The Bulgars (also Bolgars, Bulghars, Proto-Bulgarians,1 Huno-Bulgars2) were a semi-nomadic Turkic people who flourished in the Pontic Steppe and the Volga basin in the 7th century AD.34 Ethnically, the Bulgars are thought to have been Oghur Turkic, with Scytho-Sarmatian56 and Sarmatian-Alan78 elements. There is a discussion whether these Sarmatian elements in the cultural characteristics of the Proto-Bulgars are based on Sarmatized Turks or Turkicized Sarmatians. 9 They had also enveloped other ethnic groups by their migration westwards across the Eurasian steppe.1011 In their ethnogenesis Indo-European (Iranian) groups, Altaic groups (Stoyanov 1997) and probably Uralic (Finno-Ugric) groups (Artamanov 1962) have participated. 12
Emerging as nomadic equestrians in the Volga-Ural region, their roots can be traced, according to some researchers to Central Asia. They became sedentary during the 7th century into the Pontic-Caspian steppe, establishing the polity (khanate) of Old Great Bulgaria c. 630 AD. However it was absorbed by the Khazar Empire in 668 AD. In 680 AD Khan Asparukh conquered Scythia Minor, opening access to Moesia, and established the First Bulgarian Empire, which was however slavicized by the 10th century. Another state called Volga Bulgaria was established on the middle Volga circa 670 AD. Volga Bulgars preserved their national identity well into the 13th century by repelling the first Mongol attacks in 1223. But they were eventually subdued, and their capital Bolghar city became one of major cities of the Mongol Golden Horde. Later, the Volga Bulgars adopted the Kipchak language (with some or no Kipchak admixture) and became the Volga Tatars of the Khanate of Kazan and later modern Tatarstan.
The etymology of the name Bulgar is not fully understood; there are claims that it derived from the Turkic verb bulğa ("to mix", "shake, "stir") and its derivative bulgak ("revolt", "disorder") by some authorities.1314 A minority hypothesis derives it from bel gur ("five clans").15
The early Bulgars (or "Proto-Bulgars") may have been present in the Pontic Steppe from the 2nd century, identified with the Bulensii in certain Latin versions of Ptolemy's Geography, shown as occupying the territory along the northwest coast of Black Sea east of Axiacus River (Southern Bug).161718
In the early 4th century, the Bulgars would have been caught up in the Hunnic migrations, moving to the fertile lands along the lower valleys of the rivers Donets and Don and the Azov seashore, and assimilating some remainders of the Sarmatians. Some of these remained for centuries in their new settlements, whereas others moved on with the Huns towards Central Europe, settling in Pannonia. Those Bulgars took part in the Hunnic raids on Central and Western Europe between 377 and 453. After the death of Attila in 453, and the subsequent disintegration of the Hunnic Empire, the Bulgar tribes dispersed mostly to the eastern and southeastern parts of Europe.
At the end of the 5th century (probably in the years 480, 486, and 488) they fought against the Ostrogoths as allies of the Byzantine emperor Zeno. From 493 they carried out frequent attacks on the western territories of the Byzantine Empire. Later raids were carried out at the end of the 5th century and the beginning of the 6th century.
In the middle of the 6th century, war broke out between the two main Bulgar tribes, the Kutrigur and Utigur. To the west, the Kutrigurs fell under Avar dominion and became influential within the Khaganate. The eastern Utigurs fell under the western Göktürk empire in 568. The Bulgars took the city of Corinth in the middle of the 7th century.19 United under Kubrat of the Dulo clan (identical to the ruler mentioned by Persian chronicler Tabari under the name of Shahriar), the joined forces of the Utigur and Kutrigur Bulgars, and probably the Bulgar Onogurs, broke loose from the Turkic khanate in the 630s. They formed an independent state, the Onogundur-Bulgar (Oghondor-blkar or Olhontor-blkar) Empire, often called by Byzantine sources "the Old Great Bulgaria". The empire was situated between the lower course of the Danube to the west, the Black Sea and the Azov Sea to the south, the Kuban River to the east, and the Donets River to the north. It is assumed that the state capital was Phanagoria, an ancient city on the Taman peninsula (see Tmutarakan). However, the archaeological evidence shows that the city became predominantly Bulgar only after Kubrat's death and the consequent disintegration of his state.
According to legend, on his deathbed Khan Kubrat commanded his sons to gather sticks and bring them to him, which he then bundled together. He commanded his eldest son Batbayan (also Bayan or Boyan) to break the bundle. Bayan failed against the strength of the combined sticks, and so did the other sons in turn. Kubrat undid the bundle and broke each stick separately. He then proclaimed to his sons, "unity makes strength", which has become a commonplace Bulgarian folk slogan and now appears on the modern Bulgarian coat of arms. (Similar versions of this story occur also in Greek, Roman, Persian, Chinese and Japanese historic legends, as well as in the legend of Oghuz Khan and his six sons.)
The Byzantine Patriarch Nikephoros I of Constantinople relates that Kubrat's sons, however, did not live up to this advice,citation needed and thus soon after the death of Kubrat around 665, the Khazar expansion eventually led to the dissolution of Great Bulgaria. Batbayan at first remained the ruler of the lands north of the Black and the Azov Seas, but the Khazars soon subdued him. Those Bulgars, along with their Khazar masters, converted to Judaism in the 9th century. Furthermore, the Balkars in Kabardino-Balkaria may be also the descendants of this Bulgar branch.citation needed
The Eastern Bulgars, led by Kubrat’s second son Kotrag, migrated to the confluence of the Volga and Kama Rivers in what is now Russia (see Volga Bulgaria). The present-day republics of Tatarstan and Chuvashia are traditionally considered to be the descendants of Volga Bulgaria in terms of territory and people, but linguistic research casts doubt on this tradition in regard to the Volga Tatars. Linguistically, only the Chuvash language is similar to the old Bulgar language;202122 the Tatar language belongs to a different branch of the Turkic languages, which has led some to speculate that the Volga Tatars either mixed with Kipchaks or simply adopted the Kipchak language (a position known as Bulgarism). It is worth noting that the Chuvash were never Muslims, while the bulk of Volga Bulgars were. Another factor is that most of the Muslims of the Golden Horde, even the Muslim Mongol aristocracy, adopted the Kipchak language.
The Bulgars led by Khubrat's youngest son, Asparukh, moved westward and occupied what is today the southern part of Bessarabia. He was followed by a small Bulgar horde.232425 A twelfth-century source gives its number as 10,000.26 After a successful war with Byzantium in 680, Asparukh's khanate settled in Dobrudja. Asparukh and Byzantine Constantine IV Pogonatus signed a treaty in 681. Asparukh's khanate went on to conquer Moesia Superior. The year 681 is usually regarded as the year of the establishment of modern Bulgaria.
The smallest successor group to Great Bulgaria, the Alcek (also transliterated as 'Altsek' and 'Altcek' or 'Ducca Alzeco'), after many wanderings settled mainly near Naples in the Benevento and Salerno provinces, under the leadership of Emnetzur.
A group of Bulgars ruled by Kuber inhabited Pannonia. After breaking free of Avar overlordship, they migrated to Macedonia.27 This group, numbering around 70,000,28 included descendants of Roman captives of various ethnicities that had been resettled in Pannonia by the Avars.2930 The majority of historians do not see any evidence for the existence of a Bulgar khanate in Macedonia before 850 ADcitation needed; but Zlatarski posits that Kuber was also a son of Kubrat, that Kuber's Bulgars formed a khanate in Macedonia, and that Kuber's khanate joined Slavs to attack the Byzantine Empire.
The legacy of Volga Bulgaria endured as part of the Muslim history of the Asian part of the Russian Empire; Russian historian S. M. Solov'ev reflected: "For a long time Asia, Muslim Asia built here a home; a home not for nomadic hordes but for its civilization; for a long time, a commercial and industrial people, the Bulgars had been established here. When the Bulgar was already listening to the Qur'an on the shores of the Volga and the Kama, the Russian Slav had not yet started to build Christian churches on the Oka and had not yet conquered these places in the name of European civilization".31
Archaeological finds from the Ukrainian steppe suggest that the early Bulgars had the typical culture of the nomadic equestrians of Central Asia, who migrated seasonally in pursuit of pastures. From the 7th century, however they became a settled culture, planting crops, and mastering the crafts of blacksmithing, masonry, and carpentry.
The Bulgars had a well-developed clan system and were governed by hereditary rulers. The members of the military aristocracy bore the title boyil (boyar). There also were bagains - lesser military commanders. The nobility were further divided onto Small and Great Boyars. The latter formed the Council of the Great Boyars and gathered to take decisions on important state matters presided by the khan (king). Their numbers varied between six and twelve. These probably included the ichirgu boyil and the kavkhan (vice khan), the two most powerful people after the khan. These positions were administrative and noninheritable, though by the end of the First Bulgarian Empire the kavkhan's title had become inheritable as well (see Georgi Voyteh, who was "from a kavkhan's family"). The boyars could also be internal and external, probably distinguished by their place of residence — inside or outside the capital.32 The heir of the throne was called kanartikin. Other subroyal titles used by the Bulgarian noble class include boyila tarkan (possibly the second son of the khan), kana boyila kolobur (possibly the chief priest), boritarkan (city mayor).
That the early Bulgar rulers used the title khan is only an assumption, since the evidence for it is scanty and only suggestive. There is the event of the Bulgarian ruler, Pagan being called "Καμπαγάνος" (Kampaganos) by Patriarch Nicephorus (Nikephoros) in the Patriarch's so called Breviarium, at the end of section 16. The editors of a Bulgarian edition of this source have claimed (via an annotation) that "Kampaganos" is a corruption of "Kan Pagan".3334 There is a word kanasubigi in stone inscriptions, which some historians presume is a compound of kana, the archaic form of 'khan'. Among the proposed translations for the phrase kanasubigi are 'lord of the army', from the reconstructed Turkic phrase *sü begi, paralleling the attested Old Turkic sü baši,32 and, more recently, '(ruler) from God', from the Indo-European *su- and baga-, i.e. *su-baga (a counterpart of the Greek phrase ὁ ἐκ Θεοῦ ἄρχων, ho ek Theou archon, which is common in Bulgar inscriptions).35 This titulature presumably persisted until the Bulgars adopted Christianity.36 Some Bulgar inscriptions written in Greek and later in Slavonic refer to the Bulgarian ruler respectively with the Greek title archon or the Slavic title knyaz.37
Very little is known about the religion of the Bulgars. It is supposed to have been monotheistic on the evidence of Greek language inscriptions from pagan Danube Bulgaria, wherein Bulgar monarchs describe themselves as "ruler from God" and appeal to the deity's omniscience and justice. (The various monarchs are not identified by their personal name.) Presian's inscription from Filipi (837) states:
When someone seeks the truth, God sees [it]. And when someone lies, God sees [it]. The Bulgars have done much good to the Christians [meaning the Byzantines and the Christians have forgotten [that], yet God sees [it all]".
It is traditionally assumed that the God in question was the Turkic sky god Tengri, with few occurrences of that name in documents related to Bulgaria. One such occurrence is in a late Ottoman Turkish manuscript listing the names of the supreme god in different languages, which has "Tangra" for Bulgarian.38 Another, from a severely damaged Greek language inscription found on a presumed altar stone near Madara, tentatively deciphered by Beshevliev as "(Kanasubig)i Omu(rtag), ruler (from God), was ... and sacri(ficed to go)d Tangra ...(some Bulgar titles follow)."39 Beshevliev has also conjectured that the frequent Danube Bulgar runic sign ıYı (i.e. ) stands for "Tangra", as it seems to disappear after the conversion to Christianity.
A piece of ethnographic evidence which has been invoked to support the belief that the Bulgars worshipped Tengri/Tangra is the relatively similarity of the name "Tengri" to "Tură", the name of the supreme deity of the traditional religion of the Chuvash, who are traditionally regarded as descendants of the Suvar branch of the Volga Bulgars.40 Nevertheless, the Chuvash religion today is markedly different from Tengriism and can be described as a local form of polytheism with some elements borrowed from Islam. In addition, there was the cult of the worship of Tangri-khan (called Aspandiat by the Persians) by the population of the Hun capital Varachan (i.e. Belenjer/Belendjer, "army head" [quarter]) 41 in Northern Dagestan, which is mostly known as "Kingdom of the Huns" 42 but which Russian historian M. I. Artamonov considered to be ethnically Bulgar. The cult involved sacrifice of horses and use of sacred trees in worship.43
D. Dimitrov has argued that the Bulgars also adopted elements of Iranian religious beliefs. He sees Iranian influences on the cult at Varachan and notes resemblances between the layout of the Zoroastrian temples of fire and what seem to be pagan Bulgar sanctuaries at Pliska, Preslav, and Madara. The architectural similarities include two squares of ashlars inserted one into another, oriented towards the summer sunrise. One of these sites was transformed into a Christian church, which is taken as evidence that they served a religious function.44
Officially Christianity was adopted in Danubian Bulgaria by Knyaz Boris I in 865 (as a state religion). Islam was officially adopted in Volga Bulgaria as a state religion in 922, but old religion revolts continued into the Mongol conquest in 1230's.
The origin and the language of the Bulgars has been the subject of debate since around the start of the 20th century. The current leading theory45 is that at least the Bulgar elite spoke a language that, alongside Khazar and Chuvash, was a member of the Oghuric branch of the Turkic language family.46474849 This theory is supported, among other things, by the fact that some Bulgar words contained in the few surviving stone inscriptions32 and in other documents (mainly military and hierarchical terms such as tarkan, bagatur, and probably khan) appear to be of Turkic origin and written in Kuban alphabet of the Old Turkic script. Also, the Bulgar calendar had a twelve-year cycle, similar to the one adopted by Turkic and Mongolian peoples from the Chinese, with names and numbers that are deciphered as Turkic. The Bulgars' supreme god was apparently called Tangra, a deity widely known among the Turkic peoples under names such as Tengri, Tura etc.50
Some also point out the presence of Turkic loanwords in the Slavic Old Bulgarian language and Church Slavonic language,51 and the fact that the Bulgars used an alphabet similar to the Turkic Orkhon script; this alphabet was deciphered and analyzed by S. Baichorov:52 the Bulgar inscriptions were sometimes written in Greek or Cyrillic characters, most commonly in Greek, thus allowing the scholars to identify some of the Bulgar glosses. Contemporaneous sources like Procopius, Agathias and Menander called the Bulgars "Huns",53 while others, like the Byzantine Patriarch Michael II of Antioch, called them "Scythians" or "Sarmatians", but this latter identification was probably due to the Byzantine tradition of naming peoples geographically. Due to the lack of definitive evidence, modern scholarship instead uses an ethnogenesis approach in explaining the Bulgars' origin. There are also a number of Iranian words in modern Bulgarian, inherited from the Bulgars.
Further evidence culturally linking the Danubian Bulgar state to Turkic steppe traditions was the layout of the Bulgars' new capital of Pliska, founded just north of the Balkan Mountains shortly after 681. The large area enclosed by ramparts, with the rulers' habitations and assorted utility structures concentrated in the center, resembled more a steppe winter encampment turned into a permanent settlement than it did a typical Roman Balkan city."54
In Bulgarian academy, a hypothesis linking the Bulgar language to the Iranian language group has become popular in the 1990s.55565758 Most proponents still assume an intermediate stance, proposing certain signs of Iranian influence on a Turkic substrate.596061 while other Bulgarian scholars actively oppose the "Iranian hypothesis".6263
Traditionally, historians have associated the Bulgars with the Huns, who migrated out of Central Asia. Anthropological data collected from medieval Bulgar necropolises from Dobrudja, Crimea and the Ukrainian steppe have shown that Bulgars were a Caucasoid people with a small Mongoloid component and practiced circular type artificial cranial deformation.656667686970 An examined population from a abandoned medieval cemetery showed mixed in anthropological terms with brachicranial Caucasoid type as the primary representatives followed by the Mongoloid admixed type. Women's were not significantly different from men but were more Caucasoid than men. Apparently, carriers of Mongoloid elements was a male part of the population that came to this territory as conquerors.71 This finding is consistent with a model in which the Turkic languages were gradually imposed in Central Asia and East European Plain on Scythian and Uralic peoples with relatively little genetic admixture, another possible example of a language shift through elite dominance.7273 Ibn Fadlan, who visited Volga Bulgaria in the 10th century, describes the appearance of the Bulgars as "ailing" (pale) and "not ruddy" like the Rus' people.74
Due to the lack of definitive evidence, a modern scholarship instead uses an ethnogenesis approach in explaining the Bulgars' origin. Contemporaneous sources like Procopius, Agathias and Menander called the Bulgars "Huns"75 while others, like the Byzantine Patriarch Michael II of Antioch, called them "Scythians" or "Sarmatians", but this latter identification was probably due to the Byzantine tradition of naming peoples geographically. The Bulgar language spoken by the Bulgar elites was a member of the Oghuric branch of the Turkic language family, alongside with Hunnic, Khazar and Turkic Avar.76
More recent theories view the nomadic confederacies, such as the Old Great Bulgaria, as the formation of several different cultural, political and linguistic entities that could dissolve as quickly as they formed, entailing a process of ethnogenesis.7778
Genetic and anthropological researches have shown that the Eurasian steppe's tribal unions of history were not ethnically homogeneous, but rather unions of multiple ethnicities such as Turkic, Uralic, and Iranian among others. Skeletal remains from Central Asia, excavated from different sites dating between the 15th century BC to the 5th century AD, have been analyzed. The distribution of east and west Eurasian lineages through time in the region agrees with available archaeological information. Prior to the 13th - 7th century BC, all samples belong to European lineages; later, an arrival of East Asian sequences that coexisted with the previous genetic substratum was detected.79
According to a comparative genetic study, low Bulgar genetic influence was brought into the region of today Bulgaria and Chuvashia, since the genetic background of local populations was not detectably modified.80
In modern ethnic nationalism, there is some "rivalry for the Bulgar legacy" (see Bulgarism).818182 The Volga Tatars, Chuvash, and Bulgarians are said to be descended from the Bulgars, as well as (possibly) the Balkars.
- Bulgar language
- Madara Rider
- Mount Imeon
- Old Great Bulgaria
- Volga Bulgaria
- Shea, John. The Bulgars, Christianity and Slavic text. p. 57.
- The Early Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Sixth to the Late Twelfth Century, John Van Antwerp Fine, Publisher University of Michigan Press, 1991, ISBN 0-472-08149-7, p. 76.
- Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House
- Encyclopaedia Britannica Online
- Rasho Rashev, Die Protobulgaren im 5.-7. Jahrhundert, Orbel, Sofia, 2005. (in Bulgarian, German summary)
- Istituto italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente, East and west, Vol. 21, 1971, p.214
- David Marshall Lang, The Bulgarians: from pagan times to the Ottoman conquest, Westview Press, 1976, p.39
- Otto Maenchen-Helfen, The World of the Huns: Studies in Their History and Culture, University of California Press, 1973, p.443
- The New Cambridge medieval history, Volume 4, Part 2, Cambridge University Press, 1995, ISBN 0-521-36292-X, p. 229.
- Anthropologischer Anzeiger, vol. 57-58, E. Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung (E. Nägele), 1999, p.350
- Bowersock, Glen W. & al. Late Antiquity: a Guide to the Postclassical World, p. 354. Harvard University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-674-51173-5.
- Karaty,O. In search of the lost tribe: the origins and making of the Croatian nation, pp 24-26 
- Karataty, Osman. In Search of the Lost Tribe: the Origins and Making of the Croatian Nation, p. 28.
- Dobrev, Petar 2001
- Fries, Lorenz and Claudius Ptolemy. Tabula IX. Europae. In: Servetus, Michael. Opus Geographiae. Lyon, 1535.
- Germanus, Nikolaus and Claudius Ptolemy. Geographia. Ulm: Lienhart Holle, 1482. (fragment)
- The Uralic language family: facts, myths and statistics, Angela Marcantonio, Wiley-Blackwell, 2002, ISBN 0-631-23170-6, p. 167.
- Encyclopedia of the languages of Europe, Glanville Price, Wiley-Blackwell, 2000, ISBN 0-631-22039-9, p. 88.
- Studies in Turkic and Mongolic linguistics, Royal Asiatic Society books, Gerard Clauson, Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, Routledge, 2002, ISBN 0-415-29772-9, p. 38.
- Васил Н. Златарски. История на Първото българско Царство. Епоха на хуно-българското надмощие с. 188.
- Ал. Бурмов, Създаване на Българската дъжава с. 132.
- Образуване на българската народност. Димитър Ангелов (Издателство Наука и изкуство, “Векове”, София 1971)с. 203—204.
- The early medieval Balkans: a critical survey from the sixth to the late twelfth century, John Van Antwerp Fine, University of Michigan Press, 1991, ISBN 0-472-08149-7, p. 68.
- Zlatarski 1970 : 514
- Mikulchik 1996: 71 (§VI.1.Б)
- Hupchick 2001
- Curta 2006
- S. M. Solov'ev, Istoriia Rossii s drevneishikh vremen, vol. 5 – 6 (Moscow, 1959-1965), p. 476.
- Beshevliev 1981 (online)
- Breviarium of Patriarch Nicephorus, Included in (Bulgarian)Fontes graeci historiae bulgaricae, VI: 305
- Mango 1990: English translation of the Breviarium of Patriarch Nicephorus
- Stepanov 2003
- Sedlar 1994: 46
- Manasses Chronicle, Vatican copy of the Bulgarian translation, p. 145
- Beshevliev 1981: ch. 7
- Beshevliev 1979 Photograph and transcription of the "Tangra" inscription near Madara (Bulgarian)
- Tokarev, A. et al. 1987-1988
- Gmyrya, L. 1995. Hun country at the Caspian Gate: Caspian Dagestan during the epoch of the Great Movement of Peoples. Makhachkala: Dagestan Publishing, pp. 23, 24
- Gmyrya, L. 1995. Hun country at the Caspian Gate: Caspian Dagestan during the epoch of the Great Movement of Peoples. Makhachkala: Dagestan Publishing
- Dimitrov 1987
- Dimitrov 1987
- http://www.csc.kth.se/~dilian/Papers/bulgars.pdffull citation neededself-published source?
- Petrov 1981: §A.II.1
- Angelov 1971: §II.2
- Runciman 1930: §I.1
- Siegert 1985: 46
- Sedlar 1994: 141 (Google Books preview)
- Tzvetkov P.S., The Turks, Slavs and the Origin of the Bulgarians//The Turks, Vol 1, pp. 562–567, Ankara, 2002, ISBN 975-6782-55-2, ISBN 975-6782-56-0
- Baichorov S.Ya., Ancient Turkic runic monuments of the Europe, Stavropol, 1989 (In Russian)
- Maenchen-Helfen 1973: ch. IX
- Hupchick 2001: 10
- Добрев, Петър, 1995. "Езикът на Аспаруховите и Куберовите българи" 1995
- Бакалов, Георги. Малко известни факти от историята на древните българи Част 1 част 2
- Димитров, Божидар, 2005. 12 мита в българската история
- Милчева, Христина. Българите са с древно-ирански произход. Научна конференция "Средновековна Рус, Волжка България и северното Черноморие в контекста на руските източни връзки", Казан, Русия, 15.10.2007
- Бешевлиев, Веселин. Ирански елементи у първобългарите. Античное Общество, Труды Конференции по изучению проблем античности, стр. 237-247, Издательство "Наука", Москва 1967, АН СССР, Отделение Истории.
- Rüdiger Schmitt (Saarbrücken). IRANICA PROTOBULGARICA: Asparuch und Konsorten im Lichte der Iranischen Onomastik. Academie Bulgare des Sciences, Linguistique Balkanique, XXVIII (1985), l, 13-38
- Rasho Rashev. On the origin of the Proto-Bulgarians, p. 23-33 in: Studia protobulgarica et mediaevalia europensia. In honour of Prof. V. Beshevliev, Veliko Tarnovo, 1992.
- Йорданов, Стефан. Славяни, тюрки и индо-иранци в ранното средновековие: езикови проблеми на българския етногенезис. В: Българистични проучвания. 8. Актуални проблеми на българистиката и славистиката. Седма международна научна сесия. Велико Търново, 22-23 август 2001 г. Велико Търново, 2002, 275-295.
- Надпис № 21 от българското златно съкровище “Наги Сент-Миклош”, студия от проф. д-р Иван Калчев Добрев от Сборник с материали от Научна конференция на ВА “Г. С. Раковски”. София, 2005 г.
- Dobrev, Ivan
- D.Dimitrov,1987, History of the Proto-Bulgarians north and west of the Black Sea.
- Сарматски елементи в езическите некрополи от Североизточна България и Северна Добруджа. Елена Ангелова (сп. Археология, 1995, 2, 5-17, София)
- М. Балан, П. Боев. Антропологични материали от некропола при Нови пазар. — ИАИ, XX, 1955, 347— 371
- Й. Ал. Йорданов. Антропологично изследване на костния материал от раннобългарски масов гроб при гр. Девня. - ИНМВ, XII (XVII), 1976, 171-194
- Н. Кондова, П. Боев, Сл. Чолаков. Изкуствено деформирани черепи от некропола при с. Кюлевча, Шуменски окръг. — Интердисциплинарни изследвания, 1979, 3—4, 129— 138;
- Н. Кондова, С л. Чолаков. Антропологични данни за етногенеза на ранносредновековната популация от Североизточна България. — Българска етнография, 1992, 2, 61-68
- ЯВЛЕНИЕ ИССКУСТВЕННОЙ ДЕФОРМАЦИИ ЧЕРЕПА У ПРОТОБОЛГАР. ПРОИСХОЖДЕНИЕ И ЗНАЧЕНИЕ. (окончание)
- Becoming eloquent: advances in the emergence of language, human cognition, and modern cultures, Francesco D'Errico, Jean Marie Hombert, John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2009, ISBN 90-272-3269-5, pp. 175-176.
- [Origin and evolution of languages: approaches, models, paradigms, Bernard Laks, Equinox, 2008, ISBN 1-84553-204-X, pp. 46-49.]
- R.Frye, Ibn Fadlan's journey to Russia, 2005
- The World of the Huns. Chapter IX. Language, by O. Maenchen-Helfen
- Encyclopaedia Britannica Online - Bulgars
- N.M. Khazhanov. Nomads and the Outside World. Chapter 5
- Christian, David. 1998. History of Russia, Central Asia, and Mongolia. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-20814-3
- Lalueza-Fox, et al. 2004
- Arnaiz-Villena et al. Human Biology, Volume 75, Number 3, June 2003, E-ISSN: 1534-6617, HLA Genes in the Chuvashian Population from European Russia: Admixture of Central European and Mediterranean Populations, pp. 375–392.
- Viktor Aleksandrovich Shnirelʹman, Who gets the past?: competition for ancestors among non-Russian intellectuals in Russia, Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 1996, ISBN 0-8018-5221-8, ISBN 978-0-8018-5221-3. Cf. chapters: The Rivalry for the Bulgar Legacy, The Neo-Bulgarists, etc.
- James Stuart Olson, Lee Brigance Pappas, Nicholas Charles, An Ethnohistorical dictionary of the Russian and Soviet empires, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1994, ISBN 0-313-27497-5, ISBN 978-0-313-27497-8, p.114
- (Bulgarian) Angelov, Dimitŭr [Димитър Ангелов]. 1971. Образуване на българската народност. Sofia: Nauka i Izkustvo, “Vekove”.
- Arnaiz-Villena, A., et al. 2003. HLA genes in the Chuvashian population from European Russia: Admixture of central European and Mediterranean populations. Human Biology, June 2003.
- (Bulgarian) Beshevliev, Vesselin [Веселин Бешевлиев]. 1979. Първобългарски надписи. Sofia: Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS).
- Beshevliev, Vesselin [Веселин Бешевлиев]. 1981. Proto-Bulgarian Epigraphic Monuments. The original is also available online (Bulgarian): Прабългарски епиграфски паметници. Sofia: Издателство на Отечествения фронт.
- Curta, Florin. 2006. Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500-1250. Cambridge Univ. Press. Series: Cambridge Medieval Textbooks.
- Dimitrov, Dimityr. 1987. History of the Proto-Bulgarians north and west of the Black Sea. Translated from the Bulgarian, Prabylgarite po severnoto i zapadnoto Chernomorie; Varna. The original is also available online (Bulgarian) here .
- (Bulgarian) Dobrev, Ivan [Иван Добрев]. (2005?) Златното Съкровище на Българските Ханове от Атила до Симеон (анотация). Sofia: Rakovski Military Academy [Военна Академия "Г. С. Раковски"]. Compare same title and author except without the анотация (anotacija — annotations): Sofia, Riva, 2005.
- (Bulgarian) Dobrev, Petăr. 2001. Nepoznatata drevna Bălgarija (The Unknown Ancient Bulgaria). Sofia: Ivan Vazov Publishers. ISBN 954-604-121-1.
- Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Bulgars.
- (Bulgarian) and (Greek) Fontes graeci historiae Bulgaricae (FGHB) [Гръцки извори за българската история] (Greek sources of Bulgarian history). Edited by Ivan Dujchev, Genoveva Tsankova-Petkova, et al.. Sofia: Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS), Institute of History [Институт по история]. (In Byzantine Greek and Bulgarian). This content is in the DjVu format and requires corresponding special reader software.
- Hupchick, Dennis P. 2001. The Balkans: From Constantinople to Communism. Palgrave. ISBN 0-312-21736-6.
- Lalueza-Fox, C.; Sampietro, M. L.; Gilbert, M. T. P.; Castri, L.; Facchini, F.; Pettener, D.; Bertranpetit, J. (2004). "Unravelling migrations in the steppe: Mitochondrial DNA sequences from ancient Central Asians". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 271 (1542): 941–7. doi:10.1098/rspb.2004.2698. PMC 1691686. PMID 15255049.
- Maenchen-Helfen. Otto. 1973. The World of the Huns. Univ. of California Press.
- (Bulgarian) Manasses (or Manassia, Manasi), Constantine. 1992 [c. 1187 in Byzantine Greek]. Khronikata na Konstantin Manasi: Zorata na bulgarskata epika. (Bulgarian translation of the Byzantine Greek.) Universitetsko izd-vo "Sv. Kliment Okhridski"
- (English) and (Greek) Mango, Cyril A. 1990. Nikephoros, Patriarch of Constantinople: Short History. Washington, D. C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection. ("Short History" = "Breviarium")
- (Macedonian) Mikulčić, Ivan [Иван Микулчиќ]. 1996. Средновековни градови и тврдини во Македониjа. Skopje: Makedonska Civilizacija. (In Macedonian.)
- (Bulgarian) Petrov, Petǎr [Петър Петров]. 1981. Образуване на българската държава. Sofia: Nauka i Izkustvo.
- Runciman, Steven. 1930. A history of the First Bulgarian Empire. London: G. Bell & Sons.
- Sedlar, Jean W. 1994. East Central Europe in the Middle Ages, 1000-1500. University of Washington Press.
- (Bulgarian) Shishmanov, Ivan [Шишманов, Иван]. 1900. Критичен преглед на въпроса за произхода на прабългарите от езиково гледище и етимологиите на името българин.
- (German) Siegert, Heinz. 1985. Osteuropa—Vom Ursprung bis Moskaus Aufstieg. Panorama der Weltgeschichte, vol. II. Heinrich Pleticha (ed.). Bertelsmann-Lexikon-Verlag.
- Stepanov, Tsvetelin. 2001. The Bulgar title KANAΣYBIΓI: reconstructing the notions of divine kingship in Bulgaria, AD 822–836. Early Medieval Europe, March 2001, 10(1): 1-19. Abstract.
- (Russian) Tokarev, Sergei A et al. 1980. Mify narodov mira (Myths of the world's peoples).
- Zakiev, Mirfatyh [Закиев, Мирфатых]. 2003. Origin of Turks and Tatars. Part II: Origin of Tatars. English translation of Russian language work, Происхождение тюрков и татар.
- (Bulgarian) Zlatarski, V. N. [Васил Н. Златарски]. 1970 . История на българската държава през средните векове. Sofia: 2nd edition (II изд.) 1970 by Nauka i Izkustvo; 1st edition (I изд.) 1918.
- Curta, Florin, ed., with the assistance of Roman Kovalev. 2008. The other Europe in the Middle Ages: Avars, Bulgars, Khazars, and Cumans. BRILL.
- Viktor Aleksandrovich Shnirelʹman, Who gets the past?: competition for ancestors among non-Russian intellectuals in Russia, Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 1996, ISBN 0-8018-5221-8, ISBN 978-0-8018-5221-3. (Chapter The Rivalry for the Bulgar Legacy at Google Books).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bulgars.|