SALMIN A.K. Matters of the Danube Bulgars Identity and the Historical Ancestors of Chuvash in the Studies of Arist Kunik

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2022.1.14

Anton K. Salmin

Doctor of Sciences (History), Leading Researcher,

Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (The Kunstkamera) of the Russian Academy of Sciences,

Universitetskaya Emb., 3, 199034 Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1072-9933


Abstract. Introduction. Academic of the Imperial Academy of Sciences of Saint Petersburg Arist Kunik published his work “On the Relationship of Hagan-Bulgarians with the Chuvash According to the Slavic-Bulgarian Nominalia” in 1878. The matters of the historical relationship of Bulgarians and Chuvash have been widely discussed since that time. The objective of the article is to evaluate the basic provisions of Kunik’s study from the point of view of innovative advances in this field. Attention is focused on the identity of Danube Bulgars and the historical ancestors of modern Chuvash.

Methods and materials. Kunik based his reasoning on two books of Andrey Popov with the review of chronicles in the Russian version. Such chronicles are consolidated in scientific literature under the conventional name ‘Nominalia’. Kunik also used the opinions of Vasily Radlov.

Analysis. Matters of the Danube Bulgars ethnogenesis enter largely into Kunik’s work. Given the fact that the Bulgars had come from the Caucasus and then divided into descents in the Volga and the Danube regions, Kunik resorts to comparative characteristics of the Danube and Volga historical ancestors of the Bulgars. In the Middle Volga region, the Bulgars appeared in the 8th – 9th centuries. This is evidenced by the archeological monuments of the saltov type. Bulgarian researchers find direct correspondence between the Kubrat and Asparuhovo Bulgarians.

Results. Kunik says that the Chuvash are direct descendants of Bulgars. However, his views on this matter are quite unreliable. His doubts were dispelled in the 20th – 21st centuries by the historical science. In spite of the ambiguity of a lot of Kunik’s provisions on the identity of Danube Bulgars and the Chuvash, now his suppositions are confirmed to a great extent – primarily, by linguists. Generally Kunik based his research on the names of Bulgarian khans and numeral adjectives in the Nominalia.

Key words: Arist Kunik, Danube Bulgars, historical ancestors of the Chuvash, identity, chronicle.

Citation. Salmin A.K. Matters of the Danube Bulgars Identity and the Historical Ancestors of Chuvash in the Studies of Arist Kunik. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2022, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 167-173. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2022.1.14.

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