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existed a Bulgarian kingdom on the by the Saracens, whose defeat saved Eubanks of the Volga. Whence these Bul- rope from Mohammedanism ; but many garians came, who they were, and why important facts in regard to the Bulgathey were called by this name, cannot be rians may be gleaned from Byzantine certainly known ; but there is reason to history and from Slavic writers. The believe that they were of Finnish origin. first Bulgarian Kral who assumed the Their kingdom lasted up to the time of title of King was Terbel, who was rethe Mongol invasion in the thirteenth warded by the Emperor of Constantinocentury. The ruins of the ancient city ple with the title of Cæsar, about the of Bulgar still exist, and the Czar of year 715, for the service which he had Russia still bears the title of Prince of rendered in defeating the Saracens. Bulgaria. Nothing is certainly known The Emperor Nicephorus invaded Bulof their language, except that a docu- garia in 811, but was defeated near ment exists, of the eighth century, in Shumla by King Krum and slain, with which a Bulgarian king demands inter- many of his nobles. Two years later preters who can speak both Bulgarian Krum appeared before the walls of Conand Slavic. This would seem to prove stantinople and ravaged the surrounding that the languages were not the same. country. In 913, Simeon, the greatest
During the latter half of the seventh of the Bulgarian kings, besieged Concentury a portion of the Bulgarians of stantinople, and compelled the Greeks the Volga left their homes, under the to submit to the terms of peace which he leadership of the Kral Asparuch, and imposed. He ruled over Bulgaria, emigrated to the West. They crossed Thrace, Servia, and Croatia. In the the Danube about 680 A.D., and occu- latter part of the century the Greeks pied the country as far as the Balkans. conquered the country, but it was alIt was at that time nominally under the most immediately freed by King Samrule of Constantinople, and was peo- uel, whose capital was at Ochrida in pled by Slavic tribes. It does not ap- Macedonia, and who waged a fierce war pear that any serious effort was made by with the Empire for nearly forty years. the Greeks to repel these invaders, and The Greeks finally triumphed in 1019 the people submitted to the rule of As- under the Emperor Basil, who was surparuch; but, as has often happened in named the “Slayer of the Bulgarians. these national migrations, the native ele- It was he who put out the eyes of 15,ment proved to be the stronger ; the 000 Bulgarian prisoners, leaving one in Bulgarian language disappeared, and the each hundred with a single eye to conpeople were amalgamated into a single duct his blind companions home. For nation ; retaining the name of the con- nearly a hundred and seventy years the querors, and but little else. This new Bulgarian Kingdom was more or less Bulgarian nation converted to under the control of the Empire, but no Christianity about the year 860 by the effectual measures were taken to bring two Slavic apostles, Cyril, the theologian the people under the yoke of the law, and Methodius the painter, who after- and it became independent again in 1186 wards converted the Slaves of Bohemia. under King Assen, whose capital was These monks were natives of Salonica, Tirnova. This king utterly routed the and the story of their mission to King armies of the Emperor Isaac Angelus, Boris is too well known to be repeated and compelled him to recognize his in
It was the skill of the painter, dependence. The kingdom was consolwho pictured the Day of Judgment, idated by the skill and power of Ivan, rather than the arguments of the theolo- the sucessor of Assen, who is known in .gian, which converted the king, and European history as Calo-John, or John through him the nation.
the Handsome. He determined to cut The capital of the kingdom at that every link which bound him to Constantime was Preslava, a city near Shumla. tinople, and sent an embassy to Pope There is no connected history of the Innocent III., from whom he received a Bulgarian Kingdom, a fact which is less royal title and a Latin archbishop; but surprising when we reflect how little is in 1205, disgusted at the pretensions of known of the Byzantine Empire, even of Baldwin, the Latin Emperor of Constanevents like the sieges of Constantinople tinople, he allied himself with the
Greeks, defeated the Latins, took Bald- the Patriarch of Constantinople succeedwin prisoner, and held him until his ed, by intrigues with the Turks, in sedeath, in spite of the orders and prayers curing the abolition of this see, annexof the Pope. He also defeated and ing it to his own jurisdiction. This was killed Boniface, King of Salonica. the end of the Bulgarian Church, which
His successor, Ivan Assen II., be- survived the Kingdom almost four hunsieged Constantinople and carried on in- dred years, and was no doubt the means cessant wars, now with the Greeks, and of preserving the Bulgarian nation from now with the Latins, seeking to weaken destruction. It is believed by many both and seize the Empire of the East that the absorption of the Bulgarian for himself ; but his sudden death in Church was a part of a grand scheme 1241 put an end to his ambitious schemes; for Hellenizing all the Christians of Euand a stronger than Greek or Bulgarian ropean Turkey, to prepare the way for a was soon to appear and subdue them restoration of the Greek Empire. This both. The last of the Bulgarian kings is possible, for this idea has been cherwas Ivan Shishman (Shishman is a Tur- ished by the Greeks ever since the fall kish word, meaning "fat"), who, after of Constantinople ; but those who are resisting the Turks, sometimes by craft acquainted with the history of the Patriand sometimes on the battle-field, was archate will be more inclined to believe finally captured in his last stronghold on that the immediate motive was a desire the Danube in 1393. His kingdom was to increase the revenue of the Patriarch. annexed to the New Ottoman Empire. This brief sketch of the history of the
No nation was ever more thoroughly Bulgarian Church and Kingdom has conquered. For almost 500 years they been given here simply as a necessary submitted quietly to the Turkish rule, introduction to the history of the naand there is no record of any effort on tional awakening, which first attracted their part to throw it off and regain their the attention of Europe in 1859, but independence. Many of them became which had really commenced many Mohammedans, and are now known as years before. Pomaks, but most of them submitted to It was supposed for some years to be every indignity rather than give up their simply an ecclesiastical contest with the Christian faith. At the time of the Greek Patriarch, and to some extent it Greek revolution some efforts were was so. It was inevitable, from the very made by the Bulgarians to aid the constitution of the Ottoman Empire, Greeks, and when the Russians occu- which recognizes the Patriarch as the pied the country, some “ atrocities” civil as well as the ecclesiastical head of were committed upon the Turks in sev- a National Church, that the first return eral towns, but there was nothing which of national consciousness should bring could be called a rebellion. There was the people into conflict with their bishnot even an inclination to aid the Rus- ops, who were appointed by the Patrisians. All life and hope had been arch, not on account of their piety, but crushed out of the people by the weight for their supposed skill in political inof the Turkish yoke.
trigue. Whatever may have been the The ecclesiastical history of these cen- motive 'for suppressing the Bulgarian turies may be told in a few words. Patriarchate, there is no question about King Boris, after his conversion, negoti- the aim of the Greeks since the revoluated
with Rome and Constantinople, but tion. They have sought by every posfinally accepted an archbishop from the sible means to destroy the Bulgarian naPatriarch. In the time of Simeon there tionality, and have made use of the was a Bulgarian Patriarch at Preslava, Church for this purpose. Greek bishindependent of Constantinople. Sam- ops were appointed everywhere, whose uel transferred the Patriarch to Ochrida. chief work was to Hellenize the BulgaAssen recognized the Pope, and received rians, to substitute Greek books, schools, a Latin archbishop at Tirnova. At the and religious rites for Bulgarian ; and, time of the Turkish conquest, the Patri- so far as possible, to make the people arch, who was again of the Orthodox believe that they were Greeks. There Church, was transferred to Ochrida, was at first but little opposition to this where he continued until 1777, when attempt ; and the unimportant conspiracies at Tirnova in 1840, and at Sofia in their bishops. The Porte was anxious 1844, were more Greek than Bulgarian. to reward the Bulgarians for their loyalHad the bishops been better or wiser ty, and increase their influence in the men it is possible that they might have Holy Synod, as the best means of checkbrought about a hearty alliance between ing the revolutionary influence of the the two nationalities. There were, of Church. After many difficulties and course, always some ecclesiastics of the delays, this assembly finally met in Bulgarian race, and among them men 1858 ; but the Patriarch managed to who remembered their nationality and have Bulgaria represented almost excluprotested against the Greeks. The sively by Greeks. There were but three Bishop of Vratza was one, and he was Bulgarian members, and one of these exiled in 1800. Neophyte Bosveli, of was the servant of the Greek Bishop of Kotel, was exiled for the same reason in Widin. They were refused a hearing, 1845, and in 1846 Hilarion, who after- and their demand for an adequate reprewards became the leader of the Bulga- sentation in the Synod treated with conrian movement. There appears to have tempt, although they constituted a mabeen no general dissatisfaction among jority of the Orthodox Church in Turthe people before 1840 ; but from that key. This refusal to listen to the legititime petitions were constantly coming to mate demands of the Bulgarians not only the Porte and the Patriarchate for the roused the nation to defend its rights, removal of bishops. It is unnecessary but also offended the Sublime Porte, and to add that very little attention was paid led the Turks to support the Bulgarians. to them. About this time a determined This was the origin of the Bulgarian effort was made by a Bulgarian named Question. The Greeks were warmly Rakovsky, of Kotel, to awaken the na- supported by Russia, and felt strong tional spirit of the people. He was ed- enough to refuse all compromise. The ucated at Athens and Paris, and was in Bulgarians had but little faith in the the Turkish service at Constantinople. friendship of the Porte, or in their own About 1845 he went to Austria, and, af- strength, and would have been very glad ter some years, established a newspaper to accept a small part of what they deat Novisat, in Croatia, which was print- manded. A conciliatory policy on the ed in French and Bulgarian, and de- part of the Patriarch would have quietsigned to rouse the Bulgarians to action. ed the agitation, and settled the quesIt was secretly circulated all through the tion at once ; but he chose the opposite provinces, and widely read. It was no course, and the breach grew wider every doubt one of the influences which led day. the Bulgarians to establish schools and An important influence was exerted cultivate their own language, and ulti- upon the Bulgarians at this time by the mately it led to the establishment of a establishment of American missionaries revolutionary committee at Bucharest ; in Bulgaria. They opened schools, cirbut this was in 1865.
culated the Scriptures and other books It was the Crimean war which finally in the Bulgarian language, and did all in brought the Bulgarian movement to a their power to rouse the intellectual life head. Its influence upon the people of the people. The Evangelical Allithemselves was very great. It roused ance also interested itself to prevent the their hopes, quickened their intellectual exile of the three bishops who were the life, excited their interest in the nations leaders of the Bulgarians in this controof Europe, and directed attention to versy. their own inferiority. But it had a still At this crisis these bishops showed more important influence upon their des- more than ordinary courage, virtue, and tiny. The Turkish Government, dur- honesty. When they appealed to the ing the war, had found the Bulgarians foreign Ambassadors for support they thoroughly loyal, while the Greeks had were informed that they might secure made no secret of their sympathy with not only their personal liberty, but the
At the close of the war the complete emancipation of their people, Patriarch was ordered to call an assem- by declaring themselves Protestants or bly to reform the Church and satisfy the Catholics. The most tempting offers complaints of the Bulgarians against were made to them on behalf of the Pope and the Emperor Napoleon, but gotiations between the parties continued. - they had the courage to refuse and The excitement throughout the country suffer persecution. They knew that meanwhile increased, and a serious riot their people were Orthodox, and that a took place in Constantinople, when the nominal adhesion to any other Church Bulgarians attempted to celebrate Epiwould only divide the nation and pre- phany in their own church in opposition vent the real reform which they desired to the orders of the Patriarch. So they were imprisoned and exiled. Mahmoud Neddim Pacha was then The Porte could not protect them with- Grand Vizier, and, under the influence out infringing upon the recognized rights of Achmet Vefik Effendi, his Musteshar, of the Church. This at once roused he gave orders for the execution of the and united the Bulgarian people, who Firman and the appointment of a Bulgadrove off the Greek ecclesiastics and rian Exarch. The Firman did not conwent without bishops for ten years. template anything more than a partial
The combat went on slowly at Con- separation of the Bulgarians from the stantinople with varying fortune, but immediate jurisdiction of the Patriarch, throughout Bulgaria the people seemed to whom the Exarch was subordinate ; to be inspired with the single thought of but the Greeks responded to the Firman educating their young men. Schools of by excommunicating the Exarch and all a high order were established and main- those Bulgarians who should recognize tained by voluntary contributions in all his authority, and declaring them schisthe principal towns. Literary societies matics. No reply to the notification of were formed. Young men were sent to this action has ever been received by the Russia, where they were generally sup- Patriarch from the other branches of the ported by charitable individuals, also to Orthodox Church ; but, so far as is Constantinople, especially to the Ameri- known, it was generally regarded as a can Robert College, and to the principal serious blunder. But it had its designcities of Europe, to secure a higher edu- ed effect. It made it impossible for cation than could be given in Bulgaria. the Turks to execute the Firman, and Newspapers were established, and every carried the conflict between Greek and effort was made to provide the people Bulgarian into every town and village with books. It is doubtful whether any where both nationalities were representnation ever made such rapid progress as ed. It was a delicate situation for the did the Bulgarians during these years of Turks. They had encouraged the Bulconflict with the Patriarch. It finally garians and led them on to this point, became evident to the Patriarch and to Now they had to decide whether they the Porte that something must be done. would recognize the action of the Greeks A Commission was appointed by the and treat the Bulgarians as schismatics, Turkish Government to settle the ques- or whether they would ignore that action tion. Fuad Pacha, the Grand Vizier, and execute the Firman, which was was President, and Greeks and Bulga- based upon the theory that the Bulgarians were both represented. On the rians were still a part of the Orthodox removal of Fuad Pacha, Aali Pacha took Church. If they took the former course, his place. The negotiations were long then they must allow both Greek and and complicated, but Aali Pacha finally Bulgarian bishops in every city and in presented two projects, and invited the every Government Council in Bulgaria. parties to choose between them. The If the latter, then the Firman decreed Greeks rejected both, but the Bulga- that the bishops must be Greek or Bulrians accepted one, which had been garian, as the majority of the population originally suggested by the Greek Patri- was of one or the other nationality. arch Gregorius, but had been rejected This was what the Bulgarians demandby the Synod. After some delay Aalied, but the Greeks protested against dePacha issued a Firman for the execution livering Orthodox Greeks over to the of the project accepted by the Bulga- jurisdiction of an excommunicated Bulrians. But the opposition of the Greeks, garian bishop. supported by Russia, was so vigorous, The Turks followed their usual polthat it remained a dead letter. No at- icy. They decided nothing. They entempt was made to carry it out, and ne- couraged negotiations between the parties, and trusted to Kismet to find some rest had no sympathy with it ; but it was solution for the difficulty. But mean- very active, and its agents labored inwhile the excitement in the provinces cessantly to establish committees in the was daily increasing. The partial exe- Bulgarian towns. A man called "the cution of the Firman had sent Bulgarian deacon,” whose name was Lefsky, was bishops to a number of important sees; their chief agent for many years, but he the Exarch had been recognized ; the was finally caught and hung. He had Patriarch no longer exercised any con- some success in gaining over boys and trol over the Bulgarians ; but still noth- young men who had nothing to lose, ing was settled.
and committees were organized from Just at this time Mahmoud Neddim this material in many towns ; but the Pacha was esiled and Mithad came into respectable classes had nothing to do power. Soon after, the Sultan was de- with them, and the peasants knew nothposed, and all was confusion, but Mit- ing about them. The general plan of had refused to execute the Firman, and the committee was to send over a band used all his influence to excite the ani- from Roumania every year or two to mosity of the Greeks against the Bulga- create disturbance, rouse the suspicion rians. At the time of the Conference of of the Turks, cause the arrest and execuConstantinople the Bulgarian Exarch tion of innocent persons, and thus rouse was the only ecclesiastic who had the the people to desperation and revolt. courage to brave the Turkish Govern- The first inroad was made in 1867, and ment and refuse to protest against the their expectations were fully satisfied by action of the European Powers. He
He the fierce and indiscriminate manner in was exiled and deposed by the Porte, which Mithad Pacha undertook to strike and there was some question of abolish- terror into the Bulgarians. Another ing the Church, but another Exarch was raid was made in 1870, another still in chosen, and the question of the status of 1875. In both these cases the utmost the Bulgarian Church remains unsettled severity was exercised by the Turkish to this day.
Government, and a great number of perMeanwhile, in the summer of 1875, fectly innocent persons were hung or the insurrection broke out in Bosnia and exiled to the fortresses of Asia. Still Herzegovina. It was chiefly the result there was no general excitement among of Austrian intrigue, and was supported the people and no thought of revolt, exby Austrian money and sympathy. The cept among a few hot-headed young Bulgarians had nothing to do with it, men, who were ready for anything, but either directly or indirectly. The who had neither money nor influence. Church question, which originated with The whole attention of the people was the Turks themselves, was in no sense concentrated upon the pending ecclesipolitical, and the Bulgarians had no astical question. thought of rebellion. A revolutionary But the revolt in Bosnia and Herzecommittee was organized at Bucharest govina had excited the hopes of Servia, in 1865, composed of young men, who and the Bucharest Committee was enwere in part disciples of Rakovsky and couraged to make new efforts to organize in part Socialists. This committee va- an outbreak in Roumelia to support the ried in numbers and in personality from Servians, as soon as they should declare year to year, but it was generally war with Turkey. In the autumn of made up of criminals who had escaped 1875, two Bulgarian spies, in the employ from Turkey, of Bulgarian students who of the Turks, reported the existence of had been expelled from Russia for their a conspiracy at Eski Zagraa ; and many Nihilist views, and occasionally of young persons were imprisoned and exiled. It men of good character who had fled from was true that agents of the Bucharest Bulgaria to escape punishment for polit- Committee were in the town, and that it ical crimes which they had not commit- was known to many Bulgarians that an ted. It was strictly a Bulgarian associa- effort would be made to organize an intion, but was, for a time at least, affiliat- surrection, but beyond this there was no ed to the “ International.” Its influ- conspiracy there. ence in Bulgaria was very limited, and plans of the Bucharest Committee bethe better class of Bulgarians at Bucha- came known to the Turkish Govern