Ivan Biliarsky, The Institution of Bans in Medieval and Ottoman Bulgaria

Ivan Biliarsky - Institute of History, Sofia
p. 167-190
Online publication date: 
ban, Bulgarian institutions, Ottoman Empire, Boboshevo, Church of Saint Demetrius in Boboshevo

The article presents a study on the institution of bans in South-Eastern and in Central Europe. The study begins with the first data, related to the Croats but the special accent is on Bulgarian history. We have a survey of the sources, mentioning the institution in Bulgaria or in Bulgarian lands from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern times under Ottoman power: these are historical relations, inscriptions, and folkloric data. A particular attention is payed to un unpublished graffito from the Church of Saint Demetrius of Boboshevo from the mid-17th century. We arrive to the conclusion that in mediaeval and Ottoman Bulgaria the institution of bans did not exist and the mentioning derive from the popular culture with the uninstitutional meaning of important, rich and influential person.