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III. THE PROTO-BULGARIAN CALENDAR

1. The Double Specification of the Events in the Nominalia of the Bulgarian Princes and their Importance in Deciphering the Unclear Calendar Terms

The Nominalia of the Bulgarian princes is a chronological list, in which each event (besides the first one) is specified twice - by the duration of the rule of the prince and by the specification of the year of his birth/the year of his ascension to the throne.

This double specification makes it relatively easy to discover the points of accidental errors in the duration or in the year of ascension to the throne. Unfortunately, this possibility was not used in its full yet.

The first year of the first prince - AVITOHOL, was DILOM, and the first year of the last ruler of this series - UMOR, was likewise DILOM. Fortunately to us, this last ruler is also mentioned in the Byzantine  chronicles - the year of his accession is 765 AD. That offers us the possibility to locate the year of the eastern cyclic calendar to which the Bulgarian cyclic year DILOM corresponded. According to the eastern cycle 765 AD is the year of the Snake and therefore the legendary progenitor of the Bulgars Avitohol ascended the throne in the year the Snake. Thus, the beginning of the Bulgarian chronicle can be reliably determined.

Like every progenitor Avitohol appears in the Nominalia with his full life span. Following the old tradition, he was attributed an unusually long life of 300 years. We can compare him with the patriarchs of the Bible, with the progenitors of the Celts and many other peoples.
 
Avitohol is followed by another legendary personality - Irnik, whose life span was, likewise, unusually long - 150 years. The year of birth of this ruler was again DILOM (snake) and corresponds completely to the features of the Bulgarian cyclic calendar - adding 300 years to the year of birth of  Avitohol (Dilom) we arrive to Dilom again. All calculations up to now were correct and it is easy to check them.


Figure 6. The twelve-year animal cyclic calendar of the Proto-Bulgarians

The successor of Irnik - GOSTUN reigned for only two years. He ascended the throne 150 years after Irnik and, accordingly, his starting year was not Dilom but DOHS. According to the cyclic calendar DOHS corresponds to the wild boar. Here, however, pops up an inaccuracy of half a year, which could not explained by the previous researchers.

KUBRAT, called in the chronicle Kourt, follows after Gostun. His year was SHEGOR - the year of the bull after the cyclic calendar, because two years after the year of the wild pig starts the year of the bull.

Kubrat's reign was followed by several years of disturbances, combined in the three years rule of BEZMER. BEZMER appears 60 after Kubrat - five full 12-years cycles. That is why his year is the same the Kubrat's - SHEGOR.

ISPERIH is the next after BEZMER. He appears is the year VER, which is the year of the Dragon. Like the previous progenitors Isperih was listed on the Nominalia with his full life span of 61 years. But from the text it can be inferred that the year VERENIALEM against his name is not the year of his birth, but the year in which he crossed Danube and created Bulgaria. That is seen particularly clearly from the text preceding his name. In it it is reported that the five previous princes ruled for "515 years on the other side of Danube and then came Isperih on this side of Danube". The newest research points out that 680 AD and not 681 AD was the year of the foundation of Bulgaria. It is in agreement with the Nominalia as 680 AD, the year of the crossing of the Danube, was the year of the VER (Dragon).

Isperih is the last ruler listed with his whole life span listed in the Nominalia, the next rulers are given with the span of their reign. That is quite logical since they did not resume the state but just governed.

From here on the next periods of rule are likewise expressed correctly, and it was only the bad orientation of the previous translators, that tried to explain the whole Nominalia with the help of the Turkic languages, that led to the general conception that the data in this section were coincidental or false. In reality, there is a only one and insignificant copying inaccuracy in the whole second section.

The inaccuracy in question is the the name of the successor of Tervel - Tvirem instead of TVIREMAK or TVIRELAK.

Starting with DILOM the previous researchers had no difficulties determining DOHS to be the year of the wild boar, SHEGOR to be the year of the bull, VER - the year of the dragon, TOH - the year of the cock, SOMOR - the year of the mouse, and IMENSHEGOR - the year of the horse. But they have completely neglected the names of the months in the calendar. As a result the calendar terms remained generally untranslated.

According the previous translations it followed that Gostun reigned for 1.5 years and Isperih at least 62.5 and not 61 years. Similar discrepancies appeared for Sevar, who was assigned to reign for 16 instead of 15 years, and also for Kormisosh, from whom they took one year off. Vineh was "deprived" of almost the whole seventh year of his rule. Great was also the confusion with the inscriptions from the village of Chatalar, whose datings deviated for almost an year from the Byzantine date of the 15th Indict.

The result was a series of ambiguities in the translations of the Bulgarian Nominalia, the errors appeared in the Bulgarian history textbooks and created a distorted picture of history.

In the case of the names of the months the translations were only hypothetic - the Bulgarian word TVIREM was, for example, equated with the Turco-Tatarian TOKUZINCHI (via the Chuvashian TAHARAMASH), CHITEM - with ETINCHI, VECHEM with JUCHINCHI etc. The months of the Proto-Bulgarian calendar obviously did not coincide with their Turco-Tatarian counterparts.

In order to overcome this very serious problem it was necessarily to abandon the previous translation models and to look for another, more adequate model.

As the possibilities of mathematics were not sufficiently used so far, we wanted to apply a purely mathematical interpretation of the names the years and months, relying on the relations between the numerical data of the Nominalia alone.

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