Talk:Uprising of Asen and Peter

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This is apparently a pretty delicate subject, because the early 20th centuries nationalist historians (both Romanian and Bulgarian) tried to use it for their own purposes:

  1. Romanians said that Bulgarians at the time had a very low cultural level and couldn't rule themselves and that's why the Vlachs had to initiate the revolt.
  2. Bulgarians tried to minimize the importance of the Romanian element in the revolt, despite the fact that the chronicles say that the Vlachs actually started it.

Stephenson (see references) said that most of those historical works are rubbish and he based his research on primary sources, mostly from Nicetas Choniates, who was a contemporany with the rebellion.

Why the name: "Vlach-Bulgar Rebellion"? well, that's the name Stephenson used. AFAIK, Wolff didn't used a name, he just said "the rebllion" or something. :-) bogdan 23:47, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Move page?[edit]

No Bulgars took part in the rebellion. The Bulgarians had formed as a nationality many centuries earlier, as either Slavs and Bulgars had mixed or Slavs had assimilated Bulgars. So, the name is factually wrong. Flag of Bulgaria.svg → Тодор Божинов / Todor Bozhinov → Talk 16:16, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Dominance of Vlachs? This article must be totally rewritten![edit]

This article must be removed or fully rewritten. It is written obviously by romanian patriot, who believes that Second Bulgarian Empire was created predominantly by Vlachs.

I am Romanian, but all the information is taken from international historians, not from Romanian historians. The two main sources I used were the books of Stephenson of University of Wisconsin (who published his book at Cambridge University Press) and RL Wolff of University of Harvard. bogdan 23:52, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

I'm so sorry, but it wasn't Second Vlach Empire! The term Vlach was used by some medieval writers like Choniates, but it completely disappeared after the time of tsar Kaloyan and was never used in inner bulgarian inscriptions and historical records, so it was just outside name and is irrelevant as ethnic definition of the rebellion and the reborn state.

It dissappeared after the Asens were ethnically assimilated as Bulgarians, but at the time of the rebellion, they were yet Vlachs. bogdan 23:52, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

All bulgarian medieval sources from or about time of Asen dynasty contain only one ethnic name - Bulgarians. There aren't relevant proofs that Vlachs were leaders of that rebelion insted of Bulgarians, so the article must be completely rewrited!

There are no relevant proofs? The contemporany sources (Byzantine and Western) say they are of Vlach origin. What do you want more ? bogdan 23:52, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Please do not write with all capitals. This is considered to be akin to yelling. bogdan 22:18, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
The documents created from the rulers from that dynasty - too: tsar Kaloyan wrote to the Pope that he was successor of old bulgarian tsars Simeon, Peter, Samuel (but the Pope was this, who wrote that Kaloyan had origin from the city of Rome!); tsar Boril created famous Synodic in 1211, where there are scores of examples for expressions like ""bulgarian people", "bulgarian land", "bulgarian tsar", "bulgarian church", etc.; the inscriptions from tsar Ivan Asen II and so on...). Complete assimilation and bulgarization for 10-20 years until death of tsar Kaloyan (between 1185 and 1207)?! This is pure ABSURDITY!
Bogdan, why did you separate my text?!
Because that's how we write on talk pages. I didn't "destroyed" your text. Please see: Help:Talk page#Formatting bogdan 22:18, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
My original text, destroyed by Bogdan:
This article must be removed or fully rewrited. It is written obviously by romanian patriot, who believes that Second Bulgarian Empire was created predominantly by Vlachs. I'm so sorry, but it wasn't Second Vlach Empire! The term Vlach was used by some medieval writers like Choniates, but it completely disappeared after the time of tsar Kaloyan and was never used in inner bulgarian inscriptions and historical records, so it was just outside name and is irrelevant as ethnic definition of the rebellion and the reborn state. All bulgarian medieval sources from or about time of Asen dynasty contain only one ethnic name - Bulgarians. There aren't relevant proofs that Vlachs were leaders of that rebelion insted of Bulgarians, so the article must be completely rewrited!
I continue to think that article must be totally rewrited or removed, it contains only speculative romanian point of view! Bogdan, shame on you!

P. s. See just the categories, written by romanian nationalists for that article for the rebellion, which created The Second Bulgarian Empire:
Categories: History of Bulgaria | History of Romania | Vlachs | Rebellions in Europe | Wars of the Byzantine Empire
This is scandalous! Vlachs but not Bulgarians and Cumans!!!

Bring in some references, preferably from an English-language source. bogdan 22:18, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

With pleasure:
Georg Ostrogorsky (also Georgije Ostrogorski, George Ostrogorsky), "Geshihte des byzantinischen Staates", C. H. Beck, Munchen, 1963, translated in many languages: he categorically denies the conclusions of R. L. Wolf, "The Second Bulgarian Empire. Its origin and history to 1204", 1949, and states "It is not possible to doubt about that the state of Asens was bulgarian state." He states also that Choniates writes just about vlachs, but the next byzantine historian, George Acropolitas, doesn't mention vlachs at all but only bulgarians. Besides this he cites the correspondence between Pope and tsar Kaloyan, in which Kaloyan defines himself four times as "imperator totius Bulgariae et Vlachiae" and once just as "imperator Bulgarorum". He even offers the hypothesis that the name vlach in this rebellion isn't ethnic name. Do you want more, dear romanian nationalist?
It seems you can't understand old bulgarian language at all, in which are written the cited proper bulgarian documents of Asen dynasty (tsar Boril's Synodic, the inscription of tsar Ivan Asen II from 1230), and probably you have never read them. Would you accept them as a proof of your IRRELEVANCE also, Bogdan?
I must say it once again: this article must be totally rewrited ro removed!
P.s. About
Please do not write with all capitals. This is considered to be akin to yelling. bogdan 22:18, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
I'll answer - yes, I'm yelling! Shame on you! The name of this topic must be changed too! "Vlach-Bulgarian rebellion"... PURE ABSURDITY! Bogdan, I warn you - don't speculate again with irrelevant information, it will be erased!
I notice that Bogdan has a non-partisan reference from the year 2000 in support of his version; I understand that some of the scholars are in indisagreement. Bulgarian scholars like to de-emphasize or even deny the Vlach element, but see Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. Both of you should be careful about massive revisions. Alexander 007 01:28, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
George Ostrogorsky is partisan author? He isn't bulgarian! Obviously Alexander doesn't know anything about this russian-born yugoslav worldfamous medievist from the nearest past! I'm really surprised!
I don't recall saying that he is partisan, though he may well be; I am saying that the other references are non-partisan, and one of them is also up-to-date (2000). Alexander 007 01:37, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
Finally what are you saying? Have you ever read any text of George Ostrogorsky? Have you ever heard aboit him before tonight? I could cite many other opinions from non-bulgarian medievists like these of Ostrogorsky!
Note - contemporary bulgarian authors don't deny the existence of the vlach element in Bulgaria in the period of Asen dynasty, but this is just element, not the leading group! Have you ever heard or even read contemporary bulgarian medievists like prof. Ivan Bozhilov?
Paul Stephenson, Cambridge University Press, 2000---I'm sure he is familiar with Ivan Bozhilov. Alexander 007 01:53, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
As far as I understand you offer to accept just one point of view as undoubted truth, this of the cited Stephenson? And maybe you will call this non-partizan thinking? Funny!
Actually, I think the article should be revised a bit to be more balanced with other views; however, your version does not appear to be the version that balances the legitimate and current scholarly views, so I will revert it later. Alexander 007 02:06, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
Of course my present version isn't serious, but I wrote just the opposite information compared to the completely pro-romanian previous variant. I just removed the term vlachs or replaced it by bulgarians. This isn't simply a joke, but a provocation to the aggresive pro-romanian speculators. I must say I could't accept other more balanced text before the moment when that absurd name "Vlach-Bulgarian rebellion" of the article will be changed. Even tsar Kaloyan always put the name Bulgaria before Wallachia in his letters to the Pope!
I wasn't planning to get involved with a revision of this article anytime soon, so I expect you and Bogdan will work towards a revision. I know Bogdan as a good editor, who will agree to accurate revisions. Alexander 007 02:32, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Removing the Vlachs.[edit]

Removing completely the Vlachs from the article is not acceptable. The historical sources talk about the Vlachs as an important part of this rebellion.

If you dispute Paul Stephenson's or Wolff's writings, we should go back to the contemporany Byzantine and Western sources. Stephenson has lots of citations to the original medieval documents (and so does Wolff), so it would not be a big deal to source each affirmation in this article to the original sources, instead of to texts of modern scholarship.

But if you want that, I'll ask you to do the same. bogdan 22:59, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

My fellow Bulgarian's point of view is certainly a bit one-sided and not appropriate, but I have to say he has a bit of right that currently the article emphasizes too much on the Vlachs, while this was actually the rebellion that revived the Bulgarian Empire, and although the Vlachs' role and participation is undeniable, much more has to be written about the role of the Bulgarians in the rebellion, which was likely more important. But I don't blame you, you as a Romanian are certainly more interested in Romanian history and have presented things the way you view them. Flag of Bulgaria.svg → Тодор Божинов / Todor Bozhinov 18:16, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
You may add more info on the Bulgarian part of the rebellion, but you shouldn't remove info on the Romanian part of the rebellion just to balance things out. --Candide, or Optimism 05:29, 6 March 2006 (UTC)


Disputed template[edit]

The user who added the "Disputed" template hasn't made any comment on this page. I believe the article uses the term "Vlach" where the original sources do; if others doubt it, we need the doubts to be expressed clearly so that the issues can be reconsidered. Should the "Disputed" template be removed? Andrew Dalby 19:30, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

I could offer you my arguments in great detail later. By the way, some of them are exposed here in several previous discussions. The name "Vlach-Bulgarian" is speculative because it claims for the leading role of the Vlachs. The domestic bulgarian sources have quite different tendency. Tsar Kaloyan's correspondence to the Pope Innocent III emphasizes on the Bulgarian past and identity, not on the Roman/Vlach origin and identity. The provenance from the city of Rome was initially suggested from the Pope, Kaloyan accepted this idea for a while and then on his turn he argued his claims with his bulgarian heritage, which was confirmed and historically described in detail from the Pope in the light of Vatican-Bulgarian relations from the times of the First Bulgarian Empire. Kaloyan presented himself as an inheritor of the old bulgarian tsars, but subsequently gained the title "rex Bulgarorum et Blachorum" (not "rex Blachorum et Bulgarorum"). The synodic of tsar Boril of Bulgaria (Kaloyan's nephew) from 1211 even doesn't mention ethnic Vlach element in the Second Bulgarian Empire, but instead of this contains expressions like "After this the pious tsar Boril decreed to be translated from greek to his bulgarian language this synodic", "To all prelates, bishops, priests, monks and to all bulgarian boyars, which convoked along with tsar Boril", etc. In the documents from the time of tsar Ivan Asen II of Bulgaria (son of Ivan Asen I of Bulgaria) the name of the state is "Bulgarian tsardom" and the ruler's title is "In Christ the Lord faithful Tsar and autocrat of the Bulgarians, son of the old Asen". Important symbol of bulgarian state continuity was built in the sacred center of the capital city of Tarnovo - in SS. Forty Martyrs Church Ivan Asen II (or maybe some of his predecessors - most probably tsar Kaloyan was buried there) put a Border Column from Rodosto from the time of Khan Krum and also the Omurtag's Column with inscription along with his own Column's inscription.
The overemphasization of Nicetas Choniates' Vlachs could be treated as speculative romanian or proromanian POV, because the origin and the proper meaning of the term Vlach in the texts from these times aren't undisputable. Choniates informs us "the barbarians around Mount Haimos, who were earlier called Mysoi, and are now called Blachoi" (Choniates, 482 [p. 368 van Dieten]). Moesi was one of the older Byzantine "bynames" for Bulgarians during the First Bulgarian Empire. The archbishop of Ohrid Demetrius Chomatian (1216-1234) writes in his "Short passional of st. Clement of Ohrid" "This our great father and candlestick of Bulgaria was by birth from the european Moesians, which people usually know also as Bulgarians". Nominal archaization and shifting were widely popular with Byzantine intellectuals, and most probably because of this they were accepted in this period from several contemporary latin authors (the names Wallachia and Bulgaria are used together in the bigger part of the sources). I suppose the role of the Vlachs in this rebellion is at least disputable question. Therefore I think that in the present article there are some symptoms of proromanian partizan POV and suggest to rename it with more neutral title like "Asens' Rebellion". Best wishes, Jackanapes 01:27, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
As we can see above, the detail has been discussed before; also at Second Bulgarian Empire and at Kaloyan of Bulgaria.
It's important to understand that this article isn't about the Second Bulgarian Empire -- we have a very strong article on that, under that title -- but about the initial years of the rebellion. There are not many sources for the rebellion, but they do definitely name the Vlachs as instigating it. And, as you rightly say, Kaloyan did name the Vlachs in his regal title.
The remaining question is, "what does Vlachs mean in 12th century sources?" What languages did they speak? What were their ethnic origins? We don't know the answer.
So, if I say "I don't believe these were what I would call Vlachs, therefore I will cut Vlachs out of the text and the title" I am imposing my POV. What I have to do instead is to add a footnote, or a new section of the article, or a reference to another article where the issue of the identity of these 12th century Vlachs is discussed. And there is such a discussion already at Kaloyan of Bulgaria#Disputed origins. We could refer to that prominently, or summarise it in this article too.
Although I'm sure you are writing in good faith, I think, personally, that the suggestion to remove the name of Vlachs from the title of the article about the rebellion, against the evidence of contemporary sources for the rebellion, would be imposing a modern POV and obscuring the historical record. But what do others think? Andrew Dalby 13:21, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
Dear Andrew Dalby, as we can see above, the previous discussions ended with proposed but not accomplished suggestion for editing of the present article, and a partisan cry "JUST END THIS MEANINGLESS QUARREL AND ADMIT THIS WAS THE FIRST ORGANIZED STATE THE ROMANIANS EVER FOUNDED".
This article also concerns the foundation of the Second Bulgarian Empire. I suppose the character of the rebels could be understand properly from domestic documents. Most of them were created some time after the begining of the insurrection, but nevertheless they are reflection of rebel's inclinations, ideology and most probably they show the dominant ethnic group among them. Present article overemphasizes on external documents, which are in conflict with domestic tradition and are far from undisputable reliability. In fact Vlach name disappeared from the documents around two decades after the begining of the uprising.
I'm afraid you misunderstand me. My sugestion was different - not to erase the term Vlach from the title, but to erase all ethnic terms in the title (the proposal was "Asens' Rebellion"), in which I see the opportunity to satisfy all ways of interpretations. - Jackanapes 14:15, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
P. s. Of course we could put link to the subarticle Kaloyan of Bulgaria#Disputed origins, this idea is very good. - Jackanapes 15:10, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I agree, there are some partisan remarks on this talk page, and you give a very good example! But we're really talking about the article, not the talk page.
I still think the title Vlach-Bulgarian rebellion is quite well chosen. 1. it was not newly invented, but devised by a respected historian. 2. It acknowledges that the earliest sources attribute this rebellion to Vlachs (whoever exactly they were). 3. It acknowledges that the Bulgarians are certainly involved, and that the result of the rebellion was a Bulgarian state. 4. By using the -hyphen- (rather than saying e.g. "Vlach and Bulgarian rebellion") the title remains ambiguous as to whether Vlachs and Bulgarians were different, or overlapping, or identical at this period (which is what we don't know). I think that's really clever.
Personally, I don't like "Asens' Rebellion" so much because it personalises the rebellion. My impression is that it was not just two individuals, it was a whole people or a community that began this rebellion; Peter and Asen began as their representatives. So it would be like renaming Solidarity as "Lech Walesa's movement".
However, having re-read the article, I feel, like you, that there is POV in it. I hadn't noticed before the extent to which the article emphasises the Vlachs, usually alone, without even discussing who these people were. So I now agree with you strongly that the article wants revision.
If we continue to disagree over the title, we could get some others to come to this page and comment. What do you think? Andrew Dalby 12:55, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Dear Andrew Dalby:
1. There are many other respected historians, who use different terminology. Two examples. Classical Russian medievalist Федор И. Успенский (Feodor I. Uspenskii) in his "История византийской империи", Издательство "Мысль", Москва ("History of the Byzantine empire", "Myisl" Publishing house, Moscow), 1997, volume III, called these events "The initiatory period of the movement in Bulgaria" ("Начальный период движения в Болгарии") and "bulgarian rebellion" - in these chapters he doesn't mention Vlachs at all (pp. 240-278). Other eminent Russian medievalist from recent past, whose life-work is closely connected with Yugoslavia, Georg Ostrogorsky, in his "Geschichte des byzantinischen Staates", C. H. Beck, Munchen, 1963 (I have this book in Bulgarian translation), defines our object as "a rebellion in Bulgaria". In a spacious explanatory note he describes the Vlach problem in Asen's rebellion and concludes that in this case the term Vlach doesn't indicate ethnic Vlachs and Vlach character of the rebellion, but refers to random Balkan nomadic peoples in general and also to something quite different - the whole population of Moesia, including Bulgarians. Ostrogorski doesn't deny the presence and the role of the Vlachs in the Second Bulgarian Empire, but he defines this state as undoubtedly Bulgarian. His arguments are similar to mine - the domestic Bulgarian tradition doesn't stress on Vlach element but always on Bulgarian and in fact rarely mentions Vlachs, early Byzantine authors clearly explain that Vlach name hasn't ethnic meaning and in the next "generation" of medieval sources Vlach name totally disappears (in my Bulgarian publication - Георгий Острогорски, "История на византийската държава", ИК "Прозорец", София, 1996 - pp. 516-519).
2. The name "Vlach" is used 11 times in the present article, while the name "Bulgarian" 8 times (including combined form Vlach-Bulgarian). Funny.
3. I'm glad that you see POV elements in the article. I still think that the easiest way to avoid nationalistic and anachronistic speculations is to eliminate ethnic names and to use neutral words like rebels, leaders, etc.
Best wishes, Jackanapes 02:51, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
Just a brief answer, Jackanapes. I don't agree at all with your last sentence! To eliminate ethnic names is to falsify history. Rebel is not a neutral word. To focus on leaders rather than people in general is to take a definite political stance very different from the approach to history that I would want to be linked with.
I did agree that the article may show POV and needs revision. I think it would be a very good idea to summarise Ostrogorsky's footnote in the article.
It isn't surprising if the domestic Bulgarian tradition rarely mentions Vlachs. All over the world, settled people tend not to mention nomadic people (or, if they do mention them, they underemphasize their achievements).
If Uspensky describes this rebellion at any length without mentioning Vlachs, he is at fault. You can see this as well as I can, because the original sources give them a prominent place. The question is -- as Ostrogorsky saw -- "who are the Vlachs"?
Best wishes Andrew Dalby 14:10, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
P.S. -- Since I don't think you and I will agree about the title, I've asked two other Wikipedians interested in this subject to comment. I don't know if they will comment, or what they will say! Let's wait and see ... Andrew Dalby 14:29, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
Dear alby, please, don't forget - in fact Ostrogorsky gives us not only the question "who are the Vlachs"?, but also the answer... Jackanapes 19:47, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Vlah means foreigner! Vlahs were considered as nation 2 centuries later! It's Second middle-age Bulgarian empire. This empire was inhabited by Bulgarians and foreigners(vlahs) - later by Uniatic church foreigners(vlahs) learned Latin langauage and that thing unified them. The empire is Bulgarian! Bulgarian rebbelion! Милан Мераков

Disputed text revised[edit]

I have now reviewed the whole article on the basis of R. L. Wolff's well-documented paper cited in the bibliography. There was actually very little adjusting of the recorded facts in the article! I hope there isn't any now. I have removed the "disputed" template. Andrew Dalby 16:42, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

PS. The details of the "Who were the 12th century Vlachs?" dispute, begun by Uspenskii (named above) as long ago as 1879 and fiercely fought for about 100 years, is a byway of 19th/20th century nationalism. I suppose we could have a separate article on it: I don't think it needs to intrude further into this article, which is about the 12th century, not the 20th. Andrew Dalby 16:53, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
Dear alby, now this article sounds more seriously. You are quite right, a new article about the disputes around medieval Vlachs is more than necessary. I'm afraid this task is very complicated because of its immense and branched chronological, spatial and historiographical range. Accept my regards, Jackanapes 21:22, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
Jackanapes, I put back one "Vlachs", as quoted by Nicetas Choniates. We can't rewrite Nicetas Choniates: he said what he said, and he's dead now. I took out the statement that the chapel was built "at their major city of Turnovo" because I think it's fantasy. But I'd love it if you would cite a historical source that proves me wrong! Andrew Dalby 21:30, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
alby, it is not fantasy that you obviously don't know fundamental facts about Turnovo. I'm so sorry for your edit war! - Jackanapes 21:42, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

The chapel dedicated to Saint Demetrius in Turnovo[edit]

The chapel dedicated to Saint Demetrius in Turnovo.

More pictures of this church, newly built after the earthquake in 1913 - here. Best wishes, Jackanapes 21:39, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Beautiful! I want to visit! Can you cite something which says how old it is? Andrew Dalby 21:41, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
Янка Николова, "Към въпроса за градоустройството на средновековния Търновград (предимно по данни от досегашните археологически разкопки)", в "Трудове на Великотърновския университет "Кирил и Методий", том ХV, кн. 3, Исторически факултет 1977-1978, София, 1979, р. 94.
Петър Славчев, "Сградостроителство и градоустройство в средновековно Търново", в "Годишник на музеите от Северна България", книга IV, 1978, р. 39.
Янка Николова, "Църквата "Свети Димитър Солунски", в-к "Велико Търново", София, 1975, р. 5.
Archaeological publications in Bulgarian. According to them this church dates from the end of the 12th century. It is so pity that this Vlach rebellion had its main town center in the future capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire! - Jackanapes 22:40, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Adding source references[edit]

I was beginning to add source references, but they are getting caught in a little edit war. I don't do them, so I'll drop it. Others who want to add sourced statements and further references to the article, please do it (including those above!) Andrew Dalby 10:01, 5 November 2006 (UTC)


Българи, не позволявайте румънската пропаганда тук! Не ни стига македонистката, сега защо трябва да допуснем и румънците да крадат историята ни! (talk) 21:47, 23 February 2010 (UTC)