Guide Britannica Discovery Library Volume 4 - The World Around Us

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Branches to Samovit and Rustchuk establish connexion with the Rumanian railway system on the opposite side of the river. It was hoped, with the consent of the Turkish government, to extend the line Sofia-Radomir-Kiustendil to Uskub, and thus to secure a direct route to Salonica and the Aegean. Road communication is still in an unsatisfactory condition. Roads are divided into three classes: "state roads," or main highways, maintained by the government; "district roads" maintained by the district councils; and "inter-village roads" mezhduselski shosseta , maintained by the communes.

There are no canals, and inland navigation is confined to the Danube. The Austrian Donaudampschiffahrtsgesellschaft and the Russian Gagarine steamship company compete for the river traffic; the grain trade is largely served by steamers belonging to Greek merchants.

The coasting trade on the Black Sea is carried on by a Bulgarian steamship company; the steamers of the Austrian Lloyd, and other foreign companies call at Varna, and occasionally at Burgas. The development of postal and telegraphic communication has been rapid. In , 1,, letters were posted, in , 29,, In there were m. Plovdiv , pop.

Shumen , 22,; Plevna Bulg. Svishtov , 13,; Burgas, 12,; Kiustendil, 12,; Trnovo, the ancient capital, 12, All these are described in separate articles. According to the census of the 12th of January , the population of northern Bulgaria was 2,,; of Eastern Rumelia, 1,,; of united Bulgaria, 4,, or 88 per sq. Bulgaria thus ranks between Rumania and Portugal in regard to area; between the Netherlands and Switzerland in regard to population: in density of population it may be compared with Spain and Greece.

The first census of united Bulgaria was taken in it gave the total population as 3,, In January the population was 3,,; in January , 3,, The death-rate shows a tendency to rise. In the five years the mean death-rate was Infant mortality is high, especially among the peasants. As the less healthy infants rarely survive, the adult population is in general robust, hardy and long-lived. The census of January gives persons of years and upwards. Young men, as a rule, marry betore the age of twenty-five, girls before eighteen.

The number of illegitimate births is inconsiderable, averaging only 0. The population according to sex in is given as 1,, males and 1,, females, or 51 males to 49 females. A somewhat similar disparity may be observed in the other countries of the Peninsula. Classified according to occupation, 2,, persons, or The population according to race cannot be stated with absolute accuracy, but it is approximately shown by the census of , which gives the various nationalities according to language as follows:—Bulgars, 2,,; Turks, ,; Rumans, 71,; Greeks, 66,; Gipsies Tziganes , 89,; Jews Spanish speaking , 33,; Tatars, [v.

The Bulgarian inhabitants of the Peninsula beyond the limits of the principality may, perhaps, be estimated at 1,, or 1,,, and the grand total of the race possibly reaches 5,, The devastation of the country which followed the Turkish invasion resulted in the extirpation or flight of a large proportion of the Bulgarian inhabitants of the lowlands, who were replaced by Turkish colonists. The mountainous districts, however, retained their original population and sheltered large numbers of the fugitives. The passage of the Turkish armies during the wars with Austria, Poland and Russia led to further Bulgarian emigrations.

The flight to the Banat, where 22, Bulgarians still remain, took place in At the beginning of the 19th century the majority of the population of the Eastern Rumelian plain was Turkish. The Turkish colony, however, declined, partly in consequence of the drain caused by military service, while the Bulgarian remnant increased, notwithstanding a considerable emigration to Bessarabia before and after the Russo-Turkish campaign of Efforts were made by the Porte to strengthen the Moslem element by planting colonies of Tatars in and Circassians in The advance of the Russian army in caused an enormous exodus of the Turkish population, of which only a small proportion returned to settle permanently.

The emigration continued after the conclusion of peace, and is still in progress, notwithstanding the efforts of the Bulgarian government to arrest it. In twenty years , at least , Turkish peasants left Bulgaria. Much of the land thus abandoned still remains unoccupied. On the other hand, a considerable influx of Bulgarians from Macedonia, the vilayet of Adrianople, Bessarabia, and the Dobrudja took place within the same period, and the inhabitants of the mountain villages show a tendency to migrate into the richer districts of the plains.

The northern slopes of the Balkans from Belogradchik to Elena are inhabited almost exclusively by Bulgarians; in Eastern Rumelia the national element is strongest in the Sredna Gora and Rhodope. Possibly the most genuine representatives of the race are the Pomaks or Mahommedan Bulgarians, whose conversion to Islam preserved their women from the licence of the Turkish conqueror; they inhabit the highlands of Rhodope and certain districts in the neighbourhood of Lovtcha Lovetch and Plevna.

Retaining their Bulgarian speech and many ancient national usages, they may be compared with the indigenous Cretan, Bosnian and Albanian Moslems. The Pomaks in the principality are estimated at 26,, but their numbers are declining. In the north-eastern district between the Yantra and the Black Sea the Bulgarian race is as yet thinly represented; most of the inhabitants are Turks, a quiet, submissive, agricultural population, which unfortunately shows a tendency to emigrate.

The Black Sea coast is inhabited by a variety of races. The Greek element is strong in the maritime towns, and displays its natural aptitude for navigation and commerce. The valleys of the Maritza and Arda are occupied by a mixed population consisting of Bulgarians, Greeks and Turks; the principal Greek colonies are in Stanimaka, Kavakly and Philippopolis.

The considerable Vlach or Ruman colony in the Danubian districts dates from the 18th century, when large numbers of Walachian peasants sought a refuge on Turkish soil from the tyranny of the boyars or nobles: the department of Vidin alone contains 36 Ruman villages with a population of 30, The Tatars, a peaceable, industrious race, are chiefly found in the neighbourhood of Varna and Silistria; they were introduced as colonists by the Turkish government in They may be reckoned at 12, The gipsies, who are scattered in considerable numbers throughout the country, came into Bulgaria in the 14th century.

They are for the most part Moslems, and retain their ancient Indian speech. They live in the utmost poverty, occupy separate cantonments in the villages, and are treated as outcasts by the rest of the population. The Bulgarians, being of mixed origin, possess few salient physical characteristics. The Slavonic type is far less pronounced than among the kindred races; the Ugrian or Finnish cast of features occasionally asserts itself in the central Balkans. The face is generally oval, the nose straight, the jaw somewhat heavy. The men, as a rule, are rather below middle height, compactly built, and, among the peasantry, very muscular; the women are generally deficient in beauty and rapidly grow old.

The upper class, the so-called intelligenzia , is physically very inferior to the rural population. National Character. Less quick-witted than the Greeks, less prone to idealism than the Servians, less apt to assimilate the externals of civilization than the Rumanians, they possess in a remarkable degree the qualities of patience, perseverance and endurance, with the capacity for laborious effort peculiar to an agricultural race. The tenacity and determination with which they pursue their national aims may eventually enable them to vanquish their more brilliant competitors in the struggle for hegemony in the Peninsula.

Unlike most southern races, the Bulgarians are reserved, taciturn, phlegmatic, unresponsive, and extremely suspicious of foreigners. The peasants are industrious, peaceable and orderly; the vendetta, as it exists in Albania, Montenegro and Macedonia, and the use of the knife in quarrels, so common in southern Europe, are alike unknown. The tranquillity of rural life has, unfortunately, been invaded by the intrigues of political agitators, and bloodshed is not uncommon at elections. All classes practise thrift bordering on parsimony, and any display of wealth is generally resented.

The standard of sexual morality is high, especially in the rural districts; the unfaithful wife is an object of public contempt, and in former times was punished with death. Marriage ceremonies are elaborate and protracted, as is the case in most primitive communities; elopements are frequent, but usually take place with the consent of the parents on both sides, in order to avoid the expense of a regular wedding.

The Bulgarians are religious in a simple way, but not fanatical, and the influence of the priesthood is limited. Many ancient superstitions linger among the peasantry, such as the belief in the vampire and the evil eye; witches and necromancers are numerous and are much consulted. The king must profess the Orthodox faith, only the first elected sovereign and his immediate heir being released from this obligation. The legislative power is vested in the king in conjunction with the [v. In case of a minority or an interregnum, a regency of three persons is appointed.

The Sobranye is elected by manhood suffrage, in the proportion of 1 to 20, of the population, for a term of five years. Every Bulgarian citizen who can read and write and has completed his thirtieth year is eligible as a deputy.

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Annual sessions are held from the 27th of October to the 27th of December. All legislative and financial measures must first be discussed and voted by the Sobranye and then sanctioned and promulgated by the king. The government is responsible to the Sobranye, and the ministers, whether deputies or not, attend its sittings. The Grand Sobranye, which is elected in the proportion of 2 to every 20, inhabitants, is convoked to elect a new king, to appoint a regency, to sanction a change in the constitution, or to ratify an alteration in the boundaries of the kingdom.

The executive is entrusted to a cabinet of eight members—the ministers of foreign affairs and religion, finance, justice, public works, the interior, commerce and agriculture, education and war. Local administration, which is organized on the Belgian model, is under the control of the minister of the interior. The number of these functionaries is excessive. The four principal towns have each in addition a prefect of police gradonatchalnik and one or more commissaries pristav.

The gendarmery numbers about men, or 1 to of the inhabitants. The prefects and sub-prefects have replaced the Turkish mutessarifs and kaimakams ; but the system of municipal government, left untouched by the Turks, descends from primitive times. Each village, as a rule, forms a separate commune, but occasionally two or more villages are grouped together.

While the principality formed a portion of the Turkish empire, the privileges of the capitulations were guaranteed to foreign subjects Berlin Treaty, Art. The lowest civil and criminal court is that of the village kmet, whose jurisdiction is confined to the limits of the commune; no corresponding tribunal exists in the towns.

Each sub-prefecture and town has a justice of the peace—in some cases two or more; the number of these officials is Next follows the departmental tribunal or court of first instance, which is competent to pronounce sentences of death, penal servitude and deprivation of civil rights; in specified criminal cases the judges are aided by three assessors chosen by lot from an annually prepared panel of forty-eight persons.

Three courts of appeal sit respectively at Sofia, Rustchuk and Philippopolis. The highest tribunal is the court of cassation, sitting at Sofia, and composed of a president, two vice-presidents and nine judges. There is also a high court of audit vrkhovna smetna palata , similar to the French cour des comptes. The judges are poorly paid and are removable by the government. In regard to questions of marriage, divorce and inheritance the Greek, Mahommedan and Jewish communities enjoy their own spiritual jurisdiction. Army and Navy. In Eastern Rumelia during the same period the "militia" was instructed by foreign officers; after the union it was merged in the Bulgarian army.

The present organization is based on the law of the 1st of January In time of peace the active army i. The peace strength in was officers, 48, men and horses, the active army being composed of 9 divisions of infantry, each of 4 regiments, 5 regiments of cavalry together with 12 squadrons attached to the infantry divisions, 9 regiments of artillery each of 3 groups of 3 batteries, together with 2 groups of mountain artillery, each of 3 batteries, and 3 battalions of siege artillery; 9 battalions of engineers with 1 railway and balloon section and 1 bridging section. At the same date the army was locally distributed in nine divisional areas with headquarters at Sofia, Philippopolis, Sliven, Shumla, Rustchuk, Vratza, Plevna, Stara-Zagora and Dupnitza, the divisional area being subdivided into four districts, from each of which one regiment of four battalions was recruited and completed with reservists.

The war strength thus amounted to , of the active army and its reserve, exclusive of the five regiments of cavalry. The men of the reserve battalions are drafted into the active army as occasion requires, but the militia serves as a separate force. The Bulgarian peasant makes an admirable soldier—courageous, obedient, persevering, and inured to hardship; the officers are painstaking and devoted to their duties.

The active army and reserve, with the exception of the engineer regiments, are furnished with the. Krupp guns field and 6. Krupp mountain , 12 cm. Krupp and 15 cm. Creuzot Schneider howitzers, 15 cm. Krupp and 12 cm. Creuzot siege guns, and 7. Creuzot quick-firing guns; total of all description, Defensive works were constructed at various strategical points near the frontier and elsewhere, and at Varna and Burgas. The naval force consisted of a flotilla stationed at Rustchuk and Varna, where a canal connects Lake Devno with the sea.

It was composed in of 1 prince's yacht, 1 armoured cruiser, 3 gunboats, 3 torpedo boats and 10 other small vessels, with a complement of officers and men. It was, however, declared schismatic by the Greek patriarch of Constantinople in , although differing in no point of doctrine from the Greek Church. The exarch is elected by the Bulgarian episcopate, the Holy Synod, and a general assembly obshti sbor , in which the laity is represented; their choice, before the declaration of Bulgarian independence, was subject to the sultan's approval. The occupant of the dignity is titular metropolitan of a Bulgarian diocese.

The organization of the church within the principality was regulated [v. There are eleven eparchies or dioceses in the country, each administered by a metropolitan with a diocesan council; one diocese has also a suffragan bishop. Church government is vested in the Holy Synod, consisting of four metropolitans, which assembles once a year. The laity take part in the election of metropolitans and parish priests, only the "black clergy," or monks, being eligible for the episcopate. All ecclesiastical appointments are subject to the approval of the government.

There are parishes eporii in the kingdom with 9 archimandrites, parish priests and 21 deacons, 78 monasteries with monks, and 12 convents with nuns. The celebrated monastery of Rila possesses a vast estate in the Rilska Planina; its abbot or hegumen owns no spiritual superior but the exarch. The census of January gives 3,, persons of the Orthodox faith including 66, Patriarchist Greeks , , Mahommedans, 33, Jews, 28, Catholics, 13, Gregorian Armenians, Protestants and whose religion is not stated. The Greek Orthodox community has four metropolitans dependent on the patriarchate.

The Mahommedan community is rapidly diminishing; it is organized under 16 muftis who with their assistants receive a subvention from the government. The Catholics, who have two bishops, are for the most part the descendants of the medieval Paulicians; they are especially numerous in the neighbourhood of Philippopolis and Sistova. The Armenians have one bishop. The Protestants are mostly Methodists; since Bulgaria has been a special field of activity for American Methodist missionaries, who have established an important school at Samakov. The Berlin Treaty Art.

In the towns the schools were under the superintendence of the Greek clergy, and Greek was the language of instruction.


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After the Crimean War, Bulgarian schools began to appear in the villages of the Balkans and the south-eastern districts. The children of the wealthier class were generally educated abroad. The American institution of Robert College on the Bosporus rendered an invaluable service to the newly created state by providing it with a number of well-educated young men fitted for positions of responsibility.

In , after the liberation of the country, there were schools in the towns and villages.

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Primary education was declared obligatory from the first, but the scarcity of properly qualified teachers and the lack of all requisites proved serious impediments to educational organization. The government has made great efforts and incurred heavy expenditure for the spread of education; the satisfactory results obtained are largely due to the keen desire for learning which exists among the people.

The present educational system dates from Almost all the villages now possess "national" narodni primary schools, maintained by the communes with the aid of a state subvention and supervised by departmental and district inspectors. The state also assists a large number of Turkish primary schools.

The penalties for non-attendance are not very rigidly enforced, and it has been found necessary to close the schools in the rural districts during the summer, the children being required for labour in the fields. The age for primary instruction is six to ten years; in , In addition to the primary schools, 40 infant schools for children of 3 to 6 years of age were attended by pupils. In the system of secondary education the distinction between the classical and "real" or special course of study is maintained as in most European countries; in there were secondary schools and 18 gymnasia 10 for boys and 8 for girls.

In addition to these there are 6 technical and 3 agricultural schools; 5 of pedagogy, 1 theological, 1 commercial, 1 of forestry, 1 of design, 1 for surgeons' assistants, and a large military school at Sofia. Government aid is given to students of limited means, both for secondary education and the completion of their studies abroad. The university of Sofia, formerly known as the "high school," was reorganized in ; it comprises 3 faculties philology, mathematics and law , and possesses a staff of 17 professors and 25 lecturers.

The number of students in was The ancient Thraco-Illyrian race which inhabited the district between the Danube and the Aegean was expelled, or more probably absorbed, by the great Slavonic immigration which took place at various intervals between the end of the 3rd century after Christ and the beginning of the 6th. The numerous tumuli which are found in all parts of the country see Herodotus v. The Slavs, an agricultural people, were governed, even in those remote times, by the democratic local institutions to which they are still attached; they possessed no national leaders or central organization, and their only political unit was the pleme , or tribe.

They were considerably influenced by contact with Roman civilization. It was reserved for a foreign race, altogether distinct in origin, religion and customs, to give unity and coherence to the scattered Slavonic groups, and to weld them into a compact and powerful state which for some centuries played an important part in the history of eastern Europe and threatened the existence of the Byzantine empire.

The Bulgars. They were a horde of wild horsemen, fierce and barbarous, practising polygamy, and governed despotically by their khans chiefs and boyars or bolyars nobles. Their original abode was the tract between the Ural mountains and the Volga, where the kingdom of Great or Black Bolgary existed down to the 13th century. In , under their khan Asparukh or Isperikh , they crossed the Danube, and, after subjugating the Slavonic population of Moesia, advanced to the gates of Constantinople and Salonica. The East Roman emperors were compelled to cede to them the province of Moesia and to pay them an annual tribute.

The invading horde was not numerous, and during the next two centuries it became gradually merged in the Slavonic population. Like the Franks in Gaul the Bulgars gave their name and a political organization to the more civilized race which they conquered, but adopted its language, customs and local institutions. Not a trace of the Ugrian or Finnish element is to be found in the Bulgarian speech. This complete assimilation of a conquering race may be illustrated by many parallels.

Early Dynasties. The tribute first imposed on the Greeks by Asparukh was again exacted by Kardam and Krum , a sovereign noted alike for his cruelty and his military and political capacity. Under his rule the Bulgarian realm extended from the Carpathians to the neighbourhood of Adrianople; Serdica the present Sofia was taken, and the valley of the Struma conquered. The reign of Boris is memorable [v. Two monks of Salonica, SS. Cyril and Methodius, are generally reverenced as the national apostles; the scene of their labours, however, was among the Slavs of Moravia, and the Bulgars were evangelized by their disciples.

Boris, finding himself surrounded by Christian states, decided from political motives to abandon paganism. He was baptized in , the emperor Michael III. It was at this time that the controversies broke out which ended in the schism between the Churches of the East and West. Boris long wavered between Constantinople and Rome, but the refusal of the pope to recognize an autocephalous Bulgarian church determined him to offer his allegiance to the Greek patriarch.

The decision was fraught with momentous consequences for the future of the race. The nation altered its religion in obedience to its sovereign, and some of the boyars who resisted the change paid with their lives for their fidelity to the ancient belief. The independence of the Bulgarian church was recognized by the patriarchate, a fact much dwelt upon in recent controversies. The First Empire. In his reign, says Gibbon, "Bulgaria assumed a rank among the civilized powers of the earth.

After the death of Simeon the Bulgarian power declined owing to internal dissensions; the land was distracted by the Bogomil heresy see Bogomils , and a separate or western empire, including Albania and Macedonia, was founded at Ochrida by Shishman, a boyar from Trnovo. A notable event took place in , when the Russians, under Sviatoslav, made their first appearance in Bulgaria.

The Bulgarian tsar, Boris II. The empire at Ochrida, however, rose to considerable importance under Samuel, the son of Shishman , who conquered the greater part of the Peninsula, and ruled from the Danube to the Morea. The Bulgarian tsar was so overpowered by the spectacle that he died of grief. A few years later his dynasty finally disappeared, and for more than a century and a half the Bulgarian race remained subject to the Byzantine emperors.

The Second Empire. After a series of victorious campaigns he established his sway over Albania, Epirus, Macedonia and Thrace, and governed his wide dominions with justice, wisdom and moderation. In his time the nation attained a prosperity hitherto unknown: commerce, the arts and literature flourished; Trnovo, the capital, was enlarged and embellished; and great numbers of churches and monasteries were founded or endowed. Two other dynasties, both of Kuman origin, followed—the Terterovtzi, who ruled at Trnovo, and the Shishmanovtzi, who founded an independent state at Vidin, but afterwards reigned in the national capital.

Bulgaria, though still retaining its native rulers, now became subject to Servia, and formed part of the short-lived empire of Stephen Dushan The Servian hegemony vanished after the death of Dushan, and the Christian races of the Peninsula, distracted by the quarrels of their petty princes, fell an easy prey to the advancing might of the Moslem invader.

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The Turkish Conquest. In the rout of the Servians, Bosnians and Croats on the famous field of Kossovo decided the fate of the Peninsula. Shortly afterwards Ivan Shishman was attacked by the Turks; and Trnovo, after a siege of three months, was captured, sacked and burnt in The fate of the last Bulgarian sovereign is unknown: the national legend represents him as perishing in a battle near Samakov. Vidin, where Ivan's brother, Strazhimir, had established himself, was taken in , and with its fall the last remnant of Bulgarian independence disappeared.

The five centuries of Turkish rule form a dark epoch in Bulgarian history. The invaders carried fire and sword through the land; towns, villages and monasteries were sacked and destroyed, and whole districts were converted into desolate wastes. The inhabitants of the plains fled to the mountains, where they founded new settlements. Many of the nobles embraced the creed of Islam, and were liberally rewarded for their apostasy; others, together with numbers of the priests and people, took refuge across the Danube. All the regions formerly ruled by the Bulgarian tsars, including Macedonia and Thrace, were placed under the administration of a governor-general, styled the beylerbey of Rum-ili, residing at Sofia; Bulgaria proper was divided into the sanjaks of Sofia, Nikopolis, Vidin, Silistria and Kiustendil.

Only a small proportion of the people followed the example of the boyars in abandoning Christianity; the conversion of the isolated communities now represented by the Pomaks took place at various intervals during the next three centuries. A new kind of feudal system replaced that of the boyars, and fiefs or spahiliks were conferred on the Ottoman chiefs and the renegade Bulgarian nobles.

The Christian population was subjected to heavy imposts, the principal being the haratch , or capitation-tax, paid to the imperial treasury, and the tithe on agricultural produce, which was collected by the feudal lord. Among the most cruel forms of oppression was the requisitioning of young boys between the ages of ten and twelve, who were sent to Constantinople as recruits for the corps of janissaries. Notwithstanding the horrors which attended the Ottoman conquest, the condition of the peasantry during the first three centuries of Turkish government was scarcely worse than it had been under the tyrannical rule of the boyars.

The contemptuous indifference with which the Turks regarded the Christian rayas was not altogether to the disadvantage of the subject race. Military service was not exacted from the Christians, no systematic effort was made to extinguish either their religion or their language, and within certain limits they were allowed to retain their ancient local administration and the jurisdiction of their clergy in regard to inheritances and family affairs.

Some of them, such as Koprivshtitza in the Sredna Gora, attained great prosperity, which has somewhat declined since the establishment of the principality. While the Ottoman power was at its height the lot of the subject-races was far less intolerable than during the period of decadence, which began with the unsuccessful siege of Vienna in Their rights and privileges were respected, the law was enforced, commerce prospered, good roads were constructed, and the great caravans of the Ragusan merchants traversed the country.

A kind of guerilla warfare was, however, maintained in the mountains by the kaiduti , or outlaws, whose exploits, like those of the Greek klepkts , have been highly idealized in the popular folk-lore. As the power of the sultans declined anarchy spread through the Peninsula. In the earlier decades of the 18th century the Bulgarians suffered terribly from the ravages of the Turkish armies passing through the land during the wars with Austria. Towards its close their condition became even worse owing to the horrors perpetrated by the Krjalis, or troops of disbanded soldiers and desperadoes, who, in defiance of the Turkish authorities, roamed through the country, supporting themselves by plunder and committing every conceivable atrocity.

In Pasvanoglu, one of the chiefs of the Krjalis, established himself as an independent sovereign at Vidin, putting to flight three large Turkish armies which were despatched against him. This adventurer possessed many remarkable qualities. He adorned Vidin with handsome buildings, maintained order, levied taxes and issued a separate coinage.

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He died in The memoirs of Sofronii, bishop of Vratza, present a vivid picture of the condition of Bulgaria at this time. The National Revival. Disheartened by ages of oppression, isolated from Christendom by their geographical position, and cowed by the proximity of Constantinople, the Bulgarians took no collective part in the insurrectionary movement which resulted in the liberation of Servia and Greece.

The Russian invasions of and only added to their sufferings, and great numbers of fugitives took refuge in Bessarabia, annexed by Russia under the treaty of Bucharest.

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But the long-dormant national spirit now began to awake under the influence of a literary revival. The precursors of the movement were Paisii, a monk of Mount Athos, who wrote a history of the Bulgarian tsars and saints , and Bishop Sofronii, whose memoirs have been already mentioned. After several works written in modern Bulgarian began to appear, but the most important step was the foundation, in , of the first Bulgarian school at Gabrovo.

Within ten years at least 53 Bulgarian schools came into existence, and five Bulgarian printing-presses were at work. The literary movement led the way to a reaction against the influence and authority of the Greek clergy. The spiritual domination of the Greek patriarchate had tended more effectually than the temporal power of the Turks to the effacement of Bulgarian nationality.

The independent patriarchate of Trnovo was suppressed; that of Ochrida was subsequently Hellenized. The Phanariot clergy—unscrupulous, rapacious and corrupt—succeeded in monopolizing the higher ecclesiastical appointments and filled the parishes with Greek priests, whose schools, in which Greek was exclusively taught, were the only means of instruction open to the population. By degrees Greek became the language of the upper classes in all the Bulgarian towns, the Bulgarian language was written in Greek characters, and the illiterate peasants, though speaking the vernacular, called themselves Greeks.

The Slavonic liturgy was suppressed in favour of the Greek, and in many places the old Bulgarian manuscripts, images, testaments and missals were committed to the flames. The patriots of the literary movement, recognizing in the patriarchate the most determined foe to a national revival, directed all their efforts to the abolition of Greek ecclesiastical ascendancy and the restoration of the Bulgarian autonomous church.

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