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Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4116-6600 Saldzhiev Hristo

Abstract

The aim of the present article is to shed light on the prehistory of Bogomilism, in particular on the existence of an initial Proto-Bogomilian group from the second half of the 8th century to the first decades of the 10th century, which subsequently gave rise to Bogomilism. For this purpose I will try to regard problems referring to the time and exact place of its emergence, the cultural and ethnical affiliation of its first adherents, its connection with previous dualistic teachings from the Near East and Anatolia. The final conclusions are:

• The roots of Bogomilism must be sought among the Syriac migrants who settled in Thrace in the second half of the 8th century.

• Groups which shared a different kind of dualistic ideas and notions existed among them. The group that can be identified as “Proto-Bogomilian” most likely inhabited the region of Philippopolis/ Plovdiv and followed some branch of Paulicianism different from this of Paulicians who in the mid-9th century built the “Paulician state” in Tephrice.

• The dualism of the Proto-Bogomilian group stemmed from Marcion’s doctrine with some Manichean admixtures. It had experienced the influence of Masallianism long before the migration of this group towards the Balkans. This can explain the differences with Marcionists and Paulicians. The radical asceticism of the later Bogomils most probably must be attributed to the influence of Masallianism on the initial Proto-Bogomilian group too.

Keywords

Bogomilism, Poto-Bogomilian group, Bulgaria, Manicheism, Masallianism, Marcionists, Paulicians

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