From Stratum Culture to National Culture : Integration Processes and National Resignification in 19th century Plovdiv
Although the formation of national communities involves in many cases the use of outright arbitrary inventions, “community” quite often results out of the reframing and resignification of premodern symbols and practices with deep roots in societies undergoing the nation-formation process. This resignification may be carried out more or less smoothly, depending on the conflicts and frictions generated by regional and social integration processes. The paper examines the social prehistory and analyses the structure and receptions of the first public confrontation between the Greek and Bulgarian nationalist discourses, triggered by the foundation of the first Bulgarian high school in the city of Plovdiv in 1850. It is argued that this prototype nationalist discursive clash, centered on the concepts of “civilization” and “refinement” and resonating premodern sociocultural practices and distinctions, can be meaningfully understood as an outcome and catalyst of a regional and social integration conflict.
- 1 Νarodna Βiblioteka Ιvan Vazov [National Library ‘Ivan Vazov’ – Plovdiv], BIA [Bulgarian Historical(...)
1In April 1850, a group of notables of Bulgarian descent addressed a letter to the Orthodox archbishop and their fellow Orthodox citizens of Plovdiv (in Greek Philippoupolis, in Turkish Filibe) demanding the introduction of the teaching of Bulgarian language in the central high school of the city. Bulgarian was the language spoken by the overwhelming majority of the rural Orthodox population of Plovdiv’s hinterland and its teaching was, they argued, equally important to that of Ottoman Turkish (the language of the administration) and certainly more important than that of French, the two languages specially taught in the high school apart of Greek, the main language of instruction. On the one hand, as they argumented, the Greek-speaking inhabitants of a city « lively because of its trade » would benefit greatly from the knowledge of Bulgarian in their commercial contacts with the hinterland. On the other, the notables of the prospering Bulgarian villages of the countryside would be content to send their children to nearby Plovdiv to learn their Slavic language, instead of sending them abroad, where they would spend much more money and run the danger to have their mores “changed” and become “alien” to their fatherland1. While the latter, political part of the argument, alluding to the increasing Russian influence among the Ottoman Slavs, points to the importance and international dimensions of a matter that seemed at first place a local one, the former, economic part of it, points to the dynamics of regional integration which provided the ground for this remarkable claim for cultural integration between the city of Plovdiv and its countryside.
- 2 Elias (Norbert), « Processes of State Formation and Nation Building », in Transactions of the 7th W(...)
- 3 Elias (Norbert), art.cit.
- 4 For these events the reader can find abundant information in Bulgarian and Greek historical litera(...)
2Integration processes lie at the heart of Norbert Elias’s nonfunctionalist and nonteleological conception of nation-state formation2. These processes do not usually run smoothly and untroubled ; neither have a guaranteed integrative outcome. The spurts, Elias argued, towards greater interdependence, towards closer integration of human groups previously independent or less dependent, normally run « through a series of integration tensions and conflicts, of balance of power struggles which are not accidental but structural concomitants of these spurts »3. The letter of the Bulgarian notables referred to one of those integration conflicts, albeit one with an adverse, disintegrative outcome. Their demand was declined by the majority of the Greek-speaking notables of Plovdiv and they consequently decided to establish the first Bulgarian high school in the city, a major urban centre of northern Thrace. The establishment of the new school was, in turn, the first serious step towards the break-up of the Orthodox community of Plovdiv along national lines effected a decade later (1861) after a protracted and violent struggle concerning the introduction of the Bulgarian language in divine liturgy and the control of the city’s churches by the rival national parties4. Its significance, moreover, transcended the local level, as it occasioned the first public confrontation, in the pages of the Constantinople press, between the two rival Balkan nationalist discourses.
3The temporal priority of this episode within the overall Greek-Bulgarian nationalist rivalry in the Ottoman Balkans constitutes an adequate — but not the only one — reason to examine it more closely. Several of its features give it the appearance of a matrix of this rivalry ; features related not only to its political and cultural parameters but also to the integration processes noted above which enabled it. Therefore, before proceeding to the analysis of this model discursive clash, before meeting its agents, unravelling their arguments and following the reception they found, we will briefly sketch the social prehistory of the conflict.
4The transformation of the city of Filibe (Plovdiv) from a medium-sized provincial town, heavily dependent on its fertile agricultural hinterland, as travelers depict it during the first centuries of Ottoman rule5, to one of the most significant manufacturing and commercial centers of the Ottoman Balkans in the 18th and early 19th centuries was related to the dynamic osmosis of long-distance trade and local woolen cloth manufacturing6. The expansion of trade between the Ottoman lands and Central Europe during the 18th century benefited considerably to cities such as the ancient Philippoupolis, situated on the Roman Via Militaris, the main axis connecting Istanbul to Sofia, Belgrade and Vienna7. Yet, it was the eastern trade and the above-mentioned osmosis of trade and manufacture which accounted for the economic boom of the city : the famous aba of Plovdiv, a kind of coarse woolen cloth, and the şayak, its finer variation, were traded from Vienna in the West to the Anatolian and Middle Eastern provinces of the Ottoman Empire in the East, and as far as Indian Calcutta, where a thriving Greek Orthodox merchant community was established in the 18th century8.
- 5 See among others :Dernschwam (Hans), Hans Dernschwam's Tagebuch einer Reise nach Konstantinopel un(...)
- 6 A comparison of the descriptions of the city by 18th century travelers with those of the earlier c(...)
- 7 Jirecek (Konstantin), Die Heerstrasse von Belgrad nach Constantinopel und die Balkanpaesse, Prague,(...)
- 8 For the local woolen manufacturing of the region of Plovdiv see Todorov (Nikolay), The Balkan City(...)
- 9 Genç (Mehmet), « Ottoman Industry in the eighteenth century : General Framework, Characteristics an(...)
- 10 On the Kircali raids see : Mutafchieva (V.), L'Anarchie dans les Balkans à la fin du XVIIIe siècle(...)
- 11 For these processes see especially Lory (Bernard), « Immigration et intégration sociale à Plovdiv(...)
5The dynamic economic development of the city during the 17th and 18th centuries, the new opportunities and the concomitant tensions it generated among its predominantly non-Muslim agents were “contained” and managed within the political and institutional framework of the Ottoman ancien régime. The peculiarities of this framework, first and foremost the strength of the urban guilds, the support they received as instruments of economic and social control from the Ottoman state and its local agents, and the pivotal role they played in regulating the spheres of both production and distribution, enabled the endurance of a particular social and spatial division of labor and balance of power until the demise of the Ottoman ancien régime during the first decades of the 19th century9. On the one hand, the thriving guilds of Plovdiv, especially that of the aba cloth makers, functioned as poles of attraction for rural artisans and apprentices, a trend that acquired further momentum during the period of decentralization (1780-1810) and the Kırcalı raids, which caused the destruction of many of Plovdiv’s hinterland settlements10. They, moreover, managed throughout the period to control the potential antagonism of rural industry and keep the guilds of the lesser settlements in a subordinate position. On the other hand, the urban guilds functioned as loci of gradual social ascent, transition – in the most successful cases – to the world of big trade and acculturation to its Greek culture, dominant within the Orthodox millet of the Ottoman Empire11.
- 12 See among others : Stoianovich (Traian), « The Conquering Balkan Orthodox Merchant », The Journal(...)
- 13 Philliou (Christine), « Communities on the Verge : Unraveling the Phanariot Ascendancy in Ottoman G(...)
- 14 For a very interesting overview and a fresh reframing effort of the history of the Phanariots see (...)
6Much has been written on the mounting influence and integrative role of the Greek language and culture within the Orthodox millet of the late Ottoman Empire and several important contributions have traced its main social and political parameters12. Alongside the commercial networks of the “conquering Orthodox merchant” using Greek as their lingua franca and the networks of the Orthodox Church of Constantinople, which was reinvigorated during the 18th century, recent research has stressed the importance of the direct participation of Christian Constantinopolitan elites in Ottoman governance for the enhancement of the integrative power and hegemonic appeal of the Greek language and culture for the multiethnic Orthodox subjects of the sultan13. The ascendancy of the Phanariots to the governance of the semi-autonomous Danubian Principalities in early 18th century offered Greek language and culture the air of a “court culture”, much more “real” than the substitute offered hitherto by the ecclesiastical court of the Constantinople Patriarchate, although it was inextricably intertwined with it. It was, in this way, enhancing its symbolic power potential and distinction capacity. Being formally distinct, the above-mentioned “Greek-cultured” socioeconomic, ecclesiastical and political patronage networks were in reality interlinked, to a degree and with implications that have not yet been empirically reconstituted adequately, nor theoretically appraised14.
- 15 In its original use, (recorded since the 13th century) the title was accompanying members of the O(...)
- 16 Apostolidis (Kosmas Myrtilos), op.cit., pp. 427-434 ; Apostolidis (Kosmas Myrtilos), « Ο από Σηλυβρ(...)
- 17 Moravenov (Konstantin), op.cit., p. 42.
- 18 The etymology of the title, from Romanian cocoanǎ, offers another indication of the decisive impac(...)
- 19 The most characteristic example is that of Athanasios Giumushgerdan, father of the most powerful e(...)
7The vantage point of a major provincial centre, such as 18th century Plovdiv, provides a simpler and clearer version of these interrelations and lucidly reveals the specific role ascribed to Greek language and culture, as distinctive of a ruling stratum within the Orthodox millet that was essentially premodern in its social outlook and ideology. This stratum consisted in Plovdiv of a handful of notable families claiming aristocratic descent and bearing the Ottoman title çelebi15. The available sources reveal adequately the sociopolitical profile of these “provincial Phanariots”: they were geographically mobile, active in the long-distance trade networks from central Europe and the western Mediterranean to the Middle East and India, enjoying high-standing “friendships” and protection in both the Ottoman and Orthodox establishments of the empire. This quasi-aristocratic lay elite formed, along with the higher clerics, a mixed council, which governed the Orthodox community of Plovdiv “aristocratically”, i.e. hereditarily, under the leadership of the local archbishop16. Both clerical and lay members of the council bore the titles of the old Byzantine nomenclature of the offikialioi (logothetis, rhetor, ostiarios, sakellarios, sakellion, etc.). Apart from the crucial role of the church in sanctioning their supremacy, their “nobility” was stated and reproduced in several symbolic ways : the çelebis wore special hats (kalpak) to distinguish themselves from other categories of the population, they used the Greek language and brought up their male and female children in Greek culture and refined manners17. The latter, i.e. the greatly sought-after ladies bearing the title kokkona18 provided – through marriage – successful entrepreneurs of an artisanal background with a route into this world of privilege19.
- 20 For a detailed account of the struggle between çelebis and guildsmen see Lyberatos (Andreas), « Çe(...)
8Alongside these rather few and exceptional individual social trajectories and infiltrations of people of “humble origin” into the ruling stratum of the Rum millet, the major development in the 18th-century social landscape of the city of Plovdiv was, contrapuntally, the impressive enhancement of the collective power of the guilds which put them at the beginning of the 19th century in a position to break the monopoly of the çelebis in the communal government. This seminal change for the history of the city was effected in 1817 after a three-year long struggle which culminated in an unprecedented mobilization of the rank and file of the guilds which brought down the pro-çelebi Archbishop Ioannikios. The abolishment of the hereditary “aristocratic” system of community government was not followed by an equally abrupt discrediting of the çelebis’ cultural “paradigm”, which retained, as we shall see, its influence in local society. What is, nevertheless, more important in respect with this change, is that the victory of the urban guilds and their ascent to communal rule marked the peak of their power, which soon started to decline in the face of sweeping political and socioeconomic transformations20.
- 21 Ortaylı (İlber), İmparatorluğun en Uzun Yüzyılı [The Empire’s Longest Century], Istanbul : Hil Yayı(...)
- 22 Gökçek (Mustafa), « Centralization during the era of Mahmud II », Osmanlı Araştırmaları, XXI, 2001.(...)
- 23 On the early Tanzimat reforms see among others : Shaw (Stanford .J.), Shaw (Ezel K.), History of t(...)
- 24 See among others : Quataert (David), « The Age of Reforms 1812-1914 », in İnalcık (H.), Quataert ((...)
9The prolonged agony of the Ottoman ancien régime in the period of decentralization (1780s-1810s) discharged itself in the successive reorganization efforts of the Sultans Selim III and Mahmud II. The latter’s successful “absolutist modernization”21, its milestone being the abolition of the Janissary corps and the creation of a standing army (1826) and its cornerstone the administrative reform and centralization which undermined the influence of local power actors (ayans)22, was followed at the end of the 1830s by the proclamation of the Tanzimat reforms, which initiated the efforts of Ottoman rulers to incorporate within an “Ottomanist” ideological framework the potentially subversive elements of Ottoman society by guaranteeing the equality of the sultan’s subjects, irrespective of religious affiliation, and introducing more representative forms of government23. These major political developments and ruptures were accompanied by profound socioeconomic transformations related to the collapse of the so-called “command economy”, i.e. the authoritative intervention and regulation of economic activity by the state. The abolition of state monopolies and export prohibitions and the opening of the Ottoman market to the world economy sanctioned by the free trade treaties of the late 1830s (initiated with the 1838 Anglo-Ottoman trade treaty) led to the disruption of local subsistence economies, revolutionized the productive capacities of the Ottoman countryside and drastically undermined corporate interests defended in the past by the Ottoman state and its local agents24.
- 25 Voilery (Pierre), « Une ville Bulgare à l’époque Ottomane : Eski Zaara (XVIIIe- XIXe siecles) », Tu(...)
- 26 Palairet (Michael), The Balkan Economies c.1800-1914 : Evolution without Development, Cambridge : C(...)
- 27 Cf. Lyberatos (Andreas), « The beğlik sheep tax collection system and the rise of a Bulgarian nati(...)
- 28 Cf. Elias (Norbert), art.cit.
10The coming of the “age of capital and reforms” in the Ottoman Empire, roughly sketched here, produced significant changes in both the city and the hinterland of Plovdiv and ushered contradictory processes which disturbed the dynamic equilibrium between them. If until the first decades of the 19th century, the city of Plovdiv controlled and contained the economic development of the region, being the pole of attraction for material and human resources from the countryside, the unprecedented economic blossoming of Plovdiv’s countryside during the Tanzimat period produced reverse, centrifugal trends. This blossoming had two complementary faces : alongside the growth of the agricultural export trade of the fertile northern Thracian plain — which gave soon rise to small but dynamic merchant strata in the lesser urban centres in Plovdiv’s periphery (Stara Zagora, Čirpan, Haskovo)25 — the major development was the protoindustrial boom of the woollen industry in the mountain settlements surrounding Plovdiv, several of which (Koprivštica, Karlovo, Kalofer, Kleisoura, Sopot) were turned, in an astonishingly short period of time, from villages into small towns, taking the lead from the city’s moribund textile industry and challenging the control by Plovdiv’s entrepreneurs over the supplies to the new standing army, the state and the expanding market of the capital26. During the 1820s-1840s, powerful notables of Bulgarian descent, coming from these “rural” towns and reaching prominence through networks involved in sheep-breeding, state and army supplies, animal tax-farming and the woollen industry, infiltrated the Greek cultured elite of the Rum millet of Plovdiv and gradually assumed the representation of the interests of the up and coming hinterland in the provincial capital27. The centrifugal trends in the economy were combined and counterbalanced by centripetal trends in what concerned the extension, during the Tanzimat period, of the administrative, judicial and fiscal power and scope of Plovdiv over a significantly enlarged territory (sancak). These contradictory political and socioeconomic developments ushered in combined and interdependent processes of both spatial (regional) and social (strata) integration, signifying not only a greater interdependence, but also important shifts in the balance of power, which resulted, in a period of political instability and popular mobilization, in a fierce and protracted struggle within the Orthodox community of Plovdiv28. The Bulgarian school dispute, which broke out in the middle of the 19th century, constitutes an early and crucial moment in this struggle.
11The dispute was aired in the Greek and Bulgarian newspapers of Constantinople, Tilegrafos tou Vosporou (The Bosporus Telegraph) and Tsarigradski Vestnik (Constantinople Gazette), respectively29. The authors of the articles and agents of the confrontation, Georgios Tsoukalas and Najden Gerov, were both well-educated intellectuals who settled in Plovdiv initially as teachers, albeit at different times : the former in the early 1830s and the latter in the early 1850s30. In all probability, the two men first met in Plovdiv in 1834, at a time when Tsoukalas was the schoolmaster at the central high school and Gerov an incoming pupil from the mountain village of Koprivshtitsa. Unfortunately, no record has been left of this first encounter, which certainly did not prevent Gerov from taking a different course from that of his teacher. At this stage, it is worth considering at some length their diverse but equally interesting intellectual and life trajectories, which were characteristic of their time.
- 31 Apostolidis (Kosmas Myrtilos), op.cit., pp. 693-694.
- 32 Theoklitos Pharmakidis, Neofytos Vamvas, Konstantinos Asopios and Nikolaos Piccolos were among the(...)
- 33 Typaldos-Iakovatos (Georgios), op.cit., pp. 26, 38. For the use of dress in sanctioning the hierarc(...)
- 34 Diamantis (K. A.), Η Ιόνιος Ακαδημία του Κόμητος Γκίλφορδ (Κατά χειρόγραφον της συλλογής Γιάννη Βλα(...)
- 35 Typaldos-Iakovatos (Georgios), op.cit., p. 32.
12Crucial for the ideological formation of Tsoukalas, a native of the Ionian island of Zante (present-day Zakynthos), was his attending the Ionian Academy of Lord Guilford, founded in 1824 in Corfu, the capital of the British protectorate of the Ionian Islands. Tsoukalas was among the first students of the academy, taking his degree in theology in 182831. Among the teaching staff of the academy were several distinguished and radical figures of the Neo-Hellenic Enlightenment, heralds of the liberating force of education and human reason32. Nevertheless, the classicist atmosphere in this first Greek university, its founder’s worship of antiquity and the introduction of rituals and strict discipline after the model of British universities, led to the appearance of features of scholasticism and linguistic fetishism which undermined the very agenda of the Neo-Hellenic Enlightenment. Professors and students of the academy, following Lord Guilford himself, were compulsorily dressed in ancient Greek-style robes and mantles. Moreover, learning of the Greek language in its typical form, its grammar, etymology and syntax, formed the core of the teaching program, and its mastery was considered the prerequisite for all knowledge and the symbol of personal achievement33. An interesting parameter which could, to a certain extent, account for the development of this near-obsessive insistence on the cultivation of the purified, archaic form of the Greek language, was the “planting” of the academy into a social environment where the Christian Orthodox elite was in the habit of using Italian as a symbol of nobility. The gentlemen of the city reacted against the establishment of the academy and the most learned among them disputed the knowledge of these “alien” teachers who came to Corfu to teach in the language di villani, i.e. the language of the peasants, as they named pejoratively the Greek34. In these circumstances, it seems that only the great ancient classics could match “the beautiful language of Dante and Petrarch”, adored by Corfu’s nobility. The inaugural address to the students of the academy stated this clearly : « The souls of Homer, Plato, Demosthenes and Xenophon are here, staring at you »35.
- 36 Apostolidis (Kosmas Myrtilos), op.cit., p. 694. The salary of the Ionian Academy graduate Tsoukalas(...)
- 37 Moravenov (Konstantin), op.cit., p. 58 ; Šišmanov (Ivan), Избранни съчинения [Selected Works], Sofi(...)
- 38 Tsoukalas e.g. introduced compulsory examination in Greek language for all those « who want to bec(...)
- 39 Patriarchal and Synodical letter for the foundation of St. Trinity primary school in Plovdiv, 6th o(...)
- 40 Tsoukalas (Georgios), Γραμματική της αρχαίας ελληνικής γλώσσης αυτοσχεδιασθείσα υπό Γεωργίου Τσουκα(...)
- 41 This role was soon assumed by the graduates of the Athens University, founded in 1837 within an ir(...)
- 42 Apostolidis (Kosmas Myrtilos), op.cit., p. 694.
- 43 Moravenov (Konstantin), op.cit., p. 58
- 44 Šišmanov (Ivan), op.cit., p. 319.
- 45 For details on Tsoukalas’s later career see Lyberatos (Andreas), op.cit., pp. 370-373.
13From this classicist academic environment, and after spending some time in liberated Greece, where he worked as a schoolteacher, Tsoukalas moved to Plovdiv, assuming in 1832 the position of schoolmaster in the central high school of the city36. As we have seen above, the attitude of local society towards the Greek language and its cultivation was, in Plovdiv and in most urban centers of the Ottoman Empire, the very opposite of the pejorative stance Tsoukalas had encountered in Corfu. The esteem accompanying the Greek language as a mark of social status, both among the declining quasi-nobility of the çelebis and those who were advancing socially and succeeding them in the government of the community, guaranteed that the new schoolmaster, with the authority his Greek university education offered him, would be well received by the ruling circles of the community. Indeed, Tsoukalas was readily accepted into the notable circles and married to a well-to-do kokkona, granddaughter of the once powerful çelebi Mihalaki Kyrou37. Moreover, the trust and authority he commanded among the notables allowed him to embark, without any delay, on a program of reorganization of the educational and ecclesiastical matters, applying novel (for the community, at least), British-style disciplinary measures and addressing new needs and demands38. Two years after his arrival in Plovdiv, the demand for community-organized primary education was met with the establishment of the first Greek primary school in the city (1834) thanks to the generous donation of Voulko Kurtovich Chalikov, a notable of Bulgarian descent39. The following year, and thanks to the financial support of the notables and the guilds of the city, Tsoukalas published in Constantinople a Grammar of the Ancient Greek Language, a work intended for the use of the pupils of the new school. As the theologian Tsoukalas explains in the foreword, he undertook this task, which was unusual given his competences, because the pupils « needed a simple and instructive grammar, since they lack their Greek mother tongue for incomprehensible reasons, as well as due to the proximity of Lower Moesia [northern Bulgaria] »40. The “defective” Hellenism on the part of Plovdiv’s youth and the linguistic diversity and the use of Bulgarian in the city, justified the role Tsoukalas reserved for himself, being one of the first representatives – before the organized intervention of the Greek nation-state and its apparatuses – of a new type of intellectual : the university-educated “missionary of Hellenism” in the Ottoman East41. Despite the initial approval Tsoukalas enjoyed in Plovdiv, he very soon found himself in conflict with the local notables, some of whom were of Bulgarian descent, and was eventually dismissed42. According to his opponents, this development should be attributed to Tsoukalas’ arrogant, greedy and intrigue-seeking character43. Be it as it may, Tsoukalas obviously failed to adequately manage his cultural capital, and his Hellenizing mission ended ingloriously. After a brief and equally eventful stay as a teacher in Sliven44, he returned to Plovdiv, where he embarked on a career in business, leaving the teaching profession for good45.
- 46 For more details of the biography of N. Gerov see : Pančev (Todor), Найден Геров. Сто години от ро(...)
- 47 Davidova (Evgenia), « Неофит Рилски », in Todev (Ilia), ed., Кой кой е сред българите през ХV-ХІХ в(...)
- 48 Genčev (Nikolay), Българо-руски културни отношения през възраждането [Bulgaro-Russian cultural rela(...)
- 49 For the first generation of modern Bulgarian intellectuals and their relationship to Greek culture(...)
14Following quite a different intellectual trajectory and becoming one of the most important intellectuals and educationalists of the Bulgarian National Revival, Najden Gerov (1823-1900) shared, nevertheless, an important trait with his rival. Like Tsoukalas, he too was one of the first university-educated apostles of a national ideology in the Ottoman Empire of the Tanzimat reforms46. Born in Koprivshtitsa, a large, prosperous mountain village of the district of Plovdiv, Gerov studied in Plovdiv’s Greek central high school and then returned to his native village, where he was taught by the famous Neofit Rilski, « the patriarch of Bulgarian writers and educationalists », as Konstantin Jireček labeled him47. In 1839, Gerov left his home village for Odessa, where he studied administrative and economic sciences at the Richelieu Lyceum (later the Imperial Novorossijski University), being one of the first Bulgarians to graduate from a Russian university. The small circle of rich Bulgarian merchants living at that time in Odessa constituted the first nucleus of a new current of modern Bulgarian intelligentsia with a Russophile panslavist orientation48. While Neofit Rilski represented a generation of Greek-educated Bulgarian intellectuals who believed that the path of the Bulgarian people towards Enlightened Europe passed through Greek language and education, his disciple Gerov represented a new generation of intellectuals that did not oscillate in the same way : they were directly oriented towards one of the Great Powers – Russia49.
- 50 For a short biography of Aprilov see Davidova (Evgenia), « Васил Априлов », in Todev (Ilia), ed., (...)
- 51 Venelin (Yuri), Древние и нынешние болгаре, в политическом, народописном, историческом и религиозно(...)
- 52 Aprilov (Vasil), Денница новобългарскаго образования [Morning-star of Modern Bulgarian Education],(...)
- 53 For the views of Gerov on Aprilov see his letter to his brother Atanas Hadzhi Gerov, pp. 22-11-184(...)
15The life and action of Vassil Aprilov, the leading figure among Odessan Bulgarians at the time of Gerov’s stay there, furnishes a very interesting example of this important intellectual shift. Married to a kokkona from Plovdiv, Aprilov studied in Moscow, Braşov and Vienna before settling in Odessa in 1811. There he became trustee of the city’s Greek schools and later contributed generously to the preparation of the Greek War of Independence50. Influenced by the work of the pioneer Ukrainian Slavist and historian of the Bulgarians Yuri Venelin51, in early 1830 Aprilov abandoned his Greek sympathies and assumed a leading role in the organization of the modern Bulgarian education system, attracting and patronizing Bulgarian students in Russia and organizing and financing the first modern Bulgarian school in his native Gabrovo. In his seminal work Morning Star of Modern Bulgarian Education (1841), Aprilov argues for the Slavic origin of the Bulgarian people, even of the so-called proto-Bulgarians of Khan Asparukh, and condemns as “pure graecomania” the views of Bulgarian intellectuals like Rajno Popovich who supported the teaching of the Greek language in the developing Bulgarian school network. He accused the Orthodox clergy in the Ottoman Empire of planning the “hellenization” of the Bulgarians, evokes the arguments of Jakob Philipp Fallmerayer for the multitude and strength of the Slavic race, rejected the characterization of Byzantium as a Greek empire, etc.52. Despite the fact that Gerov was quite critical of Aprilov, whom he considered as selfish, domineering and vainglorious, he was obviously influenced by him, as he shared with him some basic beliefs and reproduced several of his arguments53.
- 54 Pančev (T.), ed., Из архивата на Найден Геров (op.cit.), pp. 330-336 ; Gerov (Najden), Няколко думи(...)
- 55 Pančev (T.), ed., Из архивата на Найден Геров (op.cit.), pp. 341 ff.
16Living and studying in the Russophile romantic nationalist atmosphere of the Bulgarian émigrés in Odessa, Gerov developed close relations with representatives of the Russian state and ecclesiastical elite, undertook translations of Russian works into Bulgarian and, in publishing pamphlets, took an active part in the emerging discussions on the appropriate form that a standard modern Bulgarian language should take54. By the time of his graduation, and despite being only 23 years of age, he had already acquired in Bulgaria the fame of a learned man. Thus, returning in Bulgaria, and after a two-year term teaching in his home village, where he organized one of the first Bulgarian intermediary (klasni) schools, he was invited by the Bulgarian notables of Plovdiv to organize and direct the city’s newly established (1850) Bulgarian high school55. In Plovdiv again, Tsoukalas and Gerov would meet for a second time. Both ardent patriots — each of them in his own way — and strongly committed to diverse causes, they would soon engage in a fierce confrontation.
17Tsoukalas began the confrontation by publishing, in July 1851 in the Constantinople Bosporus Telegraph, an article on the occasion of the first public end-of-year examinations held in the Bulgarian high school56. The examinations were attended by the local authorities, attracted many people and it seems they were quite successful. Their success, as well as the ambition of the new school to become a pan-Bulgarian one that could attract funds and pupils from many Bulgarian-inhabited regions, contributed probably to Tsoukalas’ furious reaction : from the outset of his article, he hastened to stress the rural origin of the new school’s teacher and the pupils, who almost all came from outside Plovdiv57.
- 56 Τηλέγραφος του Βοσπόρου (op.cit.).
- 57 The new school was referred to in the press as “Central” (центрическо, средоточно), both because o(...)
18The notions of “civilization” and “language”, the “essence” and mark of a civilization’s importance, lie at the core of Tsoukalas’ argumentation in this extremely aggressive article. The new school’s practice of providing language learning through the teaching of the various sciences and of examining language skills alongside other subjects, directly challenged convictions Tsoukalas received at the Ionian Academy, as we have seen. For him, « no one could be considered a scientist without the orderly acquisition of philology ». Philology, he argues, is the bread which supports the heart, whereas the sciences are « the wine which offers joy to the heart ». « Yet », he concludes, « the one who drinks with an empty stomach, does not feel joy, but is getting drunk and stupid ».
19Tsoukalas’ article is structured around antithetical pairs, which the author presents as natural and insurmountable. According to Tsoukalas, the Bulgarians and Najden Gerov could not legitimately aspire to the acquisition of science, since « science is one thing, craft is another ». The Bulgarians are, figuratively speaking, « hungry » and « destitute », because their language, in which the pupils of the school are taught, is « unheard of », « irregular », « an unprecedented mixture of Bulgarian and Slavonic, containing Greek-fabricated, Latin and Turkish words ». And « since the language is the mirror of the civilization of a nation », Tsoukalas reaches the main antithesis he wants to forward : on the one hand there are the « enlightened and wise nations of Europe », those who « have an ethically and politically active and endowed language », and on the other hand the « vulgar » Bulgarians, and « as everybody knows, this nation had lain, since its first existence, in ignorance ». Consequently, « the needy must not show off, but rather seek help ».
- 58 All quotations above from Τηλέγραφος του Βοσπόρου (op.cit.).
20Making clear the geographical aspect of this general antithesis, Tsoukalas touches openly on the issue of social hegemony in the city, which is what is really at stake. On the one hand there are the « few uncivilized Bulgarian peasants » and their teacher, coming from the surrounding villages, and on the other the « metropolis » and « big city » of Philippoupolis and the « multitude of its Greek and native Christian inhabitants ». Instead of showing off, the outsider Bulgarians should first try to improve their « formless » language, while for the sciences they should attend the Greek high school, to learn them through the medium of the Greek language, « without which everything for them is futile ». Having done this, they should return to their country to teach their compatriots, « leaving the status quo in Plovdiv intact as they found it ». Compared to Tsoukalas’ native Zante, things are clearly inverted : it is the Bulgarians here that are the villani, the peasants, while the Greeks are the agents of civilization. Moreover, the Greek language offers economic advantages which accompany its civilizing qualities : « The Eastern Christian religion is practised in the Greek language, trade is conducted in this language, all the houses of the Christians are governed in this language, and the behaviour of almost everybody is refined (σεμνύνεται) through this language »58.
- 59 Bakić-Hayden (Milica), « Nesting Orientalism : The Case of Former Yugoslavia », Slavic Review, 54 ((...)
- 60 Elias (Norbert), The Civilizing Process (transl. by Edmund Jephcott, ed. by Eric Dunning, Johan Gou(...)
- 61 Cf. the exemplary analysis of the dialectics between integration dynamics, social fear and civiliz(...)
- 62 All quotations above from Τηλέγραφος του Βοσπόρου (op.cit.).
21Tsoukalas calls forth the antithesis of civilization and barbarity : the former is presented in his version as high culture and civilité achieved through language education and the refinement of manners. The stereotyping he uses in order to make the Bulgarians appear as the very opposite of this “civilization” constitutes a lucid and typical example of what Milica Bakić-Hayden, on the basis of the Yugoslav experience of the late 20th century, defined as “nesting orientalism”59. Confronted with “civilized Europe”, Tsoukalas’s nationalist discourse produces “its own East”, employing for this end the “watchword” of the colonizing movements of the West : “civilization”60. More remarkable is nevertheless the way in which Tsoukalas, through this “civilization” rhetoric, uses social representations inherited from the times of the quasi-aristocracy of the çelebis, yet still resonant in Plovdiv, restaging them in a new context of an oecumene of nations, recasting them in a national language, i.e. nationally resignifying them. The rigid fashion in which he reproduces these representations and the extraordinary emphasis he places on the antitheses which sustain them (city/village, commerce/rural poverty, science/craft) constitute a clear indication and an indirect admission of social fear from the advancement of new strata with a rural background that were seeking, in dynamic fashion, political participation in the affairs of the Orthodox millet. They constitute at the same time a particular proposal for the management of this fear of integration : as long as the “peasants” advance themselves and claim a right to participate in “civilization”, then the “civilization” should be further refined and the Greeks should become Hellenes, evoking their ancient glory61. If the social fear is, figuratively speaking, the basso continuo of Tsoukalas’ text, in his concluding remarks it becomes the leading voice : « The aim of their school is the exclusion of the Greek language from Philippoupolis [Plovdiv] and the introduction of this foreign, formless one ». He continues : « The sun cannot become a moon, nor a Hellene a Bulgarian ». Facing the advance of the “barbarian Bulgarian”, the “Greeks and native Christians” become in the text’s final crescendo “Hellenes”62.
22In his lengthy and equally aggressive response to Tsoukalas, published in the Bulgarian Constantinople newspaper Tsarigradski Vestnik, Gerov takes advantage of and addresses the fears of his adversary : « If in Plovdiv there were only a few of these “vulgar” Bulgarians, how could they imagine that they could exclude the Greek language ? » Despite some conciliatory references to the “unbreakable bond” of the common Orthodox religion, a lip service to the official Russian policy at that time, Gerov’s reply accepts and affirms the division between the two nations, albeit in a manner that challenges Tsoukalas’ demarcations. In what concerns these demarcations, we encounter the most interesting point of Gerov’s reply, which otherwise sticks to the typical contemporary racial conception of the nation. He explicitly argues that neither religion nor language can be considered safe criteria for the definition of a nation. « All the Roman Catholics exercise their religious practices in Latin, yet they never thought of amalgamating into one nation », he writes. « If the nationality of someone changes when one adopts a foreign language, then the Jews inhabiting Turkey should not be considered Jews, but Spanish, since they speak Spanish [Ladino]. » Interestingly, these same arguments would be employed later by the supporters of the Constantinople Patriarchate in their effort to block the introduction of the Bulgarian language in church services. What is, nevertheless, crucial at that moment of conflict was Gerov’s audience and its particularities. His theory addresses and is clearly adapted to the social realities of Plovdiv and other major urban centers of the Ottoman Balkans, where socially ascendant elements of Bulgarian (or other) descent were in the habit of adopting the Greek language. Therefore, he argues that all the inhabitants of Plovdiv “are Bulgarians, who adopted Greek as the language in their homes”. Behind these acquired cultural characteristics, even behind the language used at home, there exists, as an unalterable essence, the common racial origin, which reveals itself primarily in the names of those Plovdiv citizens who retained their Slavic roots.
- 63 Apart from the early proponents of this ideological current (Neofit Bozveli, Zahari Zograf a.o.),(...)
- 64 Cf. Hroch (Miroslav), Social Preconditions of National Revival in Europe. A Comparative Analysis o(...)
23Gerov does not fail to apply also to the Greeks, after the Bulgarians, the normative juxtaposition between the essential, given, i.e. “racial” traits, on the one hand, and the acquired, superficial, i.e. “cultural” traits, on the other. Again, like in the case of the Bulgarians, the acquisition of these “alien” traits is attributed by Gerov to the pursuit of social status and prestige. The Greeks, he argues, for centuries forgot their ancient national names, i.e. Γραικός (Greek) and Έλλην (Hellene), and adopted the name Ρωμαίος (Roman), which associated them with the official state and was considered more prestigious. In the same manner, 19th-century Bulgarians speak Greek not because they want to be Greeks, but because it is considered more prestigious. Gerov attributes the existing confusion to the peasantry, the “naive Bulgarian people”, who cannot distinguish between a “Greek” and a “Roman” (i.e. an Orthodox Christian) and consider that whoever speaks Greek is a Greek. Here Gerov clearly distances himself from radical popular Bulgarian nationalist views, which attack the “graecoman čorbadži”, i.e. the Greek mannered Bulgarian notables, and tend to exclude them from the national community63. On the contrary, Gerov develops a supraclass national discourse which aims at the social integration of the Bulgarian nation under bourgeois hegemony64.
- 65 Cf. the juxtaposition by the ascending bourgeoisie of the cultivation of knowledge vis-à-vis the c(...)
- 66 All citations above from Цариградски вестник, g. A, č.50/1-9-1851 & g. B, č.51/8-9-1851.(...)
24It is therefore expected and understandable that Gerov does not dispute Tsoukalas’ value system or refute his dichotomies. On the contrary, he moves along the same axes (the ideology of progress, de-orientalization and the “civilized Europe” approach, etc.). In this respect, it is characteristic that he accepts the antithesis of city (civilization) and village (ignorance) but tries to relieve the Bulgarians from the stigma of being peasants. At one point he refers to himself thus : « The teacher of the Bulgarian school is from the village of Koprivshtitsa only by birth, yet he was educated in a European school. Therefore the fact that he comes from a village in no way ridicules his profession ». Contradicting his previous contentions, the acquired, “European”, education enjoys here a clear primacy over the “native” culture of the Bulgarian village which has to be refined and elevated to a proper national culture. For this refinement, however, Gerov deems Tsoukalas’ “Hellenizing” recipe totally inappropriate, rejecting moreover his educational views as backward and scholastic : « He wants us to become parrots and learn to utter words without understanding their meaning … He is suggesting that we should not get into the water before learning to swim »65. Instead, Gerov defends the use and further cultivation of the Bulgarian language (with the help of Russian) and refutes the purist views of his adversary : « Any words and knowledge we cannot draw from our own language, we will not be ashamed to borrow them from other languages. French has thousands of Greek words and it is considered as one of the finest languages in the world, while the French have done such progress in science the Greeks will need much time to do »66.
- 67 Cf. Hroch (Miroslav), op.cit., p. 10.
25Between the lines of the confrontation we have briefly sketched, the target of the dueling intellectuals appears continuously : the audience which has to be won over by the rival parties/nations-under-formation in their struggle for hegemony in the city of Plovdiv. The addressees are the “citizens”, the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois strata of Plovdiv and the other small urban centers of the district who aspire to social advancement. The two discourses represent two proposals of progress and modernization and two alternative routes to national consciousness67. The Greek monopoly over progress which Tsoukalas invokes is disputed by the alternative model that Gerov forwards. For the Bulgarians of the city, and the surrounding places, the model of individual social advancement proposed by the “civilizer” Tsoukalas is disputed by the model of the collective national progress proposed by the “reviver” Gerov.
26The confrontation did not conclude with the publication of the two polemical articles. On the contrary, apart from the sequels published by the same authors in the same newspapers, the Bulgarian high-school dispute triggered a wider discussion regarding the two nations and their relations, a discussion with formative significance for the gradually crystallizing rival nationalist discourses. The opening of the new school provoked the compilation of the first history of the city, the Historical-geographical Description of the District of Plovdiv, written by Tsoukalas and published the same year of the dispute (1851) in Vienna. Apart from repeating the “civilizing” rhetoric analyzed above, the work dwelled on the city’s ancient history in an attempt to prove its Greek character, allegedly uninterrupted since antiquity. Of crucial importance for this effort was the re-introduction of the ancient Greek names of the various localities in the city and the wider region. The mechanism of dialectical polarization we encountered above found here another exemplary application : since the “vulgar” Bulgarians were trying to introduce a Slavic name for the city – “Plovdiv” – the Greeks should archaize the existing ones : in this way the village of Stenimahos becomes in Tsoukalas’ work Istieomahi and the town of Tatar Pazardžik becomes Vessapara68.
- 68 Tsoukalas (Georgios), Ιστοριογεωγραφική περιγραφή της Επαρχίας Φιλιππουπόλεως, Vienna : P.P. Mehyta(...)
- 69 Αμάλθεια, Έτος ΙΕ΄, αρ. 684, 28-3-1852 ; Ο Τηλέγραφος του Βοσπόρου, Έτος Θ΄, αρ. 408/13-10-1851 &am(...)
- 70 Ο Τηλέγραφος του Βοσπόρου, Έτος Θ΄, αρ. 408/13-10-1851& αρ.413/17-11-1851. Latris would publish(...)
- 71 Цариградски вестник, g. B , č. 68,71-79, 5 & 29-1 to 22-3-1852.
- 72 Цариградски вестник, g. B, č. 69/12-1-1852 ; Ο Τηλέγραφος του Βοσπόρου, Έτος Θ΄, αρ. 399, 400, 401(...)
- 73 Cited in Цариградски вестник, g. B, č. 66/22-12-1851.
27Tsoukalas’s rebaptizing ventures found soon resonance, as Ikesios Latris, a veteran of the Greek War of Independence, praised him in the pages of Smyrna’s Amaltheia and Istanbul’s Bosporus Telegraph for his intellectual activity, baptizing him, in his turn, with the archaic name “Isokalos”69. Sharing with Tsoukalas the fascination with ancient names and the construction of an imaginary geography of Greece, Latris went on to argue that the Bulgarian language was closer to Greek than to Slavonic and that those who call themselves Bulgarians were actually fellow brothers of the Greek nation70. These improvised “assimilationist” theories were expectedly picked up and refuted by Gerov in a series of articles in Constantinople Gazette which crystallized his views on the Bulgarian national language, views which would later evolve into the so-called Plovdiv linguistic-orthographic school71. While the same newspaper was publishing satirical articles and verses by Petko R. Slavejkov mocking Tsoukalas, the latter was engaged in replying both to Gerov and to other treatises “from the vexed Bulgarians” sent from Romania72. The repercussions of the dispute soon reached Serbia, where the newspaper Srpske Novine condemned the efforts of the Greek newspapers to cast a stigma on the Bulgarian people, “aiming to make the Bulgarians feel ashamed for themselves and to seek to become Greeks, as if this were possible”73.
- 74 For the beginnings of Bulgarian press and its contribution to the dissemination of the Bulgarian n(...)
28Plovdiv, Constantinople, Smyrna, Bucharest, Belgrade : with the power of the press, the vehicle par excellence for the dissemination of nationalism, the conflict over the Bulgarian high School in Plovdiv had assumed in a couple of months wide geographic, ideological and political dimensions74. Although it would be interesting to follow the further episodes of this reactive mirroring and mutual formation and transformation of the two rival nationalist discourses, this task lies beyond the scope and focus of the present article. The final part of this text will instead focus on Plovdiv local society and explore the reception by their immediate audiences of the venture of the rival nationalist intellectuals.
- 75 Ο Τηλέγραφος του Βοσπόρου, Έτος Θ΄, αρ. 399/11-8-1851.
- 76 Ο Τηλέγραφος του Βοσπόρου,Έτος Ι΄, αρ. 450/ 2-8-1852.
- 77 Greek Foreign Ministry Archives (hereafter GFMA), 1852/37.13. Vice-consulate in Adrianople, Varots(...)
- 78 For a concise overview of the development of Greek education as a means of national consciousness’(...)
- 79 GFMA, 1876/ 99.1ε, Ath. Matalas to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Plovdiv 1-8-1876 ; Skopetea (Elli)(...)
- 80 We should, however, note that this uncompromising cultural attitude was not automatically translat(...)
29The acuteness of the conflict produced – immediately after the debate entered the newspapers – a trend towards more rigid demarcation and solidification of the rival cultural camps. The construction of the “enemy within” is a crucial and revealing moment in this process. Just one week after the publication of his article against the Bulgarian school, Tsoukalas published a second one, reporting this time on the public examinations of the Greek high school in Plovdiv75. During these exams a serious conflict between the schoolmaster and the second schoolteacher broke out, provoked by the views of the latter who proposed the modernization of the school by shifting the emphasis in the curriculum from the scholastic grammatical instruction to the teaching of the sciences, which was exactly what Gerov advertised as the advantage of the Bulgarian school. The outcome of the conflict can be clearly seen in the program of next year’s examinations at the same school : mathematics and experimental physics, the fields of the heretic teacher fiercely attacked by Tsoukalas, were removed76. Meanwhile, the trustees of the Greek school, Pappadatis and Nemtsoglou, rejected the proposal of the Greek consul at Adrianople to have the Bulgarian language introduced to Plovdiv’s Greek high school in an effort to achieve conciliation and restrain the momentum the Bulgarian school was gathering. As they declared to the consul, they could not accept « the ears of the Greek children being violated by the sound of the barbarian Bulgarian language »77. Despite the existence of different voices, it seems that the dynamic of the integration conflict favored the prevalence of Tsoukalas’ “purist”, “archaeo-manic” and Slavophobic views, the very same views which fifteen years earlier had brought him into conflict with Plovdiv’s notables and caused his expulsion from the central high school. These views formed eventually the ideological and educational platform on which the Greek school network would develop in the Plovdiv district in subsequent decades78. It was only in the late 19th century that this platform would be challenged by Greek consuls and intellectuals, who, in the face of the difficulties in the dissemination of “Hellenism” in Macedonia, argued that kathareuousa, the archaic “purified” language, should be replaced as the language of instruction by the dimotiki, the vernacular Greek idiom, which would be more accessible to the pupils of non-Greek ethnic origin79. In the middle of the 19th century, however, when the conflict with the emerging Bulgarian national movement had just broken out, the “instinctive” social reaction of the urban strata which identified their fates with Hellenism was in the direction of the “refinement of civilization” and the most rigid cultural demarcation.80
- 81 For details see Lyberatos (Andreas), « Το “Μνημείο για τον χριστιανικό πληθυσμό της Φιλιππούπολης”(...)
- 82 GFMA, 1848/ 19.1 Greek Embassy in Constantinople, Rizos to Kolokotronis, 24-12-1848; 1849/ 49.2α R(...)
- 83 GFMA, 1849/37.13 Vice-Consulate in Adrianople, Varotsis to GFM, 19-8-1849 ; 1849/ 49.2α, Rangavis(...)
- 84 For these conflicts see among others, Iliou (Philippe), « Luttes sociales et mouvement des Lumière(...)
30The new commercial and professional diaspora coming to Plovdiv from the Greek kingdom and the British protectorate in the Ionian Islands contributed decisively to the prevalence of Tsoukalas’ ideas. The beginnings of this migration can be traced back to the 1830s ; by the mid-19th century this Diaspora had already a significant footing in local society81. As we saw in the case of Tsoukalas himself, “Hellenism” was the necessary ideological framework for the preferential integration of these newly arrived bourgeois into the local elite circles. Nevertheless, the conjuncture of the years 1846-1852 proved highly threatening for them. The threats were coming simultaneously from three directions : firstly, from the Ottoman state, which was turning to the question of “nationality” in an effort to curtail the tax exemptions the Greeks and Ionians enjoyed as foreign subjects by preventing them from owning real estate in the empire82 ; secondly, from the Ecumenical Patriarchate which, in trying to prevent the dissemination of subversive anticlerical ideas, even resorted to measures such as the prohibition of the employment of foreign subjects in schools and in other posts within the Orthodox communities83 ; and finally, from the Bulgarian notables, who capitalized on the aforementioned reactions of the Ottoman state and the Patriarchate against the newcomers. The « envious demands of the Bulgarian notables », in Tsoukalas’ words, for the exclusion of the “foreigners” from the community’s affairs gave a very tangible, threatening character to the antithesis of local/newcomer, an antithesis that acquired dimensions commensurate with the intensity of the integration conflict itself. The escalation of the conflict gave rise to a peculiar struggle between two kinds of “imagined nativity” : defending a “urban bourgeois nativity”, the ideologues of the Greek party disdained the Bulgarian rural incomers, while those of the Bulgarian party defended a “regional nativity” against the incoming Greek bourgeois from faraway places. In the maelstrom of this struggle and in face of multiple threats, the cultivation of strong ties to the local Orthodox bourgeois by accentuating “Hellenism” and urbanité seemed the appropriate strategy for the bourgeois Ionian or Hellenic subjects. In the long run, the structure of the local struggles and the emergence of the Bulgarian national movement favored the smooth integration of what we figuratively could label as the “Greek Orthodox” and “Hellenic” bourgeoisies, integration which in other cases, such as for example in that of İzmir, was highly problematic84.
- 85 Cf. Gellner (Ernest), Nations and Nationalism, London : Blackwell, 1983.
- 86 ΝΒΚΜ, f.782 « Georgi Stojanovič Čaloglou », a.e. 86 ; Šopov (Atanas), ed., Д-р. Стоян Чомаков. Жив(...)
- 87 Съветник, I (7), 6-5-1863.
- 88 Kirkovič (Rada), Спомени [Memoirs], Sofıa : Kambana, 1927, pp. 28-29.
31The cultural strategy of the foreign subjects and the local notables who took sides with the Greek party, expressed in the persistent emphasis they placed on their “Hellenism”, was compatible with their political orientations and congruent with the established manners of the “polite” society of Plovdiv. As regards the relation between cultural choices and political affiliation, things were much more complex and contradictory for the notables of the Bulgarian party85. While the Bulgarian notables — some of whom, we should note, enjoyed Greek diplomatic protection — opted for an uncompromising break with “Hellenism” as a political project, they were not ready and willing to the same degree to stop using Greek — a symbol of social superiority — in their everyday practices. To mention just a couple of examples from among many : as late as the 1860s the leaders of the Bulgarian party of Plovdiv, Georgi Stojanovich Chaloglou and Stojan Chomakov, corresponded to one another exclusively in Greek86. Besides, as the Sǎvetnik newspaper reported in 1863, the notables of the Bulgarian party in neighboring Pazardžik decided in a meeting that they would abandon « the blameworthy habit of speaking with their children in Greek »87. Still, when she arrived in Plovdiv in 1866 to take over the city’s Bulgarian female school, a niece of Gerov’s, Rada Kirkovič, recorded in detail the persistence of this “blameworthy” habit in the houses of almost all of the notables of the Bulgarian party88.
- 89 For the impressive development of the Greek female education outside the Greek state and its symbo(...)
- 90 NBKM, BIA, « G. Stojanovič Čaloglou to Stojan Chomakov », n.d., f.782, a.e.9/ 20-23.
- 91 Kirkovič (Rada), op.cit., p.28.
- 92 Ibid., p. 29.
- 93 Македония, VΙ (1), 1-1-1872.
32These trends and attitudes were even more manifest in the case of the education, or, more precisely, the “manners and etiquette instruction” of their female children. The rival national educational programs developed in a period when local society still considered the Greek education of the female members of the bourgeois families as a sine qua non for a good marriage and a symbol of the social hegemony of the community’s “aristocratically mannered” ruling circles. In contrast to the Greek approach to female education, which had been flourishing in Plovdiv since 1851, its Bulgarian counterpart developed after considerable delay and many problems89. The first Bulgarian female school opened in the city in 1865, thanks to a donation from Georgi Stoyanovich Chaloglu, who later accused the trustees of having used his bequest for other needs of the Bulgarian community90. Moreover, Greek textbooks were used in the beginning by the schoolteacher, Elisaveta Maneva, herself an admirer of Greek culture91. Only after long struggle did the new teacher, Rada Kirkovič, manage to have Greek excluded from the school92. Still, as late as 1872 Petko Slaveykov’s Macedonia was deploring the weak commitment of the Bulgarian notable ladies to the national cause and their continuing use of Greek as a domestic language93.
33The linguistic habits of the Bulgarian notables and the belated, faint and problematic development of Bulgarian female education in Plovdiv testify to the persistence, in their case, of the class signification of cultural choices that were premodern in origin. To put it in other words, they suggest an incomplete transition from “stratum culture” to national culture and point to the resistances and deeper contradictions inherent in the resignifying venture of the nationalist intellectuals. Soon, the “Greek” manners of the Bulgarian bourgeoisie attracted the fierce criticism of the emerging new generation of radical Bulgarian nationalists. Here is one illustrative example, an extract from a piece of correspondence from Plovdiv, published in the Nezavisimost newspaper in 1874 :
- 94 Независимост, IV (35), 15-6-1874.
I am obliged to tell you also that the great part of our [Bulgarian] notables here are Greek or Grecoman in their souls and that their struggle with the local Greeks has only occurred for a piece of bread. Tsoko Kableshkov is Bulgarian only in the street, Todoraki Iskrov is a Bulgarian patriot only in the coffee-house, Ioakeim Gruev is a Bulgarian patriot only when he is dreaming, and Dr. Rashko is Bulgarian only when it comes to the payment of his bloody visits. Not even in one of these houses is Bulgarian spoken. No one of the wives of these prime Bulgarian patriots allows her children to call themselves Bulgarians. Finally, for none of the children of these great Bulgarian patriots can it be said that they are pure Bulgarians, with the exception of one of the sons of Tsoko Kableshkov.94
34As it is evident from a series of similar testimonies, the need of the Bulgarian male and female bourgeois of Plovdiv to distinguish themselves from their compatriots moving to the city from the villages and forming in a large part the city’s proto-proletariat contradicted their need to ensure the political mobilization and support of these strata in the intra-communal struggle for hegemony in the city and region of Plovdiv. As a more radical social opposition within the Bulgarian movement developed, this contradiction became more and more acute, posing a danger for the hegemony of the young Bulgarian bourgeoisie within the emerging Bulgarian national community.
- 95 The label is substantified, i.e. presented as an ethnic group, in the otherwise very interesting a(...)
- 96 Moravenov (Konstantin), op.cit., pp. 19, 20, 33, 40, 44, 49, 50, 90.
35If the concurrence of politics and culture long remainеd incomplete and problematic in the case of the notables of the Bulgarian party, we could presume that the same applies much more to a large part of the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois inhabitants of the city which oscillated politically between the two national parties. Even as late as the late 1860s, a period marked by the definitive political rupture in the city’s once united Orthodox community, Konstantin Moravenov provides valuable information for this political oscillation. In his Memorial for the Christian population of Plovdiv, this sensitive and well-informed writer, who was a contemporary activist of the Bulgarian party, attempted to classify the city’s population using national and political criteria. He nevertheless records, not without discomfort, several cases of people who had not openly taken sides with either of the parties. He noticed that « Fr Stephan’s son-in-law, who is from the village Goljamo Konare, at times presents himself as a Gudila [a pejorative label for people of Bulgarian descent who supported the Greek party], and at times as a Bulgarian, according to his interests »95. In addition, the « Hadzhi Ivan’s sons from Koprifshtitsa are neither pure Bulgarians, nor Gudilas, yet they rather tend to the latter ». Moreover, the « nationality of cauldron maker Hadzhi Slavi is not certain because when he is with the Bulgarians he does not denounce his nationality. He seems, though, to be taking sides with the Greek party ». Moravenov also remarked that « Hristo Kujumdzhi seems to be a Vlach, but he frequents the Bulgarian church ». Others seemed to be neither : « The aba cloth maker Petko Izmirli’s son, although he is a Bulgarian, is afraid to declare it : he is a senseless body, who neither appears as Bulgarian nor as a Gudila ». And some who said they were Bulgarians never entered the Bulgarian church : « When they are asked “What are you”, aba maker Voulko’s sons reply “Bulgarians”, yet they don’t step in our church where the Bulgarian language is used ». Finally when replying to the question whether he was “Bulgarian or Greek”, Stoil, the cotton garment maker used the title of the archbishop of Plovdiv : « I am of Thrace and Dragovitia »96. Given the fluid political and social circumstances of the 1850s and 1860s, these cases suggest that, for the ethnically mixed urban population of Plovdiv, opting for the one or the other party was not the outcome of a given “essential” cultural identity but rather the opposite : their cultural choices appear to be correlated to social and economic ties, to the fluctuations in the political influence of the rival parties, and to the dangers and predictions of the final outcome of the struggle. The road towards “national crystallization” was not at all even and linear, as the nationalist ideologues would have preferred. On the contrary, it was a dramatic course full of drawbacks and ambiguities, a course during which the events and conflicts of political and social life gradually shaped the national ideology, turning it into a lived experience.
- 97 For details see Lyberatos (Andreas), « Το “Μνημείο για τον χριστιανικό πληθυσμό της Φιλιππούπολης”(...)
36Concluding, we may argue that the Plovdiv School dispute of 1851 functioned as a catalyst of the integration conflict incubated in local society during the early Tanzimat period. It articulated smoldering contradictions and had in the long run a decisive impact in their reproduction and consolidation. In choosing to promote rupture, the ideologues and leaders of the Greek party had a degree of success in consolidating the cultural influence of “Hellenism” among the city’s urban population97. Simultaneously though, this “aristocratic reaction” inherent in the venture of national resignification of social symbolic distinctions of the past, the “class burden”, figuratively speaking, “of Hellenism”, drastically undermined the ties of the “Hellenized” bourgeois with Plovdiv’s hinterland and rural population arriving into the city. Under the weight of these developments, the local “Hellenized” bourgeois tended to rally around the Greek immigrants, turning themselves into a diaspora that made increasing references to the Greek nation-state. On the Bulgarian side of the breach, however, things were less monolithic, as the emergence of an eventually victorious and fully fledged national community rendered the definition and management of national culture and identity a matter of ongoing social and political contestation.
1 Νarodna Βiblioteka Ιvan Vazov [National Library ‘Ivan Vazov’ – Plovdiv], BIA [Bulgarian Historical Archive] f.2 a.e. 129/1. The letter was published in Bulgarian translation by Gruev (Joakim), « Eparhijskoto v Plovdiv učilište “Sv. Kiril i Metodij” » [The school ‘St. Cyril and Methodius’ in Plovdiv], Bălgarski Pregled, III, 1896, pp. 119-120.
2 Elias (Norbert), « Processes of State Formation and Nation Building », in Transactions of the 7th World Congress of Sociology 1970, vol. 3, Sofia : ISA, 1972. Cf. Van Benthem van den Bergh (Godfried), « Symbol and Integration Process : Two Meanings of the Concept “Nation” », in Salumets (Th.), ed., Norbert Elias and Human Interdependencies, Montreal : McGill-Queen’s UP, 2001
3 Elias (Norbert), art.cit.
4 For these events the reader can find abundant information in Bulgarian and Greek historical literature. The standard references are : Genčev (Nikolay), Възрожденският Пловдив. Принос към българското духовно възраждане [Plovdiv during the National Revival. A Contribution to the Bulgarian Spiritual Revival], Plovdiv : Hr.G.Danov, 1981 ; Apostolidis (Kosmas Myrtilos), Η της Φιλιππουπόλεως ιστορία από των αρχαιοτάτων μέχρι των καθ’ ημάς χρόνων [The history of Philippoupolis (Plovdiv) from the ancient times to our days], Athens : Ekdosis tis Enoseos ton Apandahou ex Anatolikis Romylias Ellinon, 1959. For a critical approach to nationalist historiography on Plovdiv, as well as for a detailed analysis of the intra-communal conflict in the city, see Lyberatos (Andreas), Οικονομία, πολιτική και εθνική ιδεολογία. Η διαμόρφωση των εθνικών κομμάτων στη Φιλιππούπολη του 19ου αιώνα [Economy, politics and national ideology. The formation of national parties in 19th century Plovdiv], Irakleion : Crete University Press, 2009.
5 See among others :Dernschwam (Hans), Hans Dernschwam's Tagebuch einer Reise nach Konstantinopel und Kleinasien [1553/55], hrsg. von Franz Babinger, München / Leipzig, 1923, p. 21 ; Lubenau (Reinhold), Beschreibung der Reisen des Reinhold Lubenau , hsg. Von W. Sahm, 1.Teil, Mitteilungen aus der Stadtbibliothek zu Königsberg in Preußen 4 : Koenigsberg in Preußen, 1912, p. 113 ; Contarini (Paolo), Diario del Viaggio da Veneza a Costantinopoli di M.Paolo Contarini, Venezia : Teresa Gattei, 1856, pp. 26, 30, 34-35 ; Wratislavvon Mitrovich, Des Freiherrn von Wratislav merkwürdige Gesandschaftsreise von Wien nach Konstantinopel, Leipzig, 1786, p. 74 ; Wenner (Adam), Tagebuch der kaiserlichen Gesandschaft nach Konstantinopel 1616-1618, hrsg. von Karl Nehring, Miscellanea : München, 1984, pp. 33, 35.
6 A comparison of the descriptions of the city by 18th century travelers with those of the earlier centuries is revealing. See among others : Montague-Wortley (Mary), The Letters of Lady M. W. Montague during the Embassy to Constantinople, 1716-1718, Paris : Baudry's European Library, 1840, pp. 98-99 ; Driesch (Gerard Cornelius), Historische Nachricht von der Röm. Kaiserl. Grossbotschaft nach Constantinopel, Nürnberg, 1723, pp. 116 ff. ; Lusignan (Sauveur), A Genuine Voyage to Smyrna and Constantinople and a Journey from thence overland to England, London : Bateman & Son, 1801, pp. 191-193.
7 Jirecek (Konstantin), Die Heerstrasse von Belgrad nach Constantinopel und die Balkanpaesse, Prague, 1877 [repr. Verlag Hammer: Amsterdam, 1967] ; Paskaleva (Virginia), « Развитие на градското стопанство и генесизът на българската буржоазия през ХVІІІ в. » [The Development of the urban economy and the genesis of the Bulgarian bourgeoisie in the 18th c.], in Косев (Димитър), Бурмов (Александър К.), Христов (Христо), eds., Паисий Хилендарски и неговата епоха [Paissi of Hilendar and his era], Sofia : BAN, 1962.
8 For the local woolen manufacturing of the region of Plovdiv see Todorov (Nikolay), The Balkan City 1400-1900, Seattle : University of Washington Press, 1983 ; Todorova (Maria), « Handicrafts and Guild Organization in Bulgaria (Textile Production in the Sancak of Plovdiv) », Actes du IIe Colloque International d'Histoire (Athènes, 18-25 Septembre 1983), Athens : Centre de recherches néohelléniques, Fondation nationale de la recherche scientifique, 1985, Vol. II.
9 Genç (Mehmet), « Ottoman Industry in the eighteenth century : General Framework, Characteristics and Main Trends », in Quataert (D.), ed., Manufacturing in the Ottoman Empire and Turkey 1500-1900, Albany N.Y. : SUNY, 1994 ; Mitev (Plamen), « Държавната регламентация на градското стопанство в българските земи през XVIII век » [State regulation of the urban economy in the Bulgarian lands during the 18th c.], in Ιd., ed., Създаване и развитие на модерни институции в българското възрожденско общество. Исторически Студии [Establishment and Development of Modern Institutions in Bulgarian National Revival Society], Sofia : IF 94, 1996 ;Akarlı (Εngin D.), « Gedik : Implements, mastership, shop usufruct, and monopoly among Istanbul artisans, 1750-1850 », Wissenschaftskolleg Jahrbuch, 19, 1985-1986.
10 On the Kircali raids see : Mutafchieva (V.), L'Anarchie dans les Balkans à la fin du XVIIIe siècle, Istanbul : ISIS Press, 2005 [Sofia, 1977] ; Mutafchieva (Vera), « Феодалните размирици в Северна Тракия през края на 18-и в. » [Feudal disturbances in Northern Thrace at the end of the 18th c.], in Косев (Димитър), Бурмов (Александър К.), Христов (Христо), eds., op.cit. On their demographic consequences see Gandev (Hristo), Проблеми на българското възраждане [Questions of the Bulgarian National Revival], Sofia : Nauka i Izkustvo, 1976 , pp. 90-100.
11 For these processes see especially Lory (Bernard), « Immigration et intégration sociale à Plovdiv au XIXe siècle », Revue du Monde Musulman et de la Méditerranée, (66), 1992-1994. For a quantitative account of the migratory movement to Plovdiv at the end of the 18th and the first half of the 19th c. based on the same source see also Lyberatos (Andreas), « Το “Μνημείο για τον χριστιανικό πληθυσμό της Φιλιππούπολης” του Κονσταντίν Μοραβένοφ : Απόπειρα συστηματικού ελέγχου και ποσοτικοποίησης μιας ποιοτικής πηγής » [The ‘Memorial’ of Konstantin Moravenov. An attempt of systematic critique and quantification of a qualitative source], Historica, (43), Dec. 2005.
12 See among others : Stoianovich (Traian), « The Conquering Balkan Orthodox Merchant », The Journal of Economic History, 20 (1), 1960 ;Kitromilides (Paschalis), Enlightenment as Social Criticism : Iosipos Moisiodax and Greek Culture in the Eighteenth Century, Princeton : Princeton University Press, 1992 ; Tziovas (Dimitris), ed., Greece and the Balkans. Identities, Perceptions and Cultural Encounters since the Enlightenement, Aldershot : Ashgate, 2003.
13 Philliou (Christine), « Communities on the Verge : Unraveling the Phanariot Ascendancy in Ottoman Governance », Comparative Studies in Society and History, 51 (1), 2009.
14 For a very interesting overview and a fresh reframing effort of the history of the Phanariots see Philliou (Christine), art.cit.. For an important approach to the legacy of the Phanariots in the 19th century see Sigalas (Nikos), « Hellénistes, hellénisme et idéologie nationale. De la formation du concept d'“hellénisme” en grec moderne », in Avlami (Chryssanthi), ed., L'Antiquité grecque au XIXème siècle. Un exemplum contesté ?, Paris : L'Harmattan, 2001.
15 In its original use, (recorded since the 13th century) the title was accompanying members of the Ottoman elite and was usually applied to men of letters, heads of dervish orders and members of the Sultan’s family. Barthold (W.) [B.Spuler], « Çelebi », Encyclopedia of Islam, n.ed., Vol.II, Leiden /London, 1965, p. 19. In the Orthodox sociolinguistic environment of 18th c. Plovdiv, the title çelebi had a clear political meaning : in the registers of the community it accompanies the title archon and is applied exclusively to the lay members of the governing elite of the community. The available sources do not make clear on what grounds the çelebi families were claiming “noble descent”. Nevertheless, as K. Moravenov records (writing in 1865-1869), local society acknowledged their “nobility” : the marriage of Gančo Hindistanli from the village of Kleisoura with the çelebi daughter Theopi Kyrou ended up in a scandal as « […] it was revealed that he was not a çelebi ». Moravenov (Konstantin), Паметник за пловдивското християнско население в града и за общите заведения по произносно предание [Memorial of the Urban Christian Population of Plovdiv and its Common Institutions according to Oral Testimony], Plovdiv : Hr. G. Danov, 1984, p. 24.
Moravenov (Konstantin), op.cit., p. 24.
16 Apostolidis (Kosmas Myrtilos), op.cit., pp. 427-434 ; Apostolidis (Kosmas Myrtilos), « Ο από Σηλυβρίας Φιλιππουπόλεως μητροπολίτης Παΐσιος » [The Archbishop of Philippoupolis Paissios, former Archbishop of Silyvri], Thrakika, III, 1932.
17 Moravenov (Konstantin), op.cit., p. 42.
18 The etymology of the title, from Romanian cocoanǎ, offers another indication of the decisive impact the Phanariot rule in the Danubian Principalities had on the elites of the Orthodox community in the Ottoman Empire.
19 The most characteristic example is that of Athanasios Giumushgerdan, father of the most powerful entrepreneur in 19th c. Plovdiv and woollen cloth industrialist Mihalaki Giumushgerdan, leading figure of the Greek national party in the city. The aba cloth maker Athanassios married the daughter of Mihalaki Kyrou entering in this way the circle of the çelebis. On the Giumushgerdan family see Todorov (Nikolay), op.cit. Further details on the disputed ethnic and social origin, the intermarriages, the ideology and the role of this renowned notable family in the history of 19th c. Plovdiv see in detail : Lyberatos (Andreas), op.cit.
20 For a detailed account of the struggle between çelebis and guildsmen see Lyberatos (Andreas), « Çelebis and Guildsmen in pre-Tanzimat Plovdiv : Breaking through the Orthodox Ancien Régime », in Anastassopoulos (A.), ed., Political Initiatives “From the Bottom Up” in the Ottoman Empire, Proceedings of the “VII Halcyon Days in Crete” Conference, Rethymno 9-11 January 2009, (forthcoming, 2011).
21 Ortaylı (İlber), İmparatorluğun en Uzun Yüzyılı [The Empire’s Longest Century], Istanbul : Hil Yayın, 1995, pp. 33-35.
22 Gökçek (Mustafa), « Centralization during the era of Mahmud II », Osmanlı Araştırmaları, XXI, 2001.
23 On the early Tanzimat reforms see among others : Shaw (Stanford .J.), Shaw (Ezel K.), History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey. Volume II : Reform, Revolution, and Republic. The Rise of Modern Turkey, 1808-1975, Cambridge : Cambridge UP, 1977 ; Lewis (Bernard), The Emergence of Modern Turkey, Oxford : Oxford U.P., 1968 ;Ursinus (Michael), Regionale Reformen im Osmanischen Reich am Vorabend der Tanzimat, Berlin : K. Schwarz, 1982.
24 See among others : Quataert (David), « The Age of Reforms 1812-1914 », in İnalcık (H.), Quataert (D.), eds., An Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire, Cambridge : Cambridge UP, 1994, vol. II ;Κöymen (Oya), « The Advent and Consequences of Free Trade in the Ottoman Empire, 19th Century », Études Balkaniques, (2), 1971 ; Sunar (İlkay), « State and Economy in the Ottoman Empire », in İslamoglu İnan (H.), ed., The Ottoman Empire and the World Economy, Cambridge : Cambridge UP, 1987.
25 Voilery (Pierre), « Une ville Bulgare à l’époque Ottomane : Eski Zaara (XVIIIe- XIXe siecles) », Turcica, XX, 1988 ; Bogorov (Ivan), Няколко дена разходка по българските места [A few day’s tour of the Bulgarian sites], Bucharest : K. N. Radulesku, 1868, pp. 17-18, 33-35 & passim.
26 Palairet (Michael), The Balkan Economies c.1800-1914 : Evolution without Development, Cambridge : Cambridge UP, 1997, pp. 67, 78 ; Undžiev (Ivan), Карлово. История на града до освобождението [Karlovo : History of the City until the National Revival Period], Sofia : ВАN, 1962, 41-42, 59ff. ; Načov (Nikola), Калофер в миналото [Kalofer in the past], Sofia : Zemizdat, 1990 .
27 Cf. Lyberatos (Andreas), « The beğlik sheep tax collection system and the rise of a Bulgarian national bourgeoisie in nineteenth-century Plovdiv », Turkish Historical Review, 1, 2010.
28 Cf. Elias (Norbert), art.cit.
29 Ο Τηλέγραφος του Βοσπόρου, Έτος Θ΄, αρ. 398/4-8-1851 ; Цариградски вестник, g. A, č.50/1-9-1851 & g. B, č.51/8-9-1851.
30 There exist two views on the authorship of the translation of Georgios Tsoukalas’ article into Bulgarian and the reply to it, both of which were published unsigned in Tsarigradski Vestnik. According to the authoritative view of M. Stojanov, which we follow, both texts were written by the attacked schoolmaster of the Bulgarian school Najden Gerov. Stojanov (Maniu), ed., Българска възрожденска книжнина [Bulgarian Revival Literature], Sofia : Nauka i Izkustvo, 1959, vol. II, pp. 19, 380. A different view appeared lately, which ascribes the authorship to the activist and journalist Petko R. Slavejkov, without nevertheless producing any evidence. Jančeva (I.), Етнология на възрожднския Пловдив [Ethnography of National Revival Plovdiv], Plovdiv, 1996, pp. 17-21. Jančeva’s view was reproduced in Detrez (Raymond), « Relations between Greeks and Bulgarians in the Pre-Nationalist Era : The Gudilas in Plovdiv », in Tziovas (Dimitris), ed., Greece and the Balkans, p. 39.
31 Apostolidis (Kosmas Myrtilos), op.cit., pp. 693-694.
32 Theoklitos Pharmakidis, Neofytos Vamvas, Konstantinos Asopios and Nikolaos Piccolos were among them. Typaldos-Iakovatos (Georgios), Ιστορία της Ιόνιας Ακαδημίας [History of the Ionian Academy], ed. by Sp. I. Asdrachas, Αthens : Ermis, 1982.
33 Typaldos-Iakovatos (Georgios), op.cit., pp. 26, 38. For the use of dress in sanctioning the hierarchical relations within the Academy see the respective orders of Lord Guilford published by Papadopoulos-Vretos (Andreas), Βιογραφικά-Ιστορικά υπομνήματα περί του Κόμητος Φρειδερίκου Γυίλφορδ, [Biographical-historical reports concerning Count Friedrich Guilford], Αthens, bilingual Italian-Greek edition, 1846, pp. 193-194, 213.
34 Diamantis (K. A.), Η Ιόνιος Ακαδημία του Κόμητος Γκίλφορδ (Κατά χειρόγραφον της συλλογής Γιάννη Βλαχογιάννη) [The Ionian Academy of Count Guilford (according to a manuscript of the Yannis Vlahoyannis Collection], Athens, 1949, pp. 5-6.
35 Typaldos-Iakovatos (Georgios), op.cit., p. 32.
36 Apostolidis (Kosmas Myrtilos), op.cit., p. 694. The salary of the Ionian Academy graduate Tsoukalas was 6 .000 kuruş, three times higher than that of his predecessor, Ivan Seliminski. Cf. Danova (Nadia), Константин Георгиев Фотинов в културно и идейно политическо развитие на Балканите през ХІХ век, [Κonstantin Georgiev Fotinov and the cultural and ideological-political development of the Balkans during the 19th cenury], Sofia : BAN, 1994, p. 86.
37 Moravenov (Konstantin), op.cit., p. 58 ; Šišmanov (Ivan), Избранни съчинения [Selected Works], Sofia : BAN, 1965, vol. I , p. 319.
38 Tsoukalas e.g. introduced compulsory examination in Greek language for all those « who want to become priests ». The examination was to be carried out not by the archbishop, but by the schoolmaster, i.e. by Tsoukalas himself, and the trustees of the Central High School. Moreover, a new extremely rigorous code of behavior for the lower clergy was introduced, most likely after Tsoukalas’ suggestions. Apostolidis (Kosmas Myrtilos), « Η ιερά της Φιλιππουπόλεως μητρόπολις και οι κώδικες αυτής » [The holy Archbishopric of Philippoupolis and its registers], Αrheion tou Thrakikou Laografikou kai Glossikou Thesaurou, 6, 1939-1940.
39 Patriarchal and Synodical letter for the foundation of St. Trinity primary school in Plovdiv, 6th of January 1834, Narodna Biblioteka Kiril i Metodii, Bălgarski Istoričeski Arhiv [National Library St. Cyril and Methodius, Bulgarian Historical Archive, hereafter NBKM, BIA], Kol. IΙ Α, a.e. 2193.
40 Tsoukalas (Georgios), Γραμματική της αρχαίας ελληνικής γλώσσης αυτοσχεδιασθείσα υπό Γεωργίου Τσουκαλά του Ζακυνθίου. Προς χρήσιν της νεοσυστηθείσης δημοσίου σχολής Φιλιππουπόλεως [Grammar of the Ancient Greek Language compiled by Georgios Tsoukalas of Zante for the use of the reorganized public school of Plovdiv], Constantinople : Patriarchal Press-A. Argyrammos, 1835.
41 This role was soon assumed by the graduates of the Athens University, founded in 1837 within an irredentist ideological framework. Skopetea (Elli), Το « πρότυπο βασίλειο» και η Μεγάλη Ιδέα. Όψεις του εθνικού προβλήματος στην Ελλάδα (1830-1880) [The Model Kingdom and the Great Idea. Aspects of the national problem in Greece (1830-1880)], Αthens : Ermis, 1988, p. 152. Lappas (Κostas), « Πανεπιστήμιο Αθηνών. Θεσμικό πλαίσιο, οργάνωση, ιδεολογική λειτουργία » [University of Athens. Institutional framework, organization, ideological functions], in Ιστορία του Νέου Ελληνισμού 1770-2000 [History of Modern Hellenism, 1770-2000], Αthens : DOL, 2003, vol. 4.
42 Apostolidis (Kosmas Myrtilos), op.cit., p. 694.
43 Moravenov (Konstantin), op.cit., p. 58
44 Šišmanov (Ivan), op.cit., p. 319.
45 For details on Tsoukalas’s later career see Lyberatos (Andreas), op.cit., pp. 370-373.
46 For more details of the biography of N. Gerov see : Pančev (Todor), Найден Геров. Сто години от рождението му. 1823-1923. Къси черти от живота му [Najden Gerov. Jubilee of his birth. 1823-1923. Short notes on this life], Sofıa : BAN, 1923 ; Arnaudov (Mihail), Творци на българското възраждане [Creators of the Bulgarian National Revival], Sofıa : Bǎlgarska Misǎl, 1969, vol. II, pp. 7-67 ; Georgiev (Εmil), Найден Геров. Книга за него и неговото време [Najden Gerov. A book about him and his time], Sofıa : OF, 1972 ; Genčev (Nikolay), op.cit., pp.158-177.
47 Davidova (Evgenia), « Неофит Рилски », in Todev (Ilia), ed., Кой кой е сред българите през ХV-ХІХ век [Who is sho among Bulgarians, 15th to 19th century], Sofia : Anibus, 2000. For a detailed biography of the erudite Neofit Rilski, learned man with Greek education and pioneer of the modern secular Bulgarian education see Radkova (Rumiana), Неофит Рилски и новобългарската култура [Neofit of Rila and modern Bulgarian culture], Sofia : Nauka i izkustvo, 1983.
48 Genčev (Nikolay), Българо-руски културни отношения през възраждането [Bulgaro-Russian cultural relations during the Bulgarian National Revival], Sofıa : Lik, 2nd ed., 2002  ; Aretov (Nikolay), Българското възраждане и Европа [Bulgarian National Revival and Europe], Sofıa : Izd. Kralica Mab, 1995, pp. 74-82.
49 For the first generation of modern Bulgarian intellectuals and their relationship to Greek culture see : Aleksieva (Afrodita), « Гръцката просвета и формирането на българската възрожденска интелигенция » [Greek culture and the formation of the Bulgarian National Revival intelligentsia], Studia Balkanika, 14, 1979. For the Greek-Bulgarian intellectual relations during the 19th century and the shift of Bulgarian intellectuals against Greek culture see Danova (Nadia), Националният въпрос в гръцките политически програми през ХІХ век [Τhe national question in Greek political programs during the 19th century], Sofia : Nauka i izkustvo, 1980, pp. 18 ff ; Radkova (Rumiana), Българската интелигенция през възраждането [The Bulgarian intelligentsia during the Bulgarian National Revival], Sofia : Nauka i izkustvo, 1986, pp. 303-305.
50 For a short biography of Aprilov see Davidova (Evgenia), « Васил Априлов », in Todev (Ilia), ed., op.cit.
51 Venelin (Yuri), Древние и нынешние болгаре, в политическом, народописном, историческом и религиозном их отношение к россиянам [The ancient and contemporary Bulgarians in their political, ethnographic, historical and religious relations with the Russians], Т. І, Μoscow : Moskovskogo Universiteta, 1829. For Venelin and his contribution to Bulgarian national revival see : Rajkov (Dimitar), Българите и България в старата Руска книжнина [The Bulgarians and Bulgaria in the old Russian Literature], Sofia : Liubomǎdrie, 2002, pp. 264–299.
52 Aprilov (Vasil), Денница новобългарскаго образования [Morning-star of Modern Bulgarian Education], Odessa : Gorodskaja Tipografija, 1841.
53 For the views of Gerov on Aprilov see his letter to his brother Atanas Hadzhi Gerov, pp. 22-11-1841, in Pančev (T.), ed., Из архивата на Найден Геров [From the archive of Najden Gerov], vol. 1, pp. 357-358.
54 Pančev (T.), ed., Из архивата на Найден Геров (op.cit.), pp. 330-336 ; Gerov (Najden), Няколко думи за преводат на математическата география на г. Ивана А. Богоева [A few words on the translation of mathematical geography by Ivan. A. Bogoev (Bogorov)], Odessa, 1842.
55 Pančev (T.), ed., Из архивата на Найден Геров (op.cit.), pp. 341 ff.
56 Τηλέγραφος του Βοσπόρου (op.cit.).
57 The new school was referred to in the press as “Central” (центрическо, средоточно), both because of its broad geographical appeal and as a counter-institution to the Greek Central High-school, the trustees of which had rejected, as we saw in the opening paragraphs, the introduction of the teaching of the Bulgarian language. Цариградски вестник, g. A, (47) 11-8-1851. Cf. the list of donors in Narodna Biblioteka Ivan Vazov –Plovdiv, Bălgarski Istoričeski Arhiv [National Library Ivan Vazov – Plovdiv, Bulgarian Historical Archive], f. 2, a.e.130/1-5.
58 All quotations above from Τηλέγραφος του Βοσπόρου (op.cit.).
59 Bakić-Hayden (Milica), « Nesting Orientalism : The Case of Former Yugoslavia », Slavic Review, 54 (4), Winter 1995.
60 Elias (Norbert), The Civilizing Process (transl. by Edmund Jephcott, ed. by Eric Dunning, Johan Goudsblom, and Stephen Mennell), Oxford : Blackwell, 1994. On the dialectics of the “spread of civilization” to areas outside the West cf. ibid., pp. 383-384.
61 Cf. the exemplary analysis of the dialectics between integration dynamics, social fear and civilized refinement in Elias (Norbert), The Civilizing Process (op.cit.),passim & 421 ff.
62 All quotations above from Τηλέγραφος του Βοσπόρου (op.cit.).
63 Apart from the early proponents of this ideological current (Neofit Bozveli, Zahari Zograf a.o.), the newspaper Bǎlgarija of Dragan Tsankov, gave later (1859-1863) full expression to it.
64 Cf. Hroch (Miroslav), Social Preconditions of National Revival in Europe. A Comparative Analysis of the Social Composition of Patriotic Groups among the Smaller European Nations, Cambridge : CUP, 1985, pp. 8-10.
65 Cf. the juxtaposition by the ascending bourgeoisie of the cultivation of knowledge vis-à-vis the courtly-aristocratic “good manners and conversation”. Elias (Norbert),, The Civilizing Process (op.cit.), p. 433.
66 All citations above from Цариградски вестник, g. A, č.50/1-9-1851 & g. B, č.51/8-9-1851.
67 Cf. Hroch (Miroslav), op.cit., p. 10.
68 Tsoukalas (Georgios), Ιστοριογεωγραφική περιγραφή της Επαρχίας Φιλιππουπόλεως, Vienna : P.P. Mehytariston, 1851, pp. 49-54, 64-69. For a short commentary on this work and the later libel (1859) by Tsoukalas, rather downplaying the aggressive tone and taking at face value the “conciliatory” appeals of Tsoukalas see Politis (Alexis), « La différenciation du comportement grec vis-à-vis des Bulgares vers le milieu du XIXe siècle –problèmes de nationalismes– », La Revue Historique, IV, 2008, pp. 108-110. Cf. Tsoukalas (Georgios), Η βουλγαροσλαβική συμμορία και η τριανδρία αυτής [The Bulgarian-Slav band and its triumvirate], Constantinople, 1859 ; Lyberatos (Andreas), op.cit., pp. 496-498.
69 Αμάλθεια, Έτος ΙΕ΄, αρ. 684, 28-3-1852 ; Ο Τηλέγραφος του Βοσπόρου, Έτος Θ΄, αρ. 408/13-10-1851 & Έτος Ι΄, αρ. 431/22-3-1852.
70 Ο Τηλέγραφος του Βοσπόρου, Έτος Θ΄, αρ. 408/13-10-1851& αρ.413/17-11-1851. Latris would publish later anonymously a brochure with an elaborated version of his theory under the title, Προς τους εν Θράκη και αλλαχού συμπατριώτας τους καλούντας εαυτούς Βουλγάρους [To our compatriots in Thrace who call themselves Bulgarians], n.p., 1860.
71 Цариградски вестник, g. B , č. 68,71-79, 5 & 29-1 to 22-3-1852.
72 Цариградски вестник, g. B, č. 69/12-1-1852 ; Ο Τηλέγραφος του Βοσπόρου, Έτος Θ΄, αρ. 399, 400, 401 & 403, 404 &405 /11,18, 25 - 8 & 8,15 -9 –1851 Έτος Ι΄ αρ. 436/26-4-1852.
73 Cited in Цариградски вестник, g. B, č. 66/22-12-1851.
74 For the beginnings of Bulgarian press and its contribution to the dissemination of the Bulgarian national idea see : Boršukov (G.), История на българската журналистика. 1844-1877,1878-1885 [History of Bulgarian Journalism 1844-1877, 1878-1885], Sofıa : 3-o, 2003, pp. 21-58. Cf. Anderson (Benedict), Imagined Communities : Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, London : Verso, 1983.
75 Ο Τηλέγραφος του Βοσπόρου, Έτος Θ΄, αρ. 399/11-8-1851.
76 Ο Τηλέγραφος του Βοσπόρου,Έτος Ι΄, αρ. 450/ 2-8-1852.
77 Greek Foreign Ministry Archives (hereafter GFMA), 1852/37.13. Vice-consulate in Adrianople, Varotsis to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 31-12-1851. The emphatic expression of “disgust” before the “sacrilege” of having the ears of the Greek and Graecoman notables’ children desecrated by Bulgarian language sounds is one more example of the almost “instinctive” defense of cultural difference.
78 For a concise overview of the development of Greek education as a means of national consciousness’ inculcation in Plovdiv and in present-day Bulgaria in general see Zymari-Kodzhageorgi (Xanthippi), « Η ελληνική εκπαίδευση στην Βουλγαρία, αρχές 19ου αι.-1912 » [The Greek education in Bulgaria, 19th c. 1912] in Ibid., ed., Οι Έλληνες της Βουλγαρίας. Ένα ιστορικό τμήμα του περιφερειακού ελληνισμού [The Greeks of Bulgaria. A Historical Part of Peripheral Hellenism], Salonica : Institute for Balkan Studies , 1999, pp. 265 ff.
79 GFMA, 1876/ 99.1ε, Ath. Matalas to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Plovdiv 1-8-1876 ; Skopetea (Elli), op.cit.,pp. 117-118 ;Vouri (Sofia), Εκπαίδευσηκαι εθνικισμός στα Βαλκάνια. Η περίπτωση της βορειοδυτικής Μακεδονίας 1870–1904 [Education and Nationalism in the Balkans, The case of Northwestern Macedonia 1870-1904], Αthens : Gutenberg, 1992, pp. 71 ff.
80 We should, however, note that this uncompromising cultural attitude was not automatically translated for the local pro-Greek notables into a determination for political break. When for example Tsoukalas, on the eve of the Crimean war, slandered certain notables of the Bulgarian party as agitators and predators of the Ottoman empire, the notables of the Greek party and the community as a body, in one of the last demonstrations of its fragile unity, condemned fiercely Tsoukalas and supported the Bulgarian notables. See NBKM, BIA, Ενυπόγραφο και εμμάρτυρο γράμμα της Ορθόδοξης Κοινότητας Φιλιππούπολης [Letter of the Orthodox Community of Plovdiv], 25-10-1853, f.70, a.e. 4/99. As the heat of the first confrontation passed by, the openly developed cultural opposition was for the leaders of the rival parties, just one among many weapons in a subtle, long-lasting and complex intra-communal struggle.
81 For details see Lyberatos (Andreas), « Το “Μνημείο για τον χριστιανικό πληθυσμό της Φιλιππούπολης”... » (art.cit.), pp. 355 ff.
82 GFMA, 1848/ 19.1 Greek Embassy in Constantinople, Rizos to Kolokotronis, 24-12-1848; 1849/ 49.2α Rangavis to Londos, 14-3-1849 ; Rangavis to Glarakis. 14-7-1849. For an overview of the “nationality” dispute cf. Georgis (G.), H πρώτη μακροχρόνια ελληνοτουρκική διένεξη : το ζήτημα της εθνικότητας [The First Long-lasting Greek-Turkish Dispute : the Nationality Question], Αthens : Kastaniotis, 1996.
83 GFMA, 1849/37.13 Vice-Consulate in Adrianople, Varotsis to GFM, 19-8-1849 ; 1849/ 49.2α, Rangavis to Glarakis, 23-7-1849.
84 For these conflicts see among others, Iliou (Philippe), « Luttes sociales et mouvement des Lumières à Smyrne en 1819 », in Structure sociale et dévelopment culturel des villes sud-est européennes et adriatiques aux XVIe et XVIIIe siècles (Bucharest : AIESEE, 1975) ; Anagnostopoulou (Sia), Μικρά Ασία (19ος αι.- 1919). Από το γένος των Ρωμιών στο έθνος των Ελλήνων [Asia Minor (19th c.-1919). From the millet of the Rums to the nation of the Greeks], Athens : Ellinika Grammata, 1997.
85 Cf. Gellner (Ernest), Nations and Nationalism, London : Blackwell, 1983.
86 ΝΒΚΜ, f.782 « Georgi Stojanovič Čaloglou », a.e. 86 ; Šopov (Atanas), ed., Д-р. Стоян Чомаков. Живот, дейност и архива [Dr. Stojan Chomakov. Life, Action and Archive], Sofıa : BAN, 1919, pp. 567 ff.
87 Съветник, I (7), 6-5-1863.
88 Kirkovič (Rada), Спомени [Memoirs], Sofıa : Kambana, 1927, pp. 28-29.
89 For the impressive development of the Greek female education outside the Greek state and its symbolic functions see Τsoukalas (Konstantinos), Εξάρτηση και αναπαραγωγή. Ο κοινωνικός ρόλος των εκπαιδευτικών μηχανισμών στην Ελλάδα (1830-1922) [Dependence and Reproduction. The Social Role of Educational Mechanisms in Greece (1830-1922)], Athens : Themelio, 1977, pp. 470 ff. For Greek female education in Plovdiv see Zymari-Kodzhageorgi (Xamthippi), ed., op.cit., pp. 265ff.
90 NBKM, BIA, « G. Stojanovič Čaloglou to Stojan Chomakov », n.d., f.782, a.e.9/ 20-23.
91 Kirkovič (Rada), op.cit., p.28.
92 Ibid., p. 29.
93 Македония, VΙ (1), 1-1-1872.
94 Независимост, IV (35), 15-6-1874.
95 The label is substantified, i.e. presented as an ethnic group, in the otherwise very interesting analysis of Detrez (Raymond), art.cit.
96 Moravenov (Konstantin), op.cit., pp. 19, 20, 33, 40, 44, 49, 50, 90.
97 For details see Lyberatos (Andreas), « Το “Μνημείο για τον χριστιανικό πληθυσμό της Φιλιππούπολης”... » (art.cit.).
Pour citer cet article
Andreas Lyberatos , « From Stratum Culture to National Culture : Integration Processes and National Resignification in 19th century Plovdiv », Balkanologie, Vol. XIII, n° 1-2 | décembre 2011, [En ligne], mis en ligne le 09 janvier 2012. URL : http://balkanologie.revues.org/index2274.html. Consulté le 23 mai 2013.
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