The Voices of Medieval Bulgaria, Seventh-Fifteenth Century

The Records of a Bygone Culture


This volume is the first comprehensive collection to gather together the records of the medieval Bulgarian centuries in English translation. Stone annals, works of religious instruction, anti-heretical treatises, apocrypha, royal charters, as well as numerous graffiti and marginal notes, shed abundant light onto a major cultural tradition of the European southeast from the seventh to the fifteenth century. Produced by Bulgarians of all walks of life, the evidence testifies, among other things, to the unique features of Bulgarian historical consciousness, political custom, and religious sensibility as well as the country’s conformity to the broad currents of medieval Europe’s cultural development and evolution. The volume furnishes a fundamental reading for all those interested in the historical destiny of the “other” Europe.
No Access


EUR €177.00USD $221.00

Biographical Note

Kiril Petkov, Ph.D. in Medieval Bulgarian and Southeastern European History (Sofia, 1994) and Medieval and Early Modern Western European History (NYU, 2002) is Professor of Mediterranean History at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He has published several articles and two books.

Review Quotes

"...Altogether, this is a most valuable work which can only add lustre to the new Brill series in which it sits, East Central and Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages (General Editor: Florin Curta)..."
Martyn Rady, Slavonic and East European Review (vol. 89, no. 1, January 2011).

Table of contents

Acknowledgements ... vii
Abbreviations ... ix
Introduction ... xi

Part One: Pagan Period, Ca. 600–864—Migrations, Settlement, and Consolidation of the State
(Documents 1–33)
Seals ... 1
Stone Annals ... 3
Middle Bulgarian Records of Persecution of Christians under the Pagan Rulers ... 13
Legislation ... 15
Traditional Culture ... 24

Part Two: Conversion, Expansion, Political Ideology, and Social Conditions during the First Bulgarian Tsardom, 864–1018
(Documents 34–102)
Seals ... 33
Stone Annals and Inscriptions ... 36
Graffiti and Inscriptions from Ecclesiastical Foundations ... 40
Historical Accounts ... 42
Diplomatic Records ... 46
Law ... 48
Instruction in Christianity and Polemics ... 54
Heresy and its Suppression ... 68
Political Ideology ... 89
Saints’ Lives and Eulogies ... 93
Monasticism ... 110
Popular Culture and Vestiges of Paganism ... 118

Part Three: Byzantine Rule in the Bulgarian Lands, 1018–1185
(Documents 103–121)
Seals of Bulgarian Nobility in Byzantine Service ... 141
Saints’ Lives ... 141
Popular Culture: Annals, Visions, Prophesies ... 194
Varia ... 212

Part Four: Restoration, Expansion, Decline, and Conquest: Second Bulgarian Tsardom, 1185–1396
(Documents 122–253)
Seals and Rings ... 217
Political Treaties and Diplomatic Correspondence ... 219
Ecclesiastical Records and Annals ... 244
Saints’ Lives and Eulogies ... 262
Stone Annals, Inscriptions, and Graffiti ... 425
Annals, Historical Records, and Marginal Notes with Historical Content ... 436
Royal Ideology ... 467
Charters ... 478
Notary Records ... 508
Scribal and Marginal Notes ... 509
Varia ... 516
Apocrypha ... 521
Popular Culture and Belief ... 535

Maps ... 545
Select Bibliography ... 549
Index ... 565


All those interested in medieval history, Slavic literatures, epigraphics, the culture of Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, as well as students of Byzantine and Eastern Mediterranean history.


Collection Information