 17th c.), Sofia, 1914, p. 152; the original is in Latin
Evidence from the Catholic Archbishop Peter Bogdan about the Bulgarian character of Ohrid and Skopje
1655, 1667

/1655/ Ohrid, a Bulgarian town, described by Peter, the Archbishop of Sofia. The town of Achrida is called in Slav Okhrida or Ohrid, situated on the lake, called Lichnida or in Slavonic - Blato Ohridsko. It was built by Emperor Justinian, who called it Justiniana Prima and his motherland. In our time it falls within the Kingdom of Bulgaria and is its main town: today, too, all those who live inside the town /fortress/ are Bulgarians.

/1667/   Some   authors  place  the  Skopje  Archbishopric   among 1 Bulgarians because under the administration of this Archbishopric among the Bulgarians there are perhaps some Catholics; other Catholics, however, over whom the Archbishopric also rules, are in Serbia.


Йордан Иванов, Българите в Македония (Yordan Ivanov, The Bulgarians in Macedonia), Sofia, 1917,  pp. 174-175; the original is in Italian.
Information from the Serbian writer Jerotej Racanin1 about the town of Veles
And again on the 14th day we came to Veles, a Bulgarian town, but the Turks call it Kupriiliya ...

Йордан Иванов, Българите в Македония; (Yordan Ivanov, The Bulgarians in Macedonia), p. 182;the original is in Serbian

1 A monk, copyist of Serbian Orthodox church books and author of travel notes
Information from die Russian traveller V. G. Barski concerning Bulgarians in Thessalonica

In Thessalonica I spent precisely one day and could not see anything. My stay there was fortunate, because I found familiar people, moreover Bulgarians, and they gave me food and helped me prepare for the journey.

В. Григорович — Барский, Странствования по святьiм местам Востока с 1723 по 1747 г. Изда­ние Правосл. Палестинским Обществом. (V. Grigorovich Barsky, Travels in the Holy Places of the East from 1723 to 1747. Published by the Orthodox Palestine Society St. Petersburg,1885-1887.Vol.I, p.218. Йордан Иванов, Българите в Македония (Yordan Ivanov, The Bulgarians in Macedonia), Sofia, 1917, p. 185; the original is in Russian
In a roll of the Yazak Nunnery (Fruska Gora) it is stated that Kratovo is in Bulgaria
Anna, nun, born in Kratovo, Bulgaria, 81 years since her birth ... Came here to the nunnery in 1744.

D. Ruvarac, Opis srpskih Frusko gorskih manastira od 1753, (D. Ruvarac, A. Roll of the Serbian Fruska Gora Monastery of 1753) Sr. Karlovtsi, 1905, pp. 88-89. Йордан Иванов, Български старини из Македония, (Yordan Ivanov, Bulgarian Antiquities in Macedonia) 2nd edition, Sofia, 1931, p. 156; the original is in Serbian

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