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

Demographic and Religious Changes in Nahiya Kara Lom in the 17th–18th Centuries.


Authors:
Nevena Nedelcheva Historical Museum–Popovo, Bulgaria

Pages: 207-228
DOI: https://doi.org/10.54664/OEBQ6191

Abstract:

The report presents the changes that took place in nahiya Kara Lom between the late 17th and early 18th centuries. It is based on published and unpublished Ottoman documents – detailed cizye and avariz defters, stored in the Ottoman Archives in Istanbul and at the Oriental Department in Sofia. They were composed in the late 17th – first half of the 18th centuries. At the turn of the 18th century, very significant transformations took place in this region, which changed its appearance and state fundamentally. The main focus of the study is on the demographic and religious changes and processes in the region. They were expressed in the sharp decline of the population. This process was specific to the whole region, and its causes can be traced to many factors that have had a detrimental effect. These included climate change, plague epidemics, population migrations, economic problems in the Ottoman Empire, and the process of Islamization. They led to a decline in the population of Kara Lom, which can be described as a demographic crisis. In the vortex of this crisis, there was a “change” of the confessional image of the nahiya, i.e. a radical change in the religious model of the district, which had disastrous consequences for many settlements in the region. The report provides possible explanations for the demographic and religious transformations in nahiya Kara Lom, which shaped the area in the next century as we know it today.

Keywords:

demographic processes, religious groups, Northeastern Bulgaria, 17th century, 18th century, Ottoman Empire, Christian population, Islamization, migrations, cizye

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