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The Bulgarian lands in the 17th century and the first half of the 18th century (1601 – 1760)

State History

The 17th century witnessed several efforts by prominent individuals to organize anti-Turkish coalitions and resist Ottoman rule in the Balkans.

In 1601, Mavro Orbini, a Benedictine monk of Croatian origin, published the first edition of the “Kingdom of the Slavs.” This historical work aimed to inspire the southern Slavs to unite under the auspices of the papacy against the Ottoman advance into Central Europe.

In 1643, Petar Parcevich, a doctor of theology and canon law, returned to Bulgaria with the goal of organizing an anti-Turkish coalition of Catholic states. With the blessing of the Pope, he undertook diplomatic missions across Europe, seeking support from Austria, Hungary, Poland, Venice, Wallachia, Moldova, and even Ukraine. Parcevich’s efforts earned him the title of “Baron” from the Holy Roman Emperor for his contribution to the defense of Christianity.

In 1645, the Turkish-Venetian war erupted, causing unrest in the Balkans. Wallachian lord Matei Basarab led a conspiracy, seeking support from Polish King Władysław IV. Parcevich, who was proficient in several languages, including Greek, Latin, Italian, Romanian, and Armenian, was appointed as the envoy to secure Polish assistance. However, Vladislav IV’s untimely death in 1648 dashed Bulgarian hopes for support.

Despite setbacks, Archbishop Deodatus and other conspirators continued their efforts to organize an insurrection against Ottoman rule. Parcevich was sent on further diplomatic missions to Poland, the Holy Roman Emperor, and Venice to rally support for their cause. However, due to the complex relations among European powers after the Thirty Years’ War, a unified alliance could not be formed.

In 1665, prominent Bulgarians, Serbs, Albanians, and Greeks drafted a secret agreement to resist Ottoman rule. Parcevich again sought support from Emperor Ferdinand III, while Serbian Patriarch Gavril traveled to Moscow. Despite their efforts, the situation did not improve. Parcevich remained in the West and was elevated to the rank of archbishop of Marcianopol in 1656.

In 1667, Petar Bogdan authored the first “History of Bulgaria” in Latin. However, due to insufficient funds, the work was not published during his lifetime, and Bogdan passed away in 1674.

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