Journal Epohi
“ST. CYRIL AND ST. METHODIUS” UNIVERSITY OF VELIKO TARNOVO - UNIVERSITY PRESS

The Passages in the Caucasus and the Location of the Bulgarians


Authors:
Zhivko Voynikov Independent Scientist, Bulgaria

Pages: 9-30
DOI: https://doi.org/10.54664/HBBQ5240

Abstract:

The Bulgarians appeared in the Caucasus in the 1st century AD or under the first rulers of the Arsacid dynasty in Armenia. Armenian chroniclers report that the “country of the Bulgarians” was situated in the gorges of the Caucasus. Some Syrian chroniclers note that the Bulgarians lived behind the Caspian Gates (e.g. Pseudo-Zacharias Rhetor), while others (e.g. Michael the Syrian) claim that the Bulgarians/Puguri lived behind the Torah Gates, which got its name from the city of Caspia, nowadays the town of Kaspi in Georgia. Thus, it becomes clear that the Torah Gates of Michael the Syrian and the Caspian Gates of Pseudo-Zacharias are one and the same thing – the Darial Gorge. Due to superficial knowledge of the Caucasus’s historical geography, the Torah Gates are identified with the Chor/Tsor or Derbent Pass in historiography. The Chor Pass cannot be identified with Derbent, but with the Alazani Valley or Ptolemy’s Albanian Gates. The Ashkharatsuits (or “Ancient Armenian geography”) also reports that the Bulgarians lived in the Western Caucasus, or in the territories of modern Kabardino-Balkaria and North Ossetia.

Keywords:

Caucasus, Caspian Gates, Darial Gorge, Torah Gates, Chor Pass, Derbent, Chor/Tsor, Chor Pass, Albanian Gates, Bulgarians, Barsils, Khazars, Alans, Armenia, Kingdom of Iberia, Caucasian Albania, The Bulgarian Mountain

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