The Book “Bulgarians: the First Euopeans“

Modern Bulgaria occupies the South-Eastern corner of Europe. Its territory is 111, 000 sq.m., and its population – around 9 million people. Based on its territory and population, Bulgaria ranks 12-13 among the fifty European countries, but it remains relatively unknown in the European world. Probably this is not the right place to try to find the reasons for that. And yet, the main reason may lie in the fact that Bulgaria and the Bulgarians have not “produced“ any “bad” news in the past fifty years, to shoot it up in the prime-time of the major media. During the communist rule (1944-1989) nothing like the Czech, Hungarian or Polish events took place in Bulgaria (which some think is not that good after all). The transition towards democracy and market economy also took place in a calm and peaceful way, without any bloodbaths, like those in Romania and Russia. Bulgaria managed to avoid civil war, still disturbing the normal life in the neighboring Yugoslavia. In Bulgaria, despite the high share of ethnic and religious minorities (with major religions, including Eastern Orthodox Christianity, Catholicism, Islam and Judaism), there are no ethnic or religious tension or problems. The specialists in this area even speak of a “Bulgarian ethnic model”, ensuring peace, understanding and cooperation between ethnic and religious communities.

This is interesting for the specialists, but not for the Editors-in-Chief of newspapers and magazines. And it’s pity. At least in the countries of the EU, which will be joined by Bulgaria in just a few years, they should know more about the history of the Bulgarian land, of the Bulgarians and Bulgaria. And if they don’t know the entire history, they should at least be aware of the fact that the first highly-developed civilization in Europe emerged in the 5th millennium B.C. precisely on the land of modern Bulgaria, and formed, what may be considered, the first Europeans. It is also necessary to know the main contributions of the Bulgarians and the Bulgarian state during the Middle Ageas – the time, which constitutes the very foundations of the contemporary European civilization. This is the successful introduction, back in the 7th-14th century of the concept of the national state, which became the model of Europe’s development, instead of the universal Christian state, and also the even more successfully implemented civilizational mission of the Bulgarians among the Slavic world. A world which even now occupies half the territory and forms half the population of Europe. It is with the very thought that this knowledge gap among Europeans, with regard to Bulgaria and the Bulgarians, must be filled at least to a certain extent, that the author wrote this book.

Bozhidar Dimitrov

The book was issued with the Petar Mandjoukov`s support.