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Patriotic And “Proto-National” Motives In Late Medieval And Early Modern Bulgarian Literature: The Contexts Of Paisij Hilendarski

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Chapter Summary

The aim of this chapter is to seek the domestic sources of Paisij's nationalist fervor, which he directed against Turks, Greeks and to some extent Serbs who-especially the first two of these "nations"-were constantly oppressing the "humble Bulgarians". Paisij's aim was to help Bulgarians to awake, to stop being "ashamed" of their origin and to discover the glorious past of their independent state and church before the Ottoman conquest, that is, during the medieval period. The career of Paisij was preceded by a period described in Bulgarian historiography as a kind of a "Dark Age" for Bulgarian development. In a way, his case is paradigmatic for the ensuing development: while Bulgarian nationalism in the nineteenth century was catalyzed by foreign influences from different cultures and of various trends, the common theme was that its ideologists were always seeking to establish a symbolic link with the specific domestic sources of (proto-)nationalism.

Keywords: Bulgarian historiography; Greeks; Paisij; proto-nationalism



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