SUMMARY by ALEXANDER ILIEV
We can positively assert that within the ocean of field research on the territory of Eurasia for the last 750 years there is a sea of documentary evidence referring to the past of the Bulgarian kin. Yet today, many of these foci still burn or smolder. This book is namely about them. The present work rests only on genuine evidence, existing even today, about our ancestors.
The long return to the land of origin of Bulgarians started at the end of 19th century. First researches reveal archaeological, written, ethnographic and linguistic evidence explicitly underlying a unique statehood and culture, second to none in the Old Continent. The works of home researchers and European scientists known by that time provide only hints that Bulgarian people is a complex conglomeration of nations. One by one, more than 70 variations in names of non-Slavic tribes that left a trace in Bulgarian nationality see the light of day.
Apparently, the Bulgarians who established their state in the Balkans were not a mere Nomad group but a powerful united people. Tracing their march, we can conclude that they moved along three mountainous and four ambient water-bearing areas, and were no typical wandering or steppes people. The location of their residences were, according to ancient authors, the Pamir Mountains, Hindu Kush/Amu Darya, Syr Darya; Caucasus/ the Dnepr River, the Don River, the Caspian Sea Area, Black Sea Area; Ural/the Volga River, the Kama River; the Danube, and the Black Sea Area/the Balkans. It was found that they improved their areas of residence. The marks of their civilization were: irrigation, melioration, hygiene, temperate climate, settled way of life and agriculture, settled cattle-rearing, construction of towns and strongholds. Out of the shroud of time, in the documents and findings, as many as seven state formations – Danube Bulgaria, Keramissian Bulgaria, Volga-Kama Bulgaria, Pannonian Bulgaria, Old Great Bulgaria, Caucasian Bulgaria, and Middle-Asia Bulgaria. At least a dozen of possible areas of settlement can be found with ancient authors. The map of Bulgarian presence on the face of Eurasia is swelling and the possible area of their physical presence and cultural influence stretches from the Japanese Sea to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Northern Sea to Central India.
This nation is one of the few in the history of Eurasia to practice combined economy. The survival of Bulgarians roots in the organization and discipline during forced migration and the flexibility to changes in the environment, their adaptability to climate impact, and keeping supply reserves during warfare and during migration. The conclusion was that Bulgarians could live settled in camps, as well as like Nomads, they were stock-breeders and tillers, hunters and fishermen, both plain people living close to rivers and close to sea shores, and mountaineers (which was underlined time and again in Indian, Byzantine, and Arab sources) – what they most probably used to be in their homeland.
For 120 years the world has been rediscovering the Bulgarians and they embed permanently among the first European peoples to create statehood surviving even today. Nevertheless, there is plenty of unsolved scientific issues, the most important of them being the issue about the genesis of Bulgarian kin, its language and land of origin. The purpose of this book is to reveal and structure evidence on this issue.
The present research pays particular attention to the uniqueness of Bulgarian migrations. Bulgarians have always moved on the edge of great geographic, political and cultural areas: Asia and Europe; the high mountain and the plain; Persia and India; the Chinese Empire and the steppes; the ‘Scythian Quadrangle’ and Byzantium; the remains of the Roman Empire and the ‘Slavic Sea’. Using this tactics they managed to create their own statehood several times, one of which differentiated on the greatest European crossroads still exists at present. The military skills of Bulgarians were crucial. Evidenced many times after being mentioned for the first time on the map of Europe, they boasted the glory of an invincible people. Enlisted only statistically, the years of their presence were from 338 AD to 681 AD – when Danube Bulgaria was established as a direct territorial and rulers’ successor of Caucasian Bulgaria and Old Great Bulgaria.