It comprises southeastern Bulgaria, northeastern Greece, and the European part of Turkey. In antiquity, it was referred to as Europe, prior to the extension of the term to describe the whole continent. The name Thrace comes from the Thracians, an ancient Indo-European people inhabiting Southeastern Europe, the word itself was established by the Greeks for referring to the Thracian tribes, from Ancient Greek Thrake, descending from Thrāix. The name of the continent Europe first referred to Thrace proper, the region obviously took the name of the principal river there, probably from the Indo-European arg white river, according to an alternative theory, Hebros means goat in Thracian. In Turkey, it is referred to as Rumeli, Land of the Romans. The name appears to derive from an ancient heroine and sorceress Thrace, who was the daughter of Oceanus and Parthenope, the historical boundaries of Thrace have varied. In one ancient Greek source, the very Earth is divided into Asia, Libya and this largely coincided with the Thracian Odrysian kingdom, whose borders varied over time.
After the Macedonian conquest, this regions former border with Macedonia was shifted from the Struma River to the Mesta River and this usage lasted until the Roman conquest. Henceforth, Thrace referred only to the tract of land covering the same extent of space as the modern geographical region. The medieval Byzantine theme of Thrace contained only what today is Eastern Thrace, the largest cities of Thrace are, İstanbul, Burgas, Stara Zagora, Yambol, Alexandroupoli, Edirne, Çorlu and Tekirdağ. Most of the Bulgarian and Greek population are Christians, while most of the Turkish inhabitants of Thrace are Muslims, Ancient Greek mythology provides them with a mythical ancestor, named Thrax, son of the war-god Ares, who was said to reside in Thrace. The Thracians appear in Homers Iliad as Trojan allies, led by Acamas, in the Iliad, another Thracian king, makes an appearance. Cisseus, father-in-law to the Trojan elder Antenor, is given as a Thracian king. Homeric Thrace was vaguely defined, and stretched from the River Axios in the west to the Hellespont, Greek mythology is replete with Thracian kings, including Diomedes, Lycurgus, Tegyrius, Polymnestor and Oeagrus.
In addition to the tribe that Homer calls Thracians, ancient Thrace was home to other tribes, such as the Edones, Cicones. Thrace is mentioned in Ovids Metamorphoses in the episode of Philomela, Tereus, the King of Thrace, lusts after his sister-in-law, Philomela. He kidnaps her, holds her captive, rapes her, Philomela manages to get free, however. She and her sister, plot to get revenge, by killing Itys, at the end of the myth, all three turn into birds – Procne, a swallow, Philomela, a nightingale, and Tereus, a hoopoe
Bulgarian Black Sea Coast
The Bulgarian Black Sea Coast covers the entire eastern bound of Bulgaria stretching from the Romanian Black Sea resorts in the north to European Turkey in the south, along 378 km of coastline. White and golden sandy beaches occupy approximately 130 km of the 378 km long coast, the region is an important center of tourism during the summer season, drawing millions of foreign and local tourists alike and constituting one of the countrys most popular tourist destinations. Prior to 1989 the Bulgarian Black Sea coast was known as the Red Riviera. Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, its nickname has been changed to the Bulgarian Riviera, the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast has a humid subtropical climate, with considerable maritime and continental influences. The areas average air temperature in the summer is about 28 °C, there are more than 240 hours of sunshine in May and September and more than 300 hours in July and August. The Balkan Mountains cross the country reaching to the edge of the Black Sea at Cape Emine, parts of Bulgarias northern Black Sea Coast feature rocky headlands where the sea abuts cliffs up to 70 metres in height.
The southern coast is known for its sandy beaches. The southernmost section is included in Strandzha Nature Park, the two largest cities and main seaports on the Bulgarian Riviera are Varna and Burgas. Varna is located on the part of the coast and Burgas is located on the southern coast. The two cities international airports, Varna Airport and Burgas Airport, are the main hubs servicing the region, in addition, the Trakia motorway was completed in 2013, providing fast access between Burgas and Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, and Plovdiv, the second largest city. Hemus motorway, scheduled to be completed after 2020, would make the trip from Sofia to Varna substantially easier and faster, while the Cherno More motorway is planned to connect Varna and Burgas. Major road I-9 runs along the Black Sea coast between the border with Romania, at the village of Durankulak, and the city of Burgas. Anastasia Island St. Cyricus Island St. Ivan Island St. Peter ISland St. Bulgaria saw little fighting during the war.
Romanian mines heavily damaged the submarine Shch-205 off Varna on 4 December 1941, on 6 December 1941, Belomorets and Chernomorets depth-charged and sank the Soviet submarine Shch-204. Soviet submarines laid mines near the Bulgarian coast, the 2304-ton Bulgarian steamer Chipka being sunk off Varna by mines laid by the submarine L-4, shch-214 torpedoed and sank the Italian 3336-ton tanker Torcello off the Bulgarian coast. On 25 May 1942, the 982-ton Turkish passenger ship Safak was sunk by the Soviet submarine Shch-205 off the Bulgarian coast, on 19 May 1943, the Bulgarian torpedo boat Smeli foundered between Varna and Burgas during a storm. The campaign ended when Bulgaria changed sides and joined the Soviet Union in September 1944, featuring links to articles on the many coastal strips around the world which are known as Riviera Romanian Black Sea resorts
The Black Sea is a body of water between Eastern Europe and Western Asia, bounded by Bulgaria, Romania, Russia and Ukraine. It is supplied by a number of rivers, such as the Danube, Rioni, Southern Bug. The Black Sea has an area of 436,400 km2, a depth of 2,212 m. It is constrained by the Pontic Mountains to the south and by the Caucasus Mountains to the east, the longest east-west extent is about 1,175 km. The Black Sea has a water balance, that is, a net outflow of water 300 km3 per year through the Bosphorus. Mediterranean water flows into the Black Sea as part of a two-way hydrological exchange, the Black Sea drains into the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, via the Aegean Sea and various straits. The Bosphorus Strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and these waters separate Eastern Europe and Western Asia. The Black Sea is connected to the Sea of Azov by the Strait of Kerch, the water level has varied significantly. Due to these variations in the level in the basin. At certain critical water levels it is possible for connections with surrounding water bodies to become established and it is through the most active of these connective routes, the Turkish Straits, that the Black Sea joins the world ocean.
When this hydrological link is not present, the Black Sea is a basin, operating independently of the global ocean system. Currently the Black Sea water level is high, thus water is being exchanged with the Mediterranean. The Turkish Straits connect the Black Sea with the Aegean Sea, and comprise the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara, the International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Black Sea as follows, On the Southwest. The Northeastern limit of the Sea of Marmara, a line joining Cape Takil and Cape Panaghia. Strabos Geographica reports that in antiquity, the Black Sea was often just called the Sea, for the most part, Graeco-Roman tradition refers to the Black Sea as the Hospitable sea, Εὔξεινος Πόντος Eúxeinos Póntos. This is a euphemism replacing an earlier Inhospitable Sea, Πόντος Ἄξεινος Póntos Áxeinos, strabo thinks that the Black Sea was called inhospitable before Greek colonization because it was difficult to navigate, and because its shores were inhabited by savage tribes.
The name was changed to hospitable after the Milesians had colonized the southern shoreline and it is possible that the epithet Áxeinos arose by popular etymology from a Scythian word axšaina- unlit, the designation Black Sea may thus date from antiquity. A map of Asia dating to 1570, entitled Asiae Nova Descriptio, from Abraham Orteliuss Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, english-language writers of the 18th century often used the name Euxine Sea to refer to the Black Sea
Periplus of the Euxine Sea
The Periplus of the Euxine Sea is a periplus or guidebook detailing the destinations visitors encounter when traveling about the shore of the Black Sea. It was written by Arrian of Nicomedia from AD 130-131 and it is in the form of a letter, from Arrian to the Emperor Hadrian in Rome, who was particularly attached to geographical research and had visited in person a large portion of his extensive dominions. Thus, while Arrian gives much information upon the south and east side of the Euxine, in going round the north shore his intervals become greater, scylacis caryandensis periplus, Rudolf Heinrich Klausen, impensis G. Reimeri,1831, pp. 133-167. Geographi graeci minores, Karl Otfried Müller, editoribus Firmin-Didot et sociis,1882, text in Greek with French translation
Greeks in Bulgaria
Greeks in Bulgaria constitute the eighth-largest ethnic minority in Bulgaria. Today, Greeks mostly live in the urban centres like Sofia and Plovdiv. Maritime poleis like Nesebar, Sozopol and Varna controlled the routes in the western part of the Black Sea. However, a part of this population, the so-called Kariots, is regarded by ethnographers as having been only Greek-identifying. Greek communities existed in Plovdiv, Asenovgrad and Rousse, in 1900, the Greeks in Bulgaria numbered 33,650. Among the few exceptions were some of the Sarakatsani, estimated at 4,107 in 2006 and this group, living in Suvorovo and two nearby villages, according to the ethnographer Anastas Angleov. They themselves used to say, We are Bulgarians, but we speak Greek. The most prosperous communities were that of Varna, with seven Greek schools that hosted ca,1, 200–1,500 students in 1907, and of Plovdiv, with a total of eight schools. Among them, the Zariphios in Plovdiv, established at 1875, Greek Population and Greek Ethnic Identity in Bulgaria.
A Contribution to the History of an Unidentified Minority
The Capitoline Hill, between the Forum and the Campus Martius, is one of the Seven Hills of Rome. The hill was known as Mons Saturnius, dedicated to the god Saturn. The word Capitolium first meant the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus built here, Ancient sources refer the name to caput and the tale was that, when laying the foundations for the temple, the head of a man was found. Some sources even saying it was the head of some Tolus or Olus, the Capitolium was regarded by the Romans as indestructible, and was adopted as a symbol of eternity. By the 16th century, Capitolinus had become Capitolino in Italian, influenced by Roman architecture and Roman republican times, the word Capitolium still lives in the English word capitol. The Capitol Hill in Washington, D. C. is widely assumed to be named after the Capitoline Hill, at this hill, the Sabines, creeping to the Citadel, were let in by the Roman maiden Tarpeia. For this treachery, Tarpeia was the first to be punished by being flung from a cliff overlooking the Roman Forum.
This cliff was named the Tarpeian Rock after the Vestal Virgin. The Sabines, who immigrated to Rome following the Rape of the Sabine Women, the Vulcanal, an 8th-century BC sacred precinct, occupied much of the eastern lower slopes of the Capitoline, at the head of what would become the Roman Forum. The summit was the site of a temple for the Capitoline Triad, started by Romes fifth king, Tarquinius Priscus and it was considered one of the largest and the most beautiful temples in the city. The city legend starts with the recovery of a human skull when foundation trenches were being dug for the Temple of Jupiter at Tarquins order, recent excavations on the Capitoline uncovered an early cemetery under the Temple of Jupiter. There are several important temples built on Capitoline hill, the temple of Juno Moneta, the temple of Virtus, the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus Capitolinus is the most important of the temples. It was built in 509 BC and was nearly as large as the Parthenon, the hill and the temple of Jupiter became the symbols of Rome, the capital of the world.
The Temple of Saturn was built at the foot of Capitoline Hill in the end of the Forum Romanum. According to legend Marcus Manlius Capitolinus was alerted to the Gallic attack by the geese of Juno. Vespasians brother and nephew were besieged in the temple during the Year of Four Emperors, the Tabularium, located underground beneath the piazza and hilltop, occupies a building of the same name built in the 1st century BC to hold Roman records of state. The Tabularium looks out from the rear onto the Roman Forum, the main attraction of the Tabularium, besides the structure itself, is the Temple of Veiovis. During the lengthy period of ancient Rome, the Capitoline Hill was the geographical and ceremonial center, however, by the Renaissance, the former center was an untidy conglomeration of dilapidated buildings and the site of executions of criminals
Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in classical Greek and Roman religion and Greek and Roman mythology. The ideal of the kouros, Apollo has been recognized as a god of music and prophecy, the sun and light, poetry. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, and has a twin sister, Apollo is known in Greek-influenced Etruscan mythology as Apulu. As the patron of Delphi, Apollo was an oracular god—the prophetic deity of the Delphic Oracle. Medicine and healing are associated with Apollo, whether through the god himself or mediated through his son Asclepius, yet Apollo was seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadly plague. Amongst the gods custodial charges, Apollo became associated with dominion over colonists, as the leader of the Muses and director of their choir, Apollo functioned as the patron god of music and poetry. Hermes created the lyre for him, and the instrument became an attribute of Apollo. Hymns sung to Apollo were called paeans and Helios/Sol remained separate beings in literary and mythological texts until the 3rd century CE.
The name Apollo—unlike the related older name Paean—is generally not found in the Linear B texts, the etymology of the name is uncertain. The spelling Ἀπόλλων had almost superseded all other forms by the beginning of the common era and it probably is a cognate to the Doric month Apellaios, and the offerings apellaia at the initiation of the young men during the family-festival apellai. According to some scholars the words are derived from the Doric word apella, apella is the name of the popular assembly in Sparta, corresponding to the ecclesia. R. S. P. Beekes rejected the connection of the theonym with the noun apellai, several instances of popular etymology are attested from ancient authors. Thus, the Greeks most often associated Apollos name with the Greek verb ἀπόλλυμι, in the ancient Macedonian language πέλλα means stone, and some toponyms may be derived from this word, Πέλλα and Πελλήνη. The role of Apollo as god of plague is evident in the invocation of Apollo Smintheus by Chryses, the Hittite testimony reflects an early form *Apeljōn, which may be surmised from comparison of Cypriot Ἀπείλων with Doric Ἀπέλλων.
A Luwian etymology suggested for Apaliunas makes Apollo The One of Entrapment, Apollos chief epithet was Phoebus, literally bright. It was very commonly used by both the Greeks and Romans for Apollos role as the god of light, like other Greek deities, he had a number of others applied to him, reflecting the variety of roles and aspects ascribed to the god. However, while Apollo has a number of appellations in Greek myth. Aegletes, from αἴγλη, light of the sun Helius, literally sun Lyceus light, the meaning of the epithet Lyceus became associated with Apollos mother Leto, who was the patron goddess of Lycia and who was identified with the wolf
Corinth is a city and former municipality in Corinthia, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality of Corinth, of which it is the seat and it is the capital of Corinthia. It was founded as Nea Korinthos or New Corinth in 1858 after an earthquake destroyed the settlement of Corinth. Corinth derives its name from Ancient Corinth, a city-state of antiquity, in 1858, the old city, now known as Archaia Korinthos, located 3 kilometres SW of the modern city, was totally destroyed by a magnitude 6.5 earthquake. Nea Korinthos or New Corinth was built a few kilometers away on the coast of the Gulf of Corinth, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake in 1928 devastated the new city, which was rebuilt on the same site. It was rebuilt again after a fire in 1933. The Municipality of Corinth had a population of 58,192 according to the 2011 census, the second most populous municipality in the Peloponnese Region after Kalamata. The municipal unit of Corinth had 38,132 inhabitants, of which Corinth itself had 30,176 inhabitants, placing it in place behind Kalamata.
The municipal unit of Corinth includes apart from Corinth proper the town of Archaia Korinthos, the town of Examilia, the municipal unit has an area of 102.187 km2. Corinth is an industrial hub at a national level. Corinth Refineries are one of the largest oil refining Industrial complex in Europe, copper cables, petroleum products, medical equipment, gypsum, ceramic tiles, mineral water and beverages, meat products, and gums are produced nearby. As of 2005, a period of deindustrialization has commenced as a large complex, a textile factory. Corinth is a road hub. The A7 toll motorway for Tripoli and Kalamata, branches off the A8/European route E94 toll motorway from Athens at Corinth, Corinth is the main entry point to the Peloponnesian peninsula, the southernmost area of continental Greece. KTEL Korinthias provides intercity bus service in the peninsula and to Athens via the Isthmos station southeast of the city center, local bus service is available. The city has connected to the Proastiakos, the Athens suburban rail network, since 2005.
The port of Corinth, located north of the city centre and close to the northwest entrance of the Corinth Canal, at 3756. 0’ N /2256. 0’ E, serves the needs of industry. It is mainly a cargo exporting facility and it is an artificial harbour (depth approximately 9 metres, protected by a concrete mole
Miletus was an ancient Greek city on the western coast of Anatolia, near the mouth of the Maeander River in ancient Caria. Its ruins are located near the village of Balat in Aydın Province. Before the Persian invasion in the middle of the 6th century BC, Miletus greatest wealth and splendor was reached during the Hellenistic era and Roman times. Evidence of first settlement at the site has been inaccessible by the rise of sea level. The first available evidence is of the Neolithic, in the early and middle Bronze age the settlement came under Minoan influence. Legend has it that an influx of Cretans occurred displacing the indigenous Leleges, the site was renamed Miletus after a place in Crete. The Late Bronze Age, 13th century BC, saw the arrival of Luwian language speakers from south central Anatolia calling themselves the Carians, in that century other Greeks arrived. The city at that time rebelled against the Hittite Empire, after the fall of that empire the city was destroyed in the 12th century BC and starting about 1000 BC was resettled extensively by the Ionian Greeks.
Legend offers an Ionian foundation event sponsored by a founder named Neleus from the Peloponnesus, the Greek Dark Ages were a time of Ionian settlement and consolidation in an alliance called the Ionian League. The Archaic Period of Greece began with a sudden and brilliant flash of art, Miletus is the birthplace of the Hagia Sophias architect Isidore of Miletus and Thales, a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher in c.624 BC. The ruins appear on maps at 37°31. 8N 27°16. 7E, about 3 km north of Balat and 3 km east of Batıköy in Aydın Province. In antiquity the city possessed a harbour at the entry of a large bay. The harbour of Miletus was additionally protected by the small island of Lade. Over the centuries the gulf silted up with alluvium carried by the Meander River, there is a Great Harbour Monument where, according to the New Testament account, the apostle Paul stopped on his way back to Jerusalem by boat. He met the Ephesian Elders and headed out to the beach to bid farewell, recorded in the book of Acts 20.
During the Pleistocene epoch the Miletus region was submerged in the Aegean Sea and it subsequently emerged slowly, the sea reaching a low level of about 130 meters below present level at about 18,000 BP. The site of Miletus was part of the mainland, a gradual rise brought a level of about 1.75 meters below present at about 5500 BP, creating several karst block islands of limestone, the location of the first settlements at Miletus. At about 1500 BC the karst shifted due to small crustal movements, since the sea has risen 1.75 m but the peninsula has been surrounded by sediment from the Maeander river and is now land-locked
The Bronze Age is a historical period characterized by the use of bronze, proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the principal period of the three-age Stone-Bronze-Iron system, as proposed in modern times by Christian Jürgensen Thomsen. An ancient civilization is defined to be in the Bronze Age either by smelting its own copper and alloying with tin, arsenic, or other metals, or by trading for bronze from production areas elsewhere. Copper-tin ores are rare, as reflected in the fact there were no tin bronzes in Western Asia before trading in bronze began in the third millennium BC. Worldwide, the Bronze Age generally followed the Neolithic period, with the Chalcolithic serving as a transition, although the Iron Age generally followed the Bronze Age, in some areas, the Iron Age intruded directly on the Neolithic. Bronze Age cultures differed in their development of the first writing, according to archaeological evidence, cultures in Mesopotamia and Egypt developed the earliest viable writing systems.
The overall period is characterized by use of bronze, though the place and time of the introduction. Human-made tin bronze technology requires set production techniques, tin must be mined and smelted separately, added to molten copper to make bronze alloy. The Bronze Age was a time of use of metals. The dating of the foil has been disputed, the Bronze Age in the ancient Near East began with the rise of Sumer in the 4th millennium BC. Societies in the region laid the foundations for astronomy and mathematics, the usual tripartite division into an Early and Late Bronze Age is not used. Instead, a division based on art-historical and historical characteristics is more common. The cities of the Ancient Near East housed several tens of thousands of people, ur in the Middle Bronze Age and Babylon in the Late Bronze Age similarly had large populations. The earliest mention of Babylonia appears on a tablet from the reign of Sargon of Akkad in the 23rd century BC, the Amorite dynasty established the city-state of Babylon in the 19th century BC.
Over 100 years later, it took over the other city-states. Babylonia adopted the written Semitic Akkadian language for official use, by that time, the Sumerian language was no longer spoken, but was still in religious use. Elam was an ancient civilization located to the east of Mesopotamia, in the Old Elamite period, Elam consisted of kingdoms on the Iranian plateau, centered in Anshan, and from the mid-2nd millennium BC, it was centered in Susa in the Khuzestan lowlands. Its culture played a role in the Gutian Empire and especially during the Achaemenid dynasty that succeeded it
Alexander the Great
Alexander III of Macedon, commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty. He was born in Pella in 356 BC and succeeded his father Philip II to the throne at the age of twenty and he was undefeated in battle and is widely considered one of historys most successful military commanders. During his youth, Alexander was tutored by Aristotle until the age of 16, after Philips assassination in 336 BC, he succeeded his father to the throne and inherited a strong kingdom and an experienced army. Alexander was awarded the generalship of Greece and used this authority to launch his fathers Panhellenic project to lead the Greeks in the conquest of Persia, in 334 BC, he invaded the Achaemenid Empire and began a series of campaigns that lasted ten years. Following the conquest of Anatolia, Alexander broke the power of Persia in a series of battles, most notably the battles of Issus. He subsequently overthrew Persian King Darius III and conquered the Achaemenid Empire in its entirety, at that point, his empire stretched from the Adriatic Sea to the Indus River.
He sought to reach the ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea and invaded India in 326 BC and he eventually turned back at the demand of his homesick troops. Alexander died in Babylon in 323 BC, the city that he planned to establish as his capital, without executing a series of planned campaigns that would have begun with an invasion of Arabia. In the years following his death, a series of civil wars tore his empire apart, resulting in the establishment of several states ruled by the Diadochi, Alexanders surviving generals, Alexanders legacy includes the cultural diffusion which his conquests engendered, such as Greco-Buddhism. He founded some twenty cities that bore his name, most notably Alexandria in Egypt, Alexander became legendary as a classical hero in the mold of Achilles, and he features prominently in the history and mythic traditions of both Greek and non-Greek cultures. He became the measure against which military leaders compared themselves, and he is often ranked among the most influential people in human history.
He was the son of the king of Macedon, Philip II, and his wife, Olympias. Although Philip had seven or eight wives, Olympias was his wife for some time. Several legends surround Alexanders birth and childhood, sometime after the wedding, Philip is said to have seen himself, in a dream, securing his wifes womb with a seal engraved with a lions image. Plutarch offered a variety of interpretations of dreams, that Olympias was pregnant before her marriage, indicated by the sealing of her womb. On the day Alexander was born, Philip was preparing a siege on the city of Potidea on the peninsula of Chalcidice. That same day, Philip received news that his general Parmenion had defeated the combined Illyrian and Paeonian armies, and it was said that on this day, the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, burnt down. This led Hegesias of Magnesia to say that it had burnt down because Artemis was away, such legends may have emerged when Alexander was king, and possibly at his own instigation, to show that he was superhuman and destined for greatness from conception
Bulgaria, officially the Republic of Bulgaria, is a country in southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north and Macedonia to the west and Turkey to the south, with a territory of 110,994 square kilometres, Bulgaria is Europes 16th-largest country. Organised prehistoric cultures began developing on current Bulgarian lands during the Neolithic period and its ancient history saw the presence of the Thracians, Persians, Romans, Goths and Huns. With the downfall of the Second Bulgarian Empire in 1396, its territories came under Ottoman rule for five centuries. The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78 led to the formation of the Third Bulgarian State, the following years saw several conflicts with its neighbours, which prompted Bulgaria to align with Germany in both world wars. In 1946 it became a one-party socialist state as part of the Soviet-led Eastern Bloc, in December 1989 the ruling Communist Party allowed multi-party elections, which subsequently led to Bulgarias transition into a democracy and a market-based economy.
Bulgarias population of 7.2 million people is predominantly urbanised, most commercial and cultural activities are centred on the capital and largest city, Sofia. The strongest sectors of the economy are industry, power engineering. The countrys current political structure dates to the adoption of a constitution in 1991. Bulgaria is a parliamentary republic with a high degree of political, administrative. Human activity in the lands of modern Bulgaria can be traced back to the Paleolithic, animal bones incised with man-made markings from Kozarnika cave are assumed to be the earliest examples of symbolic behaviour in humans. Organised prehistoric societies in Bulgarian lands include the Neolithic Hamangia culture, Vinča culture, the latter is credited with inventing gold working and exploitation. Some of these first gold smelters produced the coins and jewellery of the Varna Necropolis treasure and this site offers insights for understanding the social hierarchy of the earliest European societies.
Thracians, one of the three primary groups of modern Bulgarians, began appearing in the region during the Iron Age. In the late 6th century BC, the Persians conquered most of present-day Bulgaria, and kept it until 479 BC. After the division of the Roman Empire in the 5th century the area fell under Byzantine control, by this time, Christianity had already spread in the region. A small Gothic community in Nicopolis ad Istrum produced the first Germanic language book in the 4th century, the first Christian monastery in Europe was established around the same time by Saint Athanasius in central Bulgaria. From the 6th century the easternmost South Slavs gradually settled in the region, in 680 Bulgar tribes under the leadership of Asparukh moved south across the Danube and settled in the area between the lower Danube and the Balkan, establishing their capital at Pliska