Bulgars – Originally a Turkic ethno-linguistic group, related to the Magyars, but assimilated by the south Slavic people in the Balkans over the last thousand years. They adopted a Slavic dialect and the Greek Orthodox form of Christianity. Their original Turkic language fell into oblivion. They first appeared in history in the early 600s as the Khanate of Great Bulgaria. By 679, as the neighbors of the powerful Khazar Khanate, they settled in the Lower Danube area, in present-day Wallachia and Moldavia, next to the Avar Khanate to the west. From there the Danube Bulgars moved south across the Danube during the 8th century into the area of present Bulgaria and became neighbors of the Byzantine Empire in the south, and of the Magyars in the north across the Dnepr River. Also, during 8th century, another branch of the Bulgars established the powerful state of the Volga- or Eastern Bulgars at the confluence of the Volga and Kama Rivers. The Magyars in the west, the Khazar Khanate in the south, and another Turkic people migrating westward from Asia in the east surrounded them. From the late 9th to the end of the 11th century they had to accommodate the Pechenegs (Patzinaks) south of their territory. Later on the Cumanians settled south of them until the arrival of the Tartars. The Volga Bulgars persisted until about 1240, when the Khanate of the Golden Horde, the Tartars, swept them away together with the Cumanians. From the 11th century a Bulgarian Empire developed south of the Danube, when it was at the height of its power, up to the appearance of the Ottoman Turks about 1400. During these centuries the assimilation by the south Slavs (Serbians) converted the Turkic Danube Bulgars into a Slavic-speaking people, with prosperous trading in their towns. They expanded into part of Transylvania as well, from where the Hungarians under King István I (St. Stephen, 997-1038) pushed them out during the 11th century. Although the Danube Bulgarian Empire was destroyed by the Mongol-Tartar Invasion in 1237, it flourished again until its final disappearance in 1400. From centuries of oppression by the Ottoman Turks, a modern state of Bulgaria emerged south of the Danube. They are an industrious, hardy people, mainly engaged in agriculture, horticulture and animal husbandry. They are well known for their tobacco cultivation and their rose gardens, producing rose-oil and good wine. – B: 1068, 1647. 1648, T: 7456.→Khazars; Cumanians; Pechenegs; Avars; Mongol-Tartar Invasion.
Bull – Scholars of ancient Hungarian-Pecheneg mythology, such as Arnold Ipolyi, and Károly (Charles) Szabó insisted that in ancient beliefs the forces of Life-and-Death, Light-and-Darkness and Fire-and-Water are perpetually at odds. These six factors are in constant turmoil fostering birth, growth, death and destruction throughout the Universe. According to mythology, the elk and the bull of death represent the personification of life. – B: 0942, T: 7682.→Ipolyi, Arnold; Szabó, Károly.