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Plate 6 from Die Bulgaren in ihren historischen, ethnographischen und politischen Grenzen by Ishirkoff & Zlatarski Index no. 0048:0006
Bulgaria at the time of Asparuch and Terwel  —  Bulgarien zur Zeit des Asparuch und Terwel

The green-bordered text below is is the English version of the explanatory text, from the page facing the map. Another page on this site gives the full text in German, English, French, and Bulgarian.

6. – Bulgaria at the time of Asparuch and Terwel

The map shows Bulgaria at the commencement of her existence as a State.

The founder of the first Bulgarian Empire was Asparuch, called Isperich (679-701). He, with his troops, about the year 660 settled down in the Dobrudja, from where he also ruled over south Bessarabia. Thls circumstance gives inducement to the historians to look upon the Dobrudja as the "cradle of the Bulgarian people". According to the treaty which Asparuch closed with the Byzantine Emperor Constantine IV Poqonatos in 679, the country between the Danube and the Balkan Mountains, as far west as the river Iskar, was left to the Bulgarians. Later on, after the defeat of the Avars, the Bulgarian frontier ran up west to the river Oggsta. About that time Bulgaria had already incorporated the districts north of the Danube as far as the Wallachian ditches which, very likely, were constructed by the Bulgarian rulers as a natural protection for their frontier. These ditches went from the Danube (a few miles south of Braila in a southwestern line) to the middle part of the river Jiul; from this point the frontier descended along the river to unite itself across the Danube with that south of this river.

During the reign of Terwel (701-7I8), Asparuch's successor, northern Thracia, equally according to the treaty of 716, was included in Bulgaria. This district extended from the Sredna-Gora mountains, in a southeastern line. and then north-east along the old Bulgarian ditches, known by the name of "Erkessija", until it reached the old town Dewelt whose ruins are not far from the village Jakisli (west of Burgas). Under Terwel, the part of the Avar country at the middle and lower river Timok, was conquered, so that the continuation of the Balkan mountains became the western frontier, crossing the Timok near Zaitschar; from there it went parallel walls the Zrna-Gora Mountains and Mount Garwan in a straight line north to the Danube, thence following its course in order to unite, south of the town Turnu-Severin, with the great Wallachlan ditch, and to reach on this line the old frontier of Asparuch's time near the river Jiul. So the whole southern part of the present Wallachia formed a part of the Bulgarian State under Terwel.

Keywords: BulgariaAsparuchTerwel

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