Archaeologists Found Tomb of Christian Prince Executed By Slavic Pagans From Bulgaria

JamesDeMers (CC0), Pixabay

Bulgarian prince Enravota was a royal Bulgarian aristocrat that lived in 9th century and was to become the Khan of Bulgaria. However as Bulgaria in those times was a nation made of Slavs, Tharacians and Bulgars the country was still very mostly pagan, and prince Enravota refuesed to deny Christ. As a result he was sacrifised and martyred by his pagan bhrother in year 833The grave of a prince who was to become the khan of Bulgaria but refused to deny Christ and was then martyred for it by his pagan brother Vladimir (or Malamir in some sources) in the year 833. His remains have been excavated in St.Boyan Enravota’s tomb near Pliska, Bulgaria. Also it should be noted that this tomb was known to have been found on the grounds of the ruins of Europe’s largest basilica.

Archaeology in Bulgaria has reported that this amazing tomb was near a well in basilica that was seen as sacred to both pagan Bulgarian Slavs and Christians so during the time of Enravotas proclamation to Khan the country was still mostly pagan. The population of Christians was augmented in the early 9th century when Khan Khrum the Fearsome captured Byzantine Christians and took them to Bulgaria as slaves.

The persecution of Christians in Bulgaria

Bulgars at the time considered the price a traitor to the old traditions of his people so his brother Vladimir beheaded Enravota and as such Enravota has become one of the most important saints in Bulgaria’s history.

His brother Vladimir had him killed due to Enravotas betrayal of his traditions and acceptance of “foregin god” reffering to Jesus. Vladimir, the youngest son of the khan Omurtag, was so fierc in his paganism he usually imprisoned and killed any of those who’d converted and baptized Enravota and even tutored some of their relatives. In end Malamir/Vladimir was the one that has become Khan.

“A team of archaeologists led by Professor Pavel Georgiev has recently started excavating the ruins of the Great Basilica in Pliska, the largest Christian temple in Europe from the 9th until the 17th century (i.e. until the construction of the St. Peter Basilica in the Vatican),”says the blog Archaeology in Bulgaria. “The excavations are supposed to set the ground for the restoration of the Great Basilica in order to promote both patriotic sentiments, and cultural tourism in Bulgaria.

“After Khan Omurtag’s death, Knyaz Boyan Enravota was supposed to inherit his father’s throne. However, some of the members of the high aristocracy of the Ancient Bulgars known as boilas were opposed to his ascension to the throne because of rumors that he had become a Christian. (The First Bulgarian Empire adopted Christianity as its official and only state religion only in 865 AD, and until then the Ancient Bulgars, Slavs, and Thracians who merged to make the Bulgarian ethnicity were still worshipping their different pagan gods.)”

The ruins of the basilica in Pliska, Bulgaria’s first capital.

Destiny or not but in end fierce Malamir/Vladimir died young and the throne passed to Presiyan around 845 AD. Presiyan constructed a small martyr’s church above the holy well or sacred spring and interred his brother there. Bulgaria adopted Christianity as its formal religion during the reign of Presiyan’s son and Enravota’s nephew, St. Knyaz Boris I Mihail in 865. In May 2015 the head of the Bulgarian Orthodox church held a religious ceremony at the basilica to commemorate 1,150 years of Christianity in Bulgaria.

A view of the partially reconstructed Great Basilica of Pliska

The basilica, which has been described as the mother of all Bulgarian churches, will be reconstructed and restored. The Bulgarian government has given 255,000 euros or $285,000 for the project. The restoration of the basilica is expected to cost about 4.1 million euros or $4.6 million.

The Great Basilica is set in an architectural complex that includes an archbishop’s palace and monastery and the cathedral itself. The complex was completed around 875. The ruins of the historic city of Pliska are 3 km (5 miles) north of the modern town of Pliska, where about 1,100 people now live.

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