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By Carsten Riis

The writer exhibits how the dominant learn paradigm in socialist Bulgaria -- with traces courting again to the 19th century -- interpreted and depicted the background of Christianity in the course of the interval of Ottoman Muslim domination. The organization of non secular and nationwide identification legitimated the non secular and minority coverage of the socialist regime. The booklet demonstrates that political surveillance and keep watch over over historiography had direct results for the non secular groups in Bulgaria.

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Here Vryonis focuses only on the major lines and tendencies. One can point to important exceptions, such as Balkan areas where the phase of conquest was prolonged, and where armies and marauders alternated back and forth for decades, and one can point to areas in Thrace where Turkish colonisation was comprehensive. But even these exceptions do not explain why some areas of the Balkans were Turkified and Islamicized to a greater extent than others. Hence, Vryonis' first two causal factors cannot explain developments in Albania, Bosnia, the Rhodopes and eastern Bulgaria; the concrete diffusion—or lack of diffusion—of Islam in the Balkans has its own contextually determined history which cannot be accounted for by long historical lines and structures.

The negative tone continues in the final words of Chronicon Maius, in which Pseudo-Sphrantzes summarises his assessment of Mehmed's motivations for resuscitating the patriarchate. He believes that it was a case of a cunning move on die part of Mehmed. The sultan had destroyed the Christians but would have Constantinople repopulated and therefore enticed them with promises. It is in 56 57 Religion, Politics, and Historiography in Bulgaria 26 (cf. Babinger 1927). Several of the authors speak of Mehmed's efforts to bring Constantinople back to its golden age by resettling the empty stretches of land within the walls, but it is only Pseudo-Sphrantzes and Kritovulos who also speak of a concordat-like agreement with the Orthodox patriarch.

The new patriarch enjoyed many honours on the part of the sultan and was given the Church of the Apostles as his residence. On this point, Pseudo-Sphrantzes' assessment of Mehmed is negative, for the choice of the Church of the Apostles is because the "sinner Mehmed," as PseudoSphrantzes calls him, had annexed the earthly heaven, the St Sophia Church, for use by the Muslims as a mosque. The negative tone continues in the final words of Chronicon Maius, in which Pseudo-Sphrantzes summarises his assessment of Mehmed's motivations for resuscitating the patriarchate.

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