The Bulgarians in the Seventeenth Century

Slavic Orthodox Society and Culture Under Ottoman Rule


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About the Book

Through Bulgarian and Ottoman documents, marginalia, travelers’ accounts, art, and numerous secondary documents, the seventeenth century—considered by historians as the nadir of Bulgarian national history—is examined as to the question of the Slavic society’s continued existence despite centuries of foreign political, social and spiritual domination by the Ottoman Empire.
The first part outlines the consequences for Bulgarian history of the Muslim Ottoman conquest. The second details the nature of the culture and the forms of expression. The third part consists of an overview of documented seventeenth century Bulgarian Orthodox expression.

About the Author(s)

Dennis P. Hupchick is a professor of history at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania. A former Fulbright Scholar to Bulgaria and past president of the scholarly international Bulgarian Studies Association, he is the author of numerous books and articles treating Bulgaria, the Balkans, and Eastern Europe.

Bibliographic Details

Dennis P. Hupchick
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 342
Bibliographic Info: 9 maps, 26 tables, glossary, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014 [1993]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9350-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Maps and Tables vii

Author’s Preface ix

Acknowledgments xii

Note on Transliteration and Spelling xiii

Abbreviations xv

Maps xix

Introduction 1

One: The Bulgarians in Seventeenth Century Ottoman Society

1. The Social Position of the Bulgarians 13

Demographic Overview 13

The Rural Situation: Common and Privileged Reaya 18

The Urban Situation: Artisans and Merchants 37

Social Institutions and Cultural Life 50

2. Threats to Bulgarian Orthodox Culture Posed by Ottoman Society 57

Conversions to Islam and Muslim Reaction 57

Greek Domination of the Orthodox Church Hierarchy 66

Roman Catholic Missionary Efforts 73

Two. Seventeenth Century Bulgarian Orthodox Culture: Nature and Forms

3. Monasticism and the Cultural Role of Mount Athos 87

4. Slavic Education: The Foundation for Cultural Expression 99

5. The Forms of Orthodox Culture 109

Writing and Literature 109

Religious Art 127

Three. Seventeenth Century Bulgarian Orthodox Culture: Expression

6. Major Centers of Orthodox Cultural Activity 143

Rila Monastery 143

Sofia 152

Etropole Monastery 165

Vratsa 174

Karlovo, Adzhar and Kuklen Monastery 178


Overview of Extant Evidence 183

General Summary 190

Appendix I: Glossary 201

Appendix II: Statistical Tables 207

Appendix III: Chronology 225

Notes 233

Bibliography 269

Index 299

Book Reviews & Awards

“Hupchick’s principal objective is to assess the degree to which Bulgarian society retained an individual identity during the 17th century…a useful profile of Christian Society under Ottoman rule”—Choice; “Hupchick’s study of seventeenth-century Bulgarian cultural history is a major work. It is based on a sound methodological approach, emphasizing quantitative analysis, and is written in a crisp narrative style that is never dull…will be a standard text for many years to come”—The Slavonic Review; “this book is a study of cultural survival in the Ottoman Empire. This study is an invaluable addition to our understanding of Bulgaria”—The Historical Association; “the publisher…should be commended for producing a very handsome volume”—Slavic Review; “fills a large historical void…offers a fascinating insight into an under-studied area of Bulgarian history…welcomed and valued by all students of Balkan history”—English Historical Review.