- History of Bulgaria
The History of Bulgaria as a separate country began in
632 ADwith the establishment of Old Great Bulgaria, which stretched from east of the Sea of Azovto the shores of the Danube River. While Old Great Bulgaria was disintegrating due to Khazarexpansion from the east, the Bulgar leader Asparuhcrossed south of the Danube, into the territory of present-day Bulgaria, and defeated the armies of the Byzantine Empire. In 680/681, the East Roman Emperor was forced to sign a peace treaty recognizing the First Bulgarian Empireas an independent state situated on the conquered Byzantine lands with their local Slavic populations.
A country in the middle of the ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse
Balkan Peninsula, Bulgariahas seen many twists and turns in its long history and has been a prospering empire stretching to the coastlines of the Black, Aegean and Adriatic Seas. The First and Second Bulgarian Empires served as cultural centres of Slavic Europe, but the land was also dominated by foreign states twice in its history, once by the Byzantine Empire(1018 - 1185) and once by the Ottoman Empire(1422 - 1878).
Prehistoric cultures include the neolithic
Hamangia cultureand Vinča culture(6th to 3rd millennia BC), the eneolithic Varna culture(5th millennium BC, Varna Necropolis), and the Bronze Age Ezero culture. The Karanovo chronologyserves as a gauge for the prehistory of the wider Balkans region.
Indo-European tribes Thracian and
Daco-Getic population, lived on the territory of modern Bulgaria before the Slavic invasion. Their ancient languages had already gone extinct before the arrival of the Slavs Dubious|date=March 2008, and their cultural influence was highly reduced due to the repeated barbaric invasions on the Balkans during the early Middle Agesby Huns, Goths, Celtsand Sarmatians, accompanied by persistent hellenization, romanisationand later slavicisation.
The Slavs emerged from their original homeland (most commonly thought to have been in
Eastern Europe) in the early 6th century, and spread to most of the eastern Central Europe, Eastern Europe and the Balkans, thus forming three main branches - the West Slavs, the East Slavsand the South Slavs. The easternmost South Slavs settled on the territory of modern Bulgaria during the 6th Century.
The Bulgars (also "Bolgars" or "proto-Bulgarians" [The term "proto-Bulgarians" was introduced after WWII.] ) were a seminomadic people, probably of Turkic descent [Encyclopaedia Britannica Online - [http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9018006/Bulgar "Bulgars"] ] , originally from
Central Asia, who from the 2nd centuryonwards dwelled in the steppes north of the Caucasusand around the banks of river Volga(then Itil). A branch of them gave rise to the First Bulgarian Empire. The Bulgarswere governed by hereditary khans. There were several aristocratic families whose members, bearing military titles, formed a governing class. Bulgars were monotheistic, worshipping their supreme deity Tangra.
Old Great Bulgaria
In the 632, the Bulgars, led by Khan(also Han and Kan)
Kubratformed an independent state, often called Great Bulgaria(also known as Onoguria), between the lower course of the Danuberiver to the west, the Black Seaand the Azov Seato the south, the Kubanriver to the east, and the Donets river to the north. The capital was Phanagoria, on the Azov.
One Bulgar tribe, led by Khan
Asparuh, the successor of Khan Kubrat, moved west, occupying today’s southern Bessarabia. Another Bulgar horde, led by Asparuh's brother Kubercame from Ukraine to settle in Syrmiaand Pannonia. After a successful war with Byzantiumin 680, Asparuh’s khanate conquered east part of Moesiaand Dobrudzhaand was recognised as an independent state under the subsequent treaty signed with the Byzantine Empirein 681. That year is usually regarded as the year of the establishment of present-day Bulgariaand Asparuh is regarded as the first Bulgarian ruler.
But another theory suggests that the date may be considered 632, since the state of Great Bulgaria may have been continuous within the Dunabian Bulgarian state. The theory is that although Great Bulgaria lost much territory to the Khazars, it managed to defeat them in the early 670s, and Khan Asparuh conquered Moesia and Dobrudzha from Byzantium in 680.
There is not enough information about Kuber and his people following the settlement in the western Balkans but there is evidence to suggest that Asparuh's son, Tervel, in the beginning of the 8th century, have cooperated with "his uncles" from Macedonia. [ Веселин Бешевлиев, "Първобългарски надписи", Издателство на Българската академия на науките, София, 1979, стр. 94 / "Protobulgarian inscriptions", Publishing house of the
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, 1979, p. 94] By the early 9th century the lands, settled by the Kuber's horde, were incorporated into the First Bulgarian Empire.
First Bulgarian Empire
During the late
Roman Empire, the land of present-day Bulgaria was organised in several Roman provinces: Scythia(Scythia Minor), Moesia(Upper and Lower), Thrace, Macedonia (First and Second), Dacia(Coastal and Inner, both south of Danube), Dardania, Rhodopeand Hemimont, and had a mixed population of Greeks, Thraciansand Dacians, most of whom spoke either Greek or a Latin-derived language known as Romance. Several consecutive waves of Slavic migration throughout the 6th and the early 7th century led to a dramatic change of the demographics of the region and its almost complete Slavicisation.
Under the warrior Khan Krum (
802- 814), Bulgaria expanded northwest and south, occupying the lands between the middle Danube and Moldova rivers, all of present-day Romania, Sofiain 809 and Adrianoplein 813, and threatening Constantinopleitself. Krum implemented law reform intending to reduce poverty and strengthen social ties in his vastly enlarged state.
During the reign of Khan Omurtag (814-831), the northwestern boundaries with the Frankish Empire were firmly settled along the middle Danube. A magnificent palace, pagan temples, ruler's residence, fortress, citadel, water-main and bath were built in the Bulgarian capital
Pliska, mainly of stone and brick.
Under Boris I, Bulgarians became Christians, and the
Ecumenical Patriarchagreed to allow an autonomous Bulgarian Archbishop at Pliska. Missionaries from Constantinople, Cyril and Methodius, devised the Glagolitic alphabet, which was adopted in the Bulgarian Empire around 886. The alphabet and the Old Bulgarianlanguage gave rise to a rich literary and cultural activity centered around the Preslav and Ohrid Literary Schools, established by order of Boris I in 886.
In the early 10th century, a new alphabet — the
Cyrillic alphabet— was developed at the Preslav Literary School, based on the Greek and the Glagolitic cursive. An alternative theory is that the alphabet was devised at the Ohrid Literary School by Saint Climent of Ohrid, a Bulgarian scholar and disciple of Cyril and Methodius.
By the late 9th and early 10th centuries, Bulgaria extended to Epirus and
Thessalyin the south, Bosnia in the west and controlled all of present-day Romania and eastern Hungary to the north. A Serbian state came into existence as a dependency of the Bulgarian Empire. Under Tsar Simeon I of Bulgaria(Simeon the Great), who was educated in Constantinople, Bulgaria became again a serious threat to the Byzantine Empire. Simeon hoped to take Constantinople and become emperor of both Bulgarians and Greeks, and fought a series of wars with the Byzantines through his long reign (893-927). The war boundary towards the end of his rule reached Peloponnesein the south. Simeon proclaimed himself " Tsar(Caesar) of the Bulgarians and the Greeks," a title which was recognised by the Pope, but not of course by the Byzantine Emperor.
Byzantium ruled Bulgaria from 1018 to 1185, subordinating the independent
Bulgarian Orthodox Churchto the authority of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople but otherwise interfering little in Bulgarian local affairs.
After the death of the soldier-emperor Basil II, the empire entered into a period of instability. There were rebellions against Byzantine rule in 1040-41 at the wars with the Normans and the 1070s and the 1080s, at the time of the wars with the Seljuk Turks. After that the
Komnenos dynastycame into succession and reversed the decline of the empire. During this time the empire experienced a century of stability and progress, though it was the time of the Crusades.
In 1180 the last of the capable Komnenas - Manuel I Komnenas died, and was replaced by the relatively incompetent Angeloi dynasty, allowing Bulgarians to regain their freedom.
econd Bulgarian Empire
In 1185 Peter and Asen, leading nobles of supposed and contested Bulgarian, Cuman, Vlach or mixed origin, led a revolt against Byzantine rule and Peter declared himself Tsar Peter II (also known as Theodore Peter). The following year the Byzantines were forced to recognize Bulgaria's independence. Peter styled himself "Tsar of the Bulgars, Greeks and
Resurrected Bulgaria occupied the territory between the
Black Sea, the Danubeand Stara Planina, including a part of eastern Macedonia and the valley of the Morava. It also exercised control over Wallachiaand Moldova. Tsar Kaloyan(1197-1207) entered a union with the Papacy, thereby securing the recognition of his title of " Rex" although he desired to be recognized as " Emperor" or " Tsar". He waged wars on the Byzantine Empireand (after 1204) on the Knights of the Fourth Crusade, conquering large parts of Thrace, the Rhodopes, as well as the whole of Macedonia. The power of the Hungarians and to some extent the Serbs prevented significant expansion to the west and northwest. Under Ivan Asen II (1218-1241), Bulgaria once again became a regional power, occupying Belgradeand Albania. In an inscription from Turnovo in 1230 he entitled himself "In Christ the Lord faithful Tsar and autocrat of the Bulgarians, son of the old Asen". The Bulgarian Orthodox Patriarchatewas restored in 1235 with approval of all eastern Patriarchates, thus putting an end to the union with the Papacy. Ivan Asen II had a reputation as a wise and humane ruler, and opened relations with the Catholicwest, especially Veniceand Genoa, to reduce the influence of the Byzantines over his country.
However, weakened 14th-century Bulgaria was no match for a new threat from the south, the Ottoman Turks, who crossed into Europe in 1354. In 1362 they captured
Philippopolis( Plovdiv), and in 1382 they took Sofia. The Ottomans then turned their attentions to the Serbs, whom they routed at Kosovo Polje in 1389. In 1393 the Ottomans occupied Turnovoafter a three-month siege. It is thought that the south gate was opened from inside and so the Ottomans managed to enter the fortress. In 1396 the Kingdom (Tsardom) of Vidinwas also occupied, bringing the Second Bulgarian Empire and Bulgarian independence to an end.
The Ottomans reorganised the Bulgarian territories as the Beyerlik of Rumili, ruled by a
Beylerbeyat Sofia. This territory, which included Moesia, Thraceand Macedonia, was divided into several " sanjaks", each ruled by a Sanjakbey accountable to the Beylerbey. Significant part of the conquered land was parcelled out to the Sultan's followers, who held it as feudal fiefs (small "timars", medium "ziyamet" and large "hases") directly from him. That category of land could not be sold or inherited, but reverted to the Sultan when the fiefholder died. The rest of the lands were organized as private possessions of the Sultan or Ottoman nobility, called "mülk", and also as economic base for religious foundations, called "vakιf". Bulgarians gave multiple regularly paid taxes as a tithe ("yushur"), a capitation tax ("dzhizie"), a land tax ("ispench"), a levy on commerce and so on and also various group of irregularly collected taxes, products and corvees ("avariz").
The Ottomans did not normally require the Christians to become Muslims. Nevertheless, there were many cases of individual or mass forced islamization, especially in the
Rhodopes. Non-Muslims did not serve in the Sultan's army. The exception to this were some groups of the population with specific statute, usually used for auxiliary or rear services, and the famous "tribute of children" (or blood tax), also known as the " devsirme", whereby every fifth young boy was taken to be trained as a warrior of the Empire. These boys went through harsh religious and military training that turned them into an elite corps subservient to the Sultan. They made up the corps of Janissaries("yenicheri" or "new force"), an elite unit of the Ottoman army.
Bulgarian nationalism emerged in the early 19th century under the influence of western ideas such as
liberalismand nationalism, which trickled into the country after the French Revolution, mostly via Greece. The Greek revolt against the Ottomans which began in 1821 (see History of Ottoman Greece), also influenced the small Bulgarian educated class. But Greek influence was limited by the general Bulgarian resentment of Greek control of the Bulgarian Church, and it was the struggle to revive an independent Bulgarian Church which first roused Bulgarian nationalist sentiment. In 1870 a Bulgarian Exarchatewas created by a Sultan edict, and the first Bulgarian Exarch ( Antim I) became the natural leader of the emerging nation. The Constantinople Patriarch reacted by excommunicating the Bulgarian Exarchate, which reinforced their will for independence.
In April 1876 the Bulgarians revolted in the so-called
April Uprising. The revolt was poorly organized and started before the planned date. It was largely confined to the region of Plovdiv, though certain districts in northern Bulgaria, in Macedonia and in the area of Slivenalso took part in it. The uprising was crushed with cruelty by the Ottomans who also brought irregular Ottoman troops ( bashi-bazouks) from outside the area. Countless villages were pillaged and tens of thousands of people were massacred, the majority of them in the insurgents towns of Batak, Perushtitsaand Bratsigovoin the area of Plovdiv. The massacres aroused a broad public reaction led by liberal Europeans such as William Gladstone, who launched a campaign against the "Bulgarian Horrors". The campaign was supported by a number of European intellectuals and public figures. The strongest reaction, however, came from Russia. The enormous public outcry which the April Uprisinghad caused in Europegave the Russians a long-waited chance to realise their long-term objectives with regard to the Ottoman Empire.
Having its reputation at stake, Russia had no other choice but to declare war on the Ottomans in April 1877. The Bulgarians also fought alongside the advancing Russians. The Coalition was able to inflict a decisive defeat on the Ottomans at the
Battle of Shipka Passand at Pleven, and, by January 1878 they had liberated much of the Bulgarian lands.
Kingdom of Bulgaria
Treaty of San Stefanoof March 3, 1878provided for an independent Bulgarian state, which spanned over the geographical regions of Moesia, Thraceand Macedonia. However, trying to preserve the balance of power in Europe and fearing the establishment of a large Russian client state on the Balkans, the other Great Powerswere reluctant to agree to the treaty.
As a result, the Treaty of Berlin (1878), under the supervision of
Otto von Bismarckof Germanyand Benjamin Disraeliof Britain, revised the earlier treaty, and scaled back the proposed Bulgarian state. An autonomous Principality of Bulgaria was created, between the Danube and the Stara Planinarange, with its seat at the old Bulgarian capital of Veliko Turnovo, and including Sofia. This state was to be under nominal Ottoman sovereignty but was to be ruled by a prince elected by a congress of Bulgarian notables and approved by the Powers. They insisted that the Prince could not be a Russian, but in a compromise Prince Alexander of Battenberg, a nephew of Tsar Alexander II, was chosen. An autonomous Ottoman province under the name of Eastern Rumeliawas created south of the Stara Planinarange. The Bulgarians in Macedonia and Eastern Thracewere left under the rule of the Sultan. Some Bulgarian territories were also given to Serbia and Romania.
1911the Nationalist Prime Minister, Ivan Geshov, formed an alliance with Greece and Serbia to jointly attack the Ottomans. In February 1912a secret treaty was signed between Bulgaria and Serbia, and in May 1912a similar treaty with Greece. Montenegrowas also brought into the pact. The treaties provided for the partition of Macedonia and Thrace between the allies, although the lines of partition were left dangerously vague. After the Ottomans refused to implement reforms in the disputed areas, the First Balkan War broke out in October 1912. The allies defeated the Ottomans. (See Balkan Wars.)
Bulgaria sustained the heaviest casualties of any of the allies, and so felt entitled to the largest share of the spoils. The Serbs in particular did not agree, and refused to vacate any of the territory they had seized in northern Macedonia (that is, the territory roughly corresponding to the modern
Republic of Macedonia), saying that the Bulgarian army had failed to accomplish its pre-war goals at Adrianople (to capture it without Serbian help) and that the pre-war agreement on the division of Macedonia had to be revised. Some circles in Bulgaria inclined toward going to war with Serbia and Greece on this issue.
1913Serbia and Greece formed a new alliance against Bulgaria. The Serbian Prime Minister, Nikola Pasic, told Greece it could have Thrace if Greece helped Serbia keep Bulgaria out of Serbian part of Macedonia, and the Greek Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelosagreed. Seeing this as a violation of the pre-war agreements, and discretely encouraged by Germanyand Austria-Hungary, Tsar Ferdinand declared war on Serbia and Greece and the Bulgarian army attacked on June 29. The Serbian and the Greek forces were initially on the retreat on the western border, but soon took the upper hand and forced Bulgaria to retreat. The fighting was very harsh, with many casualties, especially during the key Battle of Bregalnitsa. Soon Romania entered the war and attacked Bulgaria from the north. The Ottoman Empire also attacked from the south-east.
The war was now definitely lost for Bulgaria, which had to abandon most of its claims of Macedonia to Serbia and Greece, while the revived Ottomans retook Adrianople.
Romaniatook southern Dobruja.
World War I
In the aftermath of the Balkan Wars, Bulgarian opinion turned against Russia and the western powers, whom the Bulgarians felt had done nothing to help them. The government of
Vasil Radoslavovaligned Bulgaria with the German Empireand Austria-Hungary, even though this meant becoming an ally of the Ottomans, Bulgaria's traditional enemy. But Bulgaria now had no claims against the Ottomans, whereas Serbia, Greece and Romania (allies of Britain and France) held lands perceived in Bulgaria as Bulgarian.
Bulgaria sat out the first year of
World War I, recuperating from the Balkan Wars. But when Germany promised to restore the boundaries of the Treaty of San Stefano, Bulgaria, which had the largest army in the Balkans, declared war on Serbia in October 1915. Britain, France and Italy then declared war on Bulgaria.
In alliance with
Germany, Austria-Hungaryand the Ottomans, Bulgaria won military victories against Serbia and Romania, occupying much of Macedonia (taking Skopjein October), advancing into Greek Macedonia, and taking Dobruja from Romania in September 1916.
But the war soon became unpopular with most Bulgarians, who suffered great economic hardship and also disliked fighting their fellow Orthodox Christians in alliance with the Muslim Ottomans. The Agrarian Party leader,
Aleksandur Stamboliyski, was imprisoned for his opposition to the war. The Russian Revolution of February 1917had a great effect in Bulgaria, spreading antiwar and anti-monarchist sentiment among the troops and in the cities. In June Radoslavov's government resigned. Mutinies broke out in the army, Stamboliyski was released and a republic was proclaimed.
World War II
Upon the outbreak of World War II, the government of the
Kingdom of Bulgariaunder Bogdan Filovdeclared a position of neutrality, being determined to observe it until the end of the war, but hoping for bloodless territorial gains, especially in the lands with a significant Bulgarian population occupied by neighbouring countries after the Second Balkan Warand World War I. But it was clear that the central geopolitical position of Bulgaria in the Balkans would inevitably lead to strong external pressure by both sides of World War II. Turkeyhad a non-aggression pactwith Bulgaria.
Bulgaria succeeded in negotiating a recovery of
Southern Dobruja, part of Romaniasince 1913, in the Axis-sponsored Treaty of Craiovaon 7 September 1940, which reinforced Bulgarian hopes for solving territorial problems without direct involvement in the war.
But Bulgaria was forced to join the Axis powers in 1941, when German troops who were preparing to invade
Greecefrom Romania reached the Bulgarian borders and demanded permission to pass through Bulgarian territory. Threatened by direct military confrontation, Tsar Boris III had no choice but to join the fascist bloc, which officially happened on 1 March1941. There was little popular opposition, since the Soviet Unionwas in a non-aggression pact with Germany.The current king however refused the handing over of Jews to the Nazis, saving some 50,000 lives.
People's Republic of Bulgaria
Main|History of the People's Republic of Bulgaria During this time (1944-1989), the country was known as the "People's Republic of Bulgaria" (PRB) and was ruled by the
Bulgarian Communist Party(BCP). The BCP transformed itself in 1990, changing its name to " Bulgarian Socialist Party", and is currently part of the governing coalition government.
Although Dimitrov had been in exile, mostly in the Soviet Union, since 1923, he was far from being a Soviet puppet. He had shown great courage in Nazi Germany during the
Reichstag Firetrial of 1933, and had later headed the Cominternduring the period of the Popular Front. He was also close to the Yugoslav Communist leader Tito, and believed that Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, as closely related South Slav peoples, should form a federation. This idea was not favoured by Stalin, and there have long been suspicions that Dimitrov's sudden death in July 1949 was not accidental, although this has never been proven. It coincided with Stalin's expulsion of Tito from the Cominform, and was followed by a "Titoist" witchhunt in Bulgaria. This culminated in the show trialand execution of the Deputy Prime Minister, Traicho Kostov. The elderly Kolarov died in 1950, and power then passed to an extreme Stalinist, Vulko Chervenkov.
Bulgaria's Stalinist phase lasted less than five years. Agriculture was collectivised and peasant rebellions crushed. Labor camps were set up and at the height of the repression housed about 100,000 people. The Orthodox Patriarch was confined to a monastery and the Church placed under state control. In 1950 diplomatic relations with the U.S. were broken off. The Turkish minority was persecuted, and border disputes with Greece and Yugoslavia revived. The country lived in a state of fear and isolation. But Chervenkov's support base even in the Communist Party was too narrow for him to survive long once his patron, Stalin, was gone. Stalin died in March 1953, and in March 1954 Chervenkov was deposed as Party Secretary with the approval of the new leadership in Moscow and replaced by
Todor Zhivkov. Chervenkov stayed on as Prime Minister until April 1956, when he was finally dismissed and replaced by Anton Yugov.
Republic of Bulgaria
By the time the impact of
Mikhail Gorbachev's reform program in the Soviet Union was felt in Bulgaria in the late 1980s, the Communists, like their leader, had grown too feeble to resist the demand for change for long. In November 1989 demonstrations on ecological issues were staged in Sofia, and these soon broadened into a general campaign for political reform. The Communists reacted by deposing the decrepit Zhivkov and replacing him with Petar Mladenov, but this gained them only a short respite. In February 1990 the Party voluntarily gave up its claim on power and in June 1990 the first free elections since 1931 were held, won by the moderate wing of the Communist Party, renamed the Bulgarian Socialist Party. In July 1991 a new Constitution was adopted, in which there was a weak elected President and a Prime Minister accountable to the legislature.
Like the other post-Communist regimes in Eastern Europe, Bulgaria found the transition to capitalism more painful than expected. The anti-Communist Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) took office and between 1992 and 1994 carried through the privatisation of land and industry through the issue of shares in government enterprises to all citizens, but these were accompanied by massive unemployment as uncompetitive industries failed and the backward state of Bulgaria's industry and infrastructure were revealed. The Socialists portrayed themselves as the defender of the poor against the excesses of the free market. The reaction against economic reform allowed
Zhan Videnovof the BSP to take office in 1995. But by 1996 the BSP government was also in difficulties, and in the presidential elections of that year the UDF's Petar Stoyanovwas elected. In 1997 the BSP government collapsed and the UDF came to power. Unemployment, however, remained high and the electorate became increasingly dissatisfied with both parties.
A number of prominent personalities in Bulgarian history are commemorated by having their names given to geographical features in
List of Bulgarian monarchs
Bulgarian Orthodox Church
History of the Balkans
History of Europe
List of Bulgarian toponyms in Antarctica
Medieval Bulgarian royal charters
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* Nikolai Todorov. "Short history of Bulgaria" (1921)
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Michael Bar-Zohar. "Beyond Hitler's Grasp: The Heroic Rescue of Bulgaria's Jews"
* Alexenia Dimitrova. "The Iron Fist: Inside the Bulgarian secret archives"
Stephane Groueff. "Crown of Thorns: The Reign of King Boris III of Bulgaria, 1918–1943"
Tzvetan Todorov"The Fragility of Goodness: Why Bulgaria's Jews Survived the Holocaust"
* Tzvetan Todorov. "Voices from the Gulag: Life and Death in Communist Bulgaria"
* John D. Bell, ed. "Bulgaria in Transition: Politics, Economics, Society, and Culture after Communism" (1998) [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=98671779 online edition]
* 12 Myths in Bulgarian History/ [by] Bozhidar Dimitrov; Published by "KOM Foundation," Sofia, 2005.
* The 7th Ancient Civilizations in Bulgaria [The Golden Prehistoric Civilization, Civilization of Thracians and Macedonians, Hellenistic Civilization, Roman [Empire] Civilization, Byzantine [Empire] Civilization, Bulgarian Civilization, Islamic Civilization] / [by] Bozhidar Dimitrov; Published by "KOM Foundation," Sofia, 2005 (108 p.)
* [http://www.bulgaria.com/history/bulgaria/index.html History of Bulgaria by Prof. Bozhidar Dimitrov]
* [http://www.bulgarian-guide.com/about-bulgaria/bulgaria-history/ History of Bulgaria]
* [http://www.bgns.net/Bg/otech/history/sredna/maps.html Historical maps of medieval Bulgaria (in Bulgarian)]
* [http://www.bgns.net/Bg/otech/history/turigo/maps.html Historical maps of Bulgaria under Ottoman rule (1396-1878)]
* [http://www.bgns.net/Bg/otech/history/nova/maps.html Historical maps of modern Bulgaria (in Bulgarian)]
* [http://vlib.iue.it/history/europe/bulgaria.html WWW-VL: History: Bulgaria]
* [http://members.lycos.co.uk/rre/History-Seven.html Essential History of Bulgaria in Seven Pages]
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