By R. J. Crampton
Richard Crampton offers a common creation to Bulgaria on the cross-roads of Christendom and Islam. This concise historical past lines the country's progress from pre-history, via its days because the heart of a strong medieval empire and 5 centuries of Ottoman rule, to the political upheavals of the 20th century which ended in 3 wars. It highlights 1995 to 2004, an essential interval in which Bulgaria persisted monetary meltdown, set itself heavily at the street to reform, elected its former King as major minister, and at last secured club in NATO and admission to the eu Union. First variation Hb (1997) 0-521-56183-3 First variation Pb (1997) 0-521-56719-X
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Additional resources for A Concise History of Bulgaria (2006) (Cambridge Concise Histories)
This almost constant warfare inevitably weakened the state. There were also important internal explanations for the decline of Bulgarian power. Throughout the country there had been if not the expectation then at least the hope that the new reign would bring about a return to the golden days of peace. This illusion was shattered by the Magyar invasions. The disappointed nobility dreamed of a return to the old days, whilst the increasingly Byzantinified court harboured is own solutions. The church, meanwhile, fell to corruption and self-enrichment.
As Ottoman society evolved its trade became dominated by the Greeks, Jews and Armenians, though in the seventeenth century Bulgarian traders were active as far afield as Transylvania, even if many of them were described as or even called themselves ‘Greek’. Ottoman rule 37 The centres of Ottoman towns were generally occupied by administrative or military buildings, but in the surrounding areas were the mahalla or small urban districts. These were frequently based on ethnic identity, sometimes on occupation, and infrequently on both: in some larger towns, therefore, there would be a Christian shoemakers’ and a Muslim shoe-makers’ district.
They did not realise that all Orthodox Christians were not ‘Greeks’, that the Bulgarians and the Serbs had had their own national churches with a fully developed system of ecclesiastic administration and their own distinctive forms of liturgy and religious art. Because the Greeks for much of the Ottoman rule 33 period of Ottoman rule dominated the Orthodox church, the nonGreeks were in effect second-class citizens in a second-class millet. In its heyday the military power of the empire was based on the timar.
A Concise History of Bulgaria (2006) (Cambridge Concise Histories) by R. J. Crampton