Dulo clan

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The Dulo Clan or the House of Dulo was the ruling dynasty of the Huno-Bulgars (or Bulgars)[1] of states in various parts of Eastern Europe, including the Hunnic Empire in Pannonia (from 450 AD), Old Great Bulgaria (632 AD), Volga Bulgaria (until the 13th century) and modern Bulgaria (since 681 AD). The clan was ruling dynasty of the eastern Bulgars, the Utigurs Huns.[2] The founding ancestor of the Dulo clan was a mighty "Maeotian" king from whom Attila the Hun probably descended.[3] The Nominalia of the Bulgarian Khans names this ancestor as Avitohol.[4]

Kubrat, a member of the dynasty, founded Old Great Bulgaria, on the territory of modern Ukraine.[5] During the second half of the 7th century his sons split up the Bulgar family and spread over Europe, from the Volga to the shadow of Vesuvius:[6] Batbayan (Ukraine), Kotrag (Volga Bulgaria), Kuber (Balkan Macedonia), Asparuh (Danube Bulgaria) and also Alcek (Italy). In the year 681 Asparuh of the house of Dulo founded modern Bulgaria, establishing the First Bulgarian Empire south of the Danube.

The last known ruler of Bulgaria from the house of Dulo was Sevar who reigned 738–754 AD and with him the House of Dulo died out.[7] The successor of the last Dulo was a boyar named Kormisosh, of the House of Vokil (or Uokil).[8][9][10]


The origins of the Bulgars and Dulo clan are not known precisely, there are many theories about their origin.

Hunnic theory[edit]

Traditionally historians associate Bulgars and their ruling dynasty of Dulo with the Huns,[11] and some scholars equate the Bulgars with the Huns.[12] Most Roman, Greek and later Byzantium historians (as Jordanes, Priscus, Procopius, Agathias, Menander, Theophylact) refer to Bulgars and Huns indiscriminately to describe the same people.[citation needed] The European Huns that entered Europe in the 4th century AD, were grouped into four major tribes: Utigurs, Kutrigurs, Akatziroi and Sabirs.[citation needed] Procopius first reported that Utigurs and Kutrigurs were the two key tribes who created the Union of the Huns in the fourth century.[13][14] On Attila’s death, his empire crumbled and his people, who had probably been only a conglomeration of kindred tribes that he had welded together, divided again into these tribes; and they retreated from Pannonia (modern day Hungary) westward into the territories of modern day Ukraine. One of these tribes, the Utigurs Huns, which some consider as the tribe of Attila,[15] was soon to be known as the Bulgars.[16][17] It was in 482, some thirty years after Attila’s death, that the Bulgars first appear by name.[18]Already in 1772, the German historian August Schloetzer identified the Utigurs and the Kutrigurs with Bulgarians.[19] In 1918 a Bulgarian scientist Vasil Zlatarski investigated late ancient evidence of post-Attila Kutrigurs and Utigurs and considered that under the name Utigurs in late antique chronicles lies the original Bulgarian ethnic substrate.[20] The Utigurs formed the nucleus of 680s’ Asparuh Bulgarian state, to which the Kutrigurs joined in the beginning of 9th century AD and as a result the ninth century Bulgaria became one of the great militarist powers of Europe.[21] Some European scientists as George Vernadsky, Steven Runciman, J. B. Bury, J. Marquart and Musset considered that Irnik from the Nominalia of the Bulgarian Khans is the third son of Attila, Ernak.[22][23]

Although this theory shed some light on the origin of Dulo clan and Bulgars, it posits that their origin is intimately related to the origin of the Huns, a problem that still remains to be solved. It is difficult to trace them back before 360 AD.[24] Traditional Xiongnu theory raised by Joseph de Guignes suggested that the European Huns should be identified as the Xiongnu of Chinese sources. However this theory was never proven. Many prominent scientists deny such connection. The American scientist Otto Maenchen-Helfen questioned the lack of anthropological and ethnographic proximity between European Huns and Xiongnu.[25] Edward Arthur Thompson in 1948 in his monograph on the Huns denies the continuity of European Huns from Xiongnu.[26] Archeological data gathered over the years showed no migration of Xiongnu actually occurred and no artifacts are discovered to prove a migration towards Europe.[27] Also the European Huns practiced artificial cranial deformation, while there is no evidence of such practice among the Xiongnu.[28]

Indo-European theories[edit]

The ruling dynasty Vokil (or Uokil) of Bulgaria can be traced directly back to northern China[29][30] and the Yuezhi people.[31][32] According to Zuev and Pulleyblank the Utigurs can be identified as one of the Yuezhi tribes.[33] The Yuezhi are usually identified with the Tókharoi, and Chinese transcription of Tokhara is Tuhuoluo or Duhuoluo (吐火羅) which could be an early form of the name Dulo. The Yuezhi were an Europoid people, dominated by haplogroup R1a1a (Y-DNA), and probably spoke Tocharian language, an extinct Indo-European language to which many Bulgarian words could be traced.[34] They lived in eastern Tarim Basin and in Gansu province in China. There were five aristocratic tribes ( yabghu, a term later used by the Turks, but originally it was a “true Tocharian” title[35]) of the Yuezhi, known in Chinese history as Xiūmì (Ch: 休密), Guishuang (Ch: 貴霜), Shuangmi (Ch: 雙靡), Xidun (Ch: 肸頓), and Dūmì (Ch: 都密). The Yuezhi used artificial skull deformation, similar to the artificial cranial deformation practiced by the Bulgars and their burials were of podboy type similar to the burials found in necropolises in northern Bulgaria. During the 2nd century BC the Yuezhi lost several wars with neighbouring Xiongnu, the clash from 162 BC was so severe that the king of the Yuezhi was killed and, in accordance with nomadic traditions, a drinking cup was made from his skull, a habit well known in the history of Danube Bulgaria. The majority of the Yuezhi (this part of the Yuezhi people was then called "Greater Yuezhi" or Da Yuezhi (大月氏)) migrated west,[36][37] storming into the territories of ancient Bactria, Hindo Kush and modern day Kazakhstan. A small part of Yuezhi that remained in Gansu was called the "Lesser Yuezhi" (Xiao Yuezhi 小月氏) and they appear to be the Buluoji/Bulgars of China.[38] Initially the Gteater Yuezhi settled in the Ili valley, immediately north of the Tian Shan mountains, but in the year 132 BCE, the Wusun, in alliance with the Xiongnu and out of revenge from an earlier conflict, managed to dislodge the Yuezhi, forcing them to move south. The Yuezhi crossed the neighbouring urban civilization of the Dayuan in Ferghana and settled on the northern bank of the Oxus, in the region of Transoxiana. From there, during the 1st century AD, one of the five tribes of the Yuezhi, namely the Guishuang (Ch: 貴霜) founded the Kushan Empire[39] extending their control over the northwestern area of the Indian subcontinent and ruled the region for several centuries. The other four tribes gradually moved further west, during the 4th century AD they entered Europe and became known as Huns (or European Huns, to distinguish them from Xiongnu) with the aforementioned four tribes of Utigurs, Kutrigurs, Akatziroi and Sabirs.

There are many necropolis in northern Bactria strikingly similar to these in northern Bulgaria and probably they could be linked with the Yuezhi. Very important are the archaeological excavations of several necropolises in the Bishkek valley in Southern Tajikistan, in the basin of the river Kafir-nigan, a right tributary of Amu-Darya (Oxus). Another important site is the Babashov necropolis, located on the right bank of Amu Darya (Oxus), not far from the Bishkek valley. About 50% of the skulls are artificially deformed. The buried are mesobrachiocranic Europoids with slight Mongoloid features,[40] similar to anthropological data collected from medieval Bulgar necropolises.[41] The necropolises in Northern Bactria are well dated. Those in the Bishkek valley had existed from the end of II c. BC till the beginning of I c. AD, the Babashnov necropolis - from I c. BC till III c. AD.[42] They are attributed to unidentified nomads who at the end of the II c. BC attacked the Greko-Bactrian kingdom and put an end to its existence. These necropolises ceased to function during the II-III c. AD.

Circular type of artificial cranial deformation allows to trace that the Huns traveled from north China to the Central Asian steppes and subsequently to the southern Russian steppes.[43][44]

Turkic theory[edit]

Some researchers consider that the origin of the clan probably was Turkic.[45][46][4][47] This proposition was suggested by Mikhail Artamonov,[48] and was prompted by Lev Gumilev (1967) implication that there may be made an association of the Bulgarian ruling dynasty Dulo with the five Dulu tribes of the Western Turks.[48] However, modern scholars consider such association as speculative.[48][49]

Iranian theory[edit]

Some modern Bulgarian scholars, the most prominent of them, namely Peter Dobrev, argues the Turkic names of the animals in the Bulgar calendar show that the Turkic peoples had borrowed these words from the Iranian language.[50] However, according Raymond Detrez, the theory is rooted in the periods of anti-Turkish sentiment in Bulgaria, and is ideologically motivated.[51] As such the proto-Bulgar language (of the group which established the state of Bulgaria), was claimed to be of Iranian language although is known and generally accepted it was Turkic and related to modern Chuvash.[51]

Finno-Ugrian theory[edit]

It was supported by Marin Drinov and some other scientists.[52]

Slavic theory[edit]

This theory considers Bulgarians to be of Slavic origin.[53]


Dulo Hill on Livingston Island, near Antarctica, is named after the Bulgarian ruling dynasty Dulo.[54]


  1. ^ http://promacedonia.org/vz1a/vz1a_a_1.html
  2. ^ Byzantium and Bulgaria, 775-831, Panos Sophoulis, BRILL, 2011, ISBN 9004206957, p. 71.
  3. ^ http://www.promacedonia.org/en/sr/sr_1_1.htm p.11-12
  4. ^ a b Hyun Jin Kim (2013). The Huns, Rome and the Birth of Europe. Cambridge University Press. pp. 59, 168. ISBN 9781107009066. 
  5. ^ The” Other Europe in the Middle Ages: Avars, Bulgars, Khazars and Cumans, Florin Curta, Roman Kovalev, BRILL, 2008, ISBN 9004163891, p. 284.
  6. ^ http://www.promacedonia.org/en/sr/
  7. ^ http://www.promacedonia.org/en/sr/sr_1_2.htm, p. 35
  8. ^ http://www.helsinki.fi/slavicahelsingiensia/preview/sh35/pdf/4.pdf
  9. ^ http://everything2.com/title/The+Name+List+of+Bulgarian+Khans
  10. ^ http://en.calameo.com/read/0004463716bda1a7fe8ab
  11. ^ Multicultural China in the Early Middle Ages, Sanping Chen, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012, ISBN 0812206282, p. 96
  12. ^ Maenchen-Helfen, The world of the Huns, pp. 164, 199, 381, 432 and Steven Runciman, A History of the First Bulgarian Empire, London, 1930, pp. 279—81 43 1—32
  13. ^ Procopii Caesariensis. Opera omnia/Rec. J. Haury. G. Wirth. Lipsiae, 1962 - 1963. Vol. 1 - 3.
  14. ^ https://books.google.bg/books?id=fX8YAAAAQBAJ&pg=PA254&lpg=PA254&dq=Kutrigurs+Utigurs&source=bl&ots=dSdCluNu37&sig=fJL69CRzXwYpjvvEcZ6kJuM8ioY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=6dA-VdaHAYTcavWagIAB&ved=0CEYQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=Kutrigurs%20Utigurs&f=false, p.254
  15. ^ http://www.davidkfaux.org/CentralAsiaRootsofScandinavia-Y-DNAEvidence.pdf, p. 17
  16. ^ http://www.promacedonia.org/en/sr/sr_1_1.htm, p. 5
  17. ^ https://books.google.bg/books?id=fX8YAAAAQBAJ&pg=PA254&lpg=PA254&dq=Kutrigurs+Utigurs&source=bl&ots=dSdCluNu37&sig=fJL69CRzXwYpjvvEcZ6kJuM8ioY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=6dA-VdaHAYTcavWagIAB&ved=0CEYQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=Kutrigurs%20Utigurs&f=false, p. 57
  18. ^ Steven Runciman, A history of the First Bulgarian Empire, Book I The Children of the Huns
  19. ^ Allgem. Nord. Geschichte, 358
  20. ^ https://books.google.bg/books?id=9lHeh36S8ooC&pg=PT1459&lpg=PT1459&dq=Kutrigurs+Utigurs&source=bl&ots=POAVHxTpOj&sig=96tPaSAIJR66wGCpnwS_AwxZBGo&hl=en&sa=X&ei=HNU-VZntJ4TXat2PgZAC&ved=0CEMQ6AEwBzgK#v=onepage&q=Kutrigurs%20Utigurs&f=false, chapter 7
  21. ^ http://www.promacedonia.org/en/sr/sr_2_1.htm, p. 52
  22. ^ http://www.promacedonia.org/en/sr/sr_app3.htm, Appendix III
  23. ^ G. Vernadsky. A History of Russia. Vol. 1, New Haven, 1943; vol. 2 - Kievan Russia, New Haven., 1948 - „българската орда, която впоследствие се заселила на Балканите в течение на седмото и осмото столетие, е принадлежала към утигурите и доколкото българските ханове от тези векове се причислявали към потомците на Ернак, можем да заключим, че именно ордата на Ернак става известна като орда на утигурите.”
  24. ^ http://www.historyfiles.co.uk/KingListsEurope/BarbarianHuns.htm
  25. ^ The Huns and Hsiung-nu. Vol. 22.; The legend of origine of the Huns. Vol 22; Byzantion, 1945
  26. ^ http://books.google.bg/books?id=k3-yZXnhtZgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Thompson+Huns&hl=bg&sa=X&ei=6wY2T7zPF4bJswbiqvmsDA&ved=0CC0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Thompson%20Huns&f=false
  27. ^ acc. to S.S. Minyayev, Миняев С.С. Сюнну//Природа, вып.4, 1986.
  28. ^ Maenchen-Helfen, Otto (1944–1945). The Legend of the Origin of the Huns. Byzantion 17. pp. 244–251.
  29. ^ http://bghistorypodcast.com/podcast/006-the-fall-of-the-house-of-dulo/
  30. ^ Uokil
  31. ^ http://s155239215.onlinehome.us/turkic/29Huns/Zuev/ZuevEarly1En.htm,p.42-p.46
  32. ^ http://ide.li/article2285.html
  33. ^ http://s155239215.onlinehome.us/turkic/29Huns/Zuev/ZuevEarly2En.htm, p.62
  34. ^ https://www.academia.edu/4965415/%D0%A2%D0%9E%D0%A5%D0%90%D0%A0%D0%9E-%D0%91%D0%AA%D0%9B%D0%93%D0%90%D0%A0%D0%A1%D0%9A%D0%98_%D0%95%D0%97%D0%98%D0%9A%D0%9E%D0%92%D0%98_%D0%9F%D0%90%D0%A0%D0%90%D0%9B%D0%95%D0%9B%D0%98
  35. ^ http://s155239215.onlinehome.us/turkic/29Huns/Zuev/ZuevEarly1En.htm, p.31
  36. ^ Yuezhi
  37. ^ http://www.transoxiana.org/Eran/Articles/benjamin.html
  38. ^ http://www.bulgari-istoria-2010.com/booksBG/Sanping_Chen_SOME_REMARKS_ON_THE_CHINESE_BULGARIAN.pdf
  39. ^ Runion, Meredith L. (2007). The history of Afghanistan. Westport: Greenwood Press. p. 46. ISBN 978-0-313-33798-7. The Yuezhi people conquered Bactria in the second century B.C.E. and divided the country into five chiefdoms, one of which would become the Kushan Empire.
  40. ^ T.P. Kijatkina, Kraniologicheskie materialy iz kurgannyh mogil’nikov Severnoj Baktrii. - Trudy Tadzh. arheol. eksp., VII, s.211.
  41. ^ http://www.iriston.com/nogbon/news.php?newsid=367
  42. ^ A.M. Mandel’shtam, Pamjatniki kushanskogo vremeni v Severnoj Baktrii, s.130.
  43. ^ http://s155239215.onlinehome.us/turkic/65_Craniology/YablonskyTracingHunsEn.htm
  44. ^ http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/823134_2
  45. ^ Denis Sinor (1990). The Cambridge History of Early Inner Asia. Cambridge University Press. p. 261. ISBN 0521243041. 
  46. ^ Panos Sophoulis (2011). Byzantium and Bulgaria, 775-831. BRILL. p. 71. ISBN 9004206965. 
  47. ^ Sanping Chen (2012). Multicultural China in the Early Middle Ages. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 97. ISBN 0812206282. 
  48. ^ a b c Peter Benjamin Golden (2012), Oq and Oğur~Oğuz* (PDF), Turkish and Middle Eastern Studies, Rutgers University, pp. footnote 37 
  49. ^ http://www.eurochicago.com/2012/02/post-attila-huns-myth-or-reality-are-bulgarians-really-proto-turkic/
  50. ^ http://www.kroraina.com/pb_lang/index.html
  51. ^ a b Raymond Detrez (2005). Developing Cultural Identity in the Balkans: Convergence Vs. Divergence. Peter Lang. p. 29. 
  52. ^ http://ia700400.us.archive.org/27/items/pogledvrukhproi00dringoog/pogledvrukhproi00dringoog.pdf
  53. ^ В.М.Флоринский, ХТ-Б-ИБ,стр.45,75
  54. ^ Composite Gazetteer of Antarctica: Dulo Hill.