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TrueMacedonian 08-10-2010 03:39 PM

The Bogomils

Bogomilism was indirectly influenced by Manichaeism (info on Manichaeism can be found here - [url][/url]) and directly influenced by Paulicianism ([url][/url]) and other sects such as the Massalians (or Messalians) and the Marcionians. The following pages are from Dmitry Obolensky's book 'The Bogomils' which demonstrate cultural intersecting of influence from the ancient Christian Macedonians to the Paulicians to the other sects forwarded to the Bogomils.


Obolensky thoroughly demonstrates that Bogomilism was centered in and originated from Macedonia (but not exclusive to) and even called Macedonia the "cradle of Bogomilism" as well as state the following;


More to come.

Soldier of Macedon 08-12-2010 07:25 AM

Interesting, this is a topic I have always wanted to explore a little further, good that you brought it up TM, keep the information coming.

TrueMacedonian 08-12-2010 02:15 PM

Thanks SoM. Here's some more info on Bogomilism and Tsar Samuel. Both pages from Dmitry Obolensky's 'The Bogomils'.


Soldier of Macedon 08-18-2010 12:38 AM

It would appear that Samuel used various disgruntled elements in his push to secure the survival of the empire, and from these elements Bogomilism was derived in 10th century Macedonia. Perhaps the Bogomils were assured a level of security that could not be provided elsewhere in the Balkans at the time, which demonstrates a level of tolerance within Samuel's domains.

Onur 09-05-2010 08:56 AM

There was a Turkish citizen Bosniak scholar on a tv program in Turkey and he was talking about how Bosnians converted as muslims at Turkish reign.

He said, most of Bosnians(if not all) was living their christianity according to Bogomil philosophy after 12-13th century. At those times, especially Serbian, Byzantine, Hungarian religious authorities was considering them as a wicked sect and servants of Satan. He said, these Bosnian, Macedonian and Bulgar Bogomilians have been persecuted and hunted by them. He also mentioned that the catholic crusaders also killed them if they refuse to convert to catholicism and even they burned the nuns and priests alive like they did in witch hunting days at western Europe.

All these persecutions continues `till Turkish reign because Ottoman government never tolerated any internal tension inside their territory, therefor the Bogomil hunting stops. He said that Bosnians accepted Islam mostly because of the pressure upon them while they were christians of Bogomil philosophy and most of current non-Turkish muslims in Macedonia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Bulgaria and other Balkan states was formerly Bogomils and they accepted Islam as some kind of reaction to other christians and as a gratitude to the Turks who stopped Bogomils hunt either purposely or indirectly. For example, he said that all the Bosniaks became muslim in a very short time period to end their own frustration because their own Bogomil religious leaders became muslim first and they called everyone to be muslim as well.

Dimko-piperkata 12-07-2011 02:58 PM

[URL=""][/URL][URL=""]popot BOGOMIL od ORESHE 1/2 - YouTube[/URL]

[URL=""]popot BOGOMIL od ORESHE 2/2 - YouTube[/URL]

Soldier of Macedon 12-21-2011 01:58 AM

[QUOTE][I]The members are referred to as Babuni in several documents. Toponyms which include the river Babuna, the mountain Babuna, the Bogomila Waterfall and village Bogomila, all in the region of Azot today in central Republic of Macedonia, suggests that the movement was very active in the region.[6][7][/I]

[I]Some historians claim that tzar Samuil and in particular his son Gavril Radomir supported the movement. The core of Samuil's empire corresponds to the region where the Bogomils were most active. Most probably, as Samuil revolted against the Byzantine Empire, he relied on the popular support of the movement. There are no sources of Bogomil persecution during his reign (976 - 1014).[6][/I]

[I]The Bogomils spread westwards and settled first in Serbia; but at the end of the 12th century Stefan Nemanja, Great Župan of Serbia, expelled them from the country. Large numbers took refuge in Bosnia, where they were known under the name of Patarenes or Patareni. There, they were also brought into connection with the indigenous Bosnian Church, which was also considered heretical by the Pope and Byzantines, but was not actually Bogomil in nature.[/I]

6.^ a b Obolensky, Dimitry (1948). The Bogomils: A study in Balkan Neo-Manicheism. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-58262-8.
7.^ Loos, Milan (1974). Dualist heresy in the Middle Ages. Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences.[/QUOTE]


In the third century AD, before Christianity became the official religion of the Roman empire, a Persian named Many (Latin Manes, Manicheus), gathered Christian Gnostic and Buddhist elements and combined them with the Zoroastrian teaching.

He gave a simple explanation for where evil in the world comes from, preaching new dualistic religion. For this he was condemned by the Persian magi (those wise men - actually Zoroastrian priests - mentioned in the Bible). Mani was executed for his heresy in 276 AD.

By the second half of the seventh century a Gnostic sect named Pavlikianis was active in Armenia incorporating elements of Mani's teachings. This sect was seen as a threat to the state authorities. Tzars Constantine V Kopronim (741-775) and Ivan Cimiskes (969-976) forceably removed them to Thrace and Macedonia.


The Bogomils or Bogumils appeared in Bulgaria in the middle of the 10th century in the time of Bulgarian Tzar Peter (927-969). It seems evident, though there is no formal proof, that the Dualist beliefs of the Bogomils was a continuation of the Pavlikiani teaching from nearby Macedonia.

The first known written information about this heresy appears in the epistle of Patriarch Teofilact to Tsar Peter. He explains to the Tsar that this heresy is the "Pavlikian heresy mixed with Manicheanism".

More information is to be found in the apologetic tractate of the presbyter Cosma, "Speech on Heresy" created around 972. Cosma blames a priest called Bogomil for spreading this new teaching across Bulgaria - a teaching that opposes the teaching of the orthodox Christian church - that there is only one god.

Bogomil taught that there are two gods - one the god of good, and the other the god of evil. The god of evil created whole material world, including human beings. By his will exist all the visible things: the earth itself, animals, churches, crosses. Some of the Bogomils thought that the evil god, Satan, was God's younger son, next to Christ, the older brother. Others thought that he was not God's son but an angel that seceded from the ranks.

Cosma, further on in his tractate, says that the Bogomils were attacking the Church establishment, especially the clergy and bishops, and that they rejected Old Testament along with the books of the church fathers, and the [then new] cult of the Virgin Mary's along with the cults of other saints, all the other Church literature and all the prayers except the Lord's Prayer "Our father…".

Further, they did not respect icons, nor the cross, and they did not accept church buildings as the house of God. They gathered in their houses to pray and confess to each other.

They had critical attitude towards the governments, the state establishment, and the rules of society. They were alleged to incite their followers to rebel against the authorities, deterring slaves from working for their masters. They were attacking the established Church hierarchy and the nobility, teaching that those who worked for the tsar were repulsive to God.

They preached poverty and were critical of the rich. Cosma describes the heretics as quiet people, pale from fasting, dressed in modest clothes. But according to Cosma, this is only a ploy, and in fact they are rapacious, seeking out people with a simple spirit, and talking to them about the salvation of their souls.

The popularity of the dualistic heresy may be an expression of rebellion towards the hierarchy of the Orthodox Christian Church - a Church that like it's offshoot, the Roman Catholic Church, uses the idea of a god to keep its followers in obedience. It may also be an expression of rebellion against government institutions that lean on the Christian Church, using it to bolster and endorse their power. The appearance of the Bogomils in Macedonia and Bulgaria occurs at a time when local people felt oppressed by Byzantium, after the death of the Tsar Simeon, in the time of Tsar Peter. Ideologically, this Gnostic teaching was opposed to the Byzantine conquerors, against the pliable local nobility and against the hierarchy of the Orthodox Christian Church. (According to Cosma's notes the Orthodox Christian Church was itself utterly corrupt).[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE]- babunes (characteristic name in Serbia, coming from the name of the mountain Babuna in Macedonia) [/QUOTE]



Soldier of Macedon 12-21-2011 02:44 AM

Not sure how accurate all of this is, but just wanted to post it here to serve as a stepping stone for further research.
[QUOTE]The little that is known about Cosmas can be extracted from the few words that he writes about himself in Sermon Against the Heretics. As was customary to medieval priests and writers, Cosmas refers to himself as "unworthy". However, he was certainly of no low rank, as in his treatise he widely criticised the high clergy of the Bulgarian Patriarchate.[1] Bulgarian historian Plamen Pavlov theorises Cosmas must have been a high-ranking member of the ecclesiastical hierarchy and would have written his treatise under direct orders from the Bulgarian emperor. There is no data as to where in Bulgaria Cosmas was based: suppositions range from the capital Preslav[2] and eastern Bulgaria in general, to Ohrid and the region of Macedonia, and even Veliko Tarnovo.[3] Though Cosmas is not known to have been canonised, he is commonly referred to as "blessed" or a "saint" in the copies of his treatise.[4]

The dating of Cosmas' activity and thus the writing of Sermon Against the Heretics is an extremely problematic issue. The general consensus among scholars is that Cosmas lived in the middle or the second half of the 10th century.[2][3][5] However, individual scholarly opinions associate Cosmas' life with the first half of the 11th century and even the early 13th century.[3] While Cosmas never mentions the date of writing of his treatise, he does leave some chronological details. Cosmas calls the Bogomil heresy "newly-appeared"[3] and refers to the apparently popular "John, the new presbyter and exarch", whom most scholars identify with early-10th-century Bulgarian writer John Exarch. Cosmas insists that the heresy spread during the reign of Tsar Peter I (r. 927–969), yet according to historian Dimitri Obolensky he also claims Peter's rule was already over by the time of writing.[5][/QUOTE]

Niko777 12-21-2011 05:47 PM

There was an article on the Bogomils in Nova Zora recently. In the article it mentions that Bogomil cemeteries are found in villages around Lerin, Pella, and Solun.

>> [url][/url]

Bogomil cemeteries in Aegean Macedonia:



ramo 12-22-2011 06:50 PM

Here are 2 links with the same text (html and pdf) about the Bogomils written by Kosho Racin in 1939. The text is in Macedonian not English.



Here are some quotations from the text.

[QUOTE]И ете зошто богомилството е нешто најинтересно и најсветло во нашата народна историа. Да се гордеат нашите Македонци со тиа свои славни лугје! [B]That's why bogomillism are the most interesting and brightest in our people's history. Our Macedonians should be proud with their glorious people[/B] [/QUOTE]

[QUOTE]И токмо сега идеме до онова, откај ке се види, зошто богомилството е едно чисто македонско јавление, никнало во онија особени условија, во кои живеале македонските славјански племиња. [B]We will see why the bogomilism is pure macedonian appearance, risen in the environment in which the macedonian slavic tribes lived [/B] [/QUOTE]

Racin makes retrospective of the Macedonian history and history of the church in this same text.

Soldier of Macedon 12-22-2011 07:07 PM

Bogomilism is a significant part of Macedonian history that deserves further attention.

TRAVOLTA 12-26-2011 06:04 AM

[url=]Богомилите в Македония / Богомилите во Македонија - YouTube[/url]

DedoAleko 11-27-2014 09:22 AM

[B]Tajnata Kniga - The Secret Book - 2006[/B]

The story of the film is based on a search for the "Secret Book", a book written with Glagolic letters (first Slav alphabet, made by St. Cyril and Methody).

The Secret Book is supposed to contain the base of the Bogomil believes, known also as Catharism (Bogomils, persecuted by the church, left their homeland, and started moving north west, spreading their way of living and thinking where ever they were going, and through Bosnia, Dalmatia, north Italy, reached the south of France, where they (known as Cathars) founded their new homeland.


DedoAleko 07-17-2015 07:39 AM

[URL=""][B]Medieval gravestones of Bosniak Bogomil-Cathars[/B][/URL]

[URL=""][B]Stećci-Die Grabsteine der Bogomilen - Bogumili[/B][/URL]

George S. 07-17-2015 10:13 AM

Bogomilism in Macedonia
It is said that at the dawn of medieval Macedonian history two great men arose: Clement of Ohrid and the priest Bogomil. The first one was an educator and writer, whose distinguished personality and work are the pride both of Macedonians and of all Slavs: the second was an idealist, whose heretical theory became a rallying cry for the oppressed throughout Europe in the Middle Ages.
According to its context Bogomilism is a religious heresy, but its content it is a social movement conditioned by the economic and political circumstances in the country where it emerged. It is beyond doubt that Bogomilism emerged in Macedonia. At that time a larger part of Macedonia was under Bulgarian authority. The aim of the conquerors was clear: to incorporate Macedonia within the framework of the military and administrative regime of the Bulgaria state in a speedy and painless way, thus breaking up the clan-tribal system of the Macedonian principalities. Bulgarian rulers achieved their aim, the tribal rule of the Macedonian Slavs weakened, and new feudal relations gained ground. The independent traditions of the Macedonian Slavs gave way to feudal exploitation. Wars became frequent, taxes higher, robberies and violence common, and natural disasters an additional punishment for the common people. Villages grew poorer: peasants lost their properties and means of production. Many of them were taken as prisoners, and a majority of them became serfs, slaves to the land they cultivated, owing to actions by King Symeon. Symeon began to replace tribal ownership of land with feudal ownership, whereby the peasant was fully dependent on the feudal lord. "In order to satisfy his soldiers and officers, Symeon had to rob the defeated. And as the Macedonian Slavs were those who were defeated and conquered, he robbed their properties." Romanus I Lecapenus informed King Symeon in a letter that 20,000 people from Macedonia had escaped to Byzantium; they had fled "because of the violence and intent of the Bulgarian armies." Some historians argue that the visit of Clement of Ohrid to the Bulgarian capital and his resignation of the office of bishop a few months before his death was a response to the violence and devastation wrought by the conquerors on the territory of the Bishopric of Velika.
If some clergy in the Bulgarian Empire were privileged, not all of them enjoyed wealth and favor -the lower clergy drawn from the peasantry, serving as village and town priests, received low wages and were burdened by taxes and dues. Under such living conditions, aggravated further when King Petar increased the exploitation in order to sustain his vast military, government and church apparatus, indignation and dissatisfaction were inevitable and had an anti-church and anti-feudal character.
This was the reasons why the restless masses accepted "the newly-emerged heresy", as Kosma would say, and the priest Bogomil as founder of the movement. Dragan Tashkovski goes a step further: he claims that Bogomil was a disciple of Clement, accepting the Glagolitic as Clement of Ohrid did. He taught the people "not to submit themselves to the boyars and to have in mind that those who serve the king are repulsive to God, and to order every servant not to work for his master." But Aleksandar Matkovski argues that there is no proof that Bogomil existed at all. He bases his statement on the fact that Ephymius and Anna Comnena, who wrote about the Bogomils, give no mention of the priest, instead naming Churilo and the physician Vasilij as the founders of the sect. Matkovski points out that the Slavonic word bogomil simply means "dear to God", and does not refer to its founder.
Bogomil cosmology and mythology about the creation and destruction of the world possessed logic in a popular form. It could be understood by the masses of the Middle Ages, and they could thus be encouraged to take an active part in resolving the social conflicts imposed by feudalism. The Bogomils taught that there are two gods: a god of good and a god of evil. The god of evil created the material world and humanity, while the god of good created the human soul. The Bogomils denied all prayers except "Our Father, the Lord" and did not respect the cross, icons or churches. They prayed at home and made mutual confessions, denying bishops' authority over believers. They denied the authority the Old Testament and recognized the New Testament only. Believers were encouraged to rebellion and resistance to authorities, with poverty a virtue and material wealth-and those who possessed it-preached as an evil.
The appearance of the Bogomil dualist heresy was an expression of indignation against the hierarchy of a Christian church which used the concept of God as a tool to keep the believers obedient. It was also an expression of indignation against state authority, which relied on the Christian church to support its rule. Bogomilism sought an answer to the eternal question, "Why is it that to some people God gives many goods and few evils, whereas to others he gives many evils and little good?" The Bogomil movement in Macedonia was directed fully against the Byzantine and Bulgarian rulers, against local feudal masters and against a church which, as Presbyter Kosma said, was completely corrupt.
The anti-feudal essence of Bogomilism is reflected in its social and political viewpoints and in the framework of its mystic and religious conceptions. By preaching equality in poverty, a modest, simple life and disobedience to authorities, Bogomilism contained a strong anti-feudal note and instigated the people to rebellion and indignation.
A more detailed analysis of the character of Bogomilism leads to the significant conclusion that, in turning against the king and the boyars, against the ruling nomenclature which first and foremost consisted of Bulgarians, it had a liberating character for the Macedonian Slavs. N.P. Blagoev notes that Macedonia was the center of opposition against King Petar, both because he was an usurper but also because Bogomilism at that time was a strong, militant movement. The churches of Draguvit and Melnik were representative of the extreme opposition, unlike the Bulgarian Bogomilian church which tended to be more peaceful and moderate. That Bogomilism had distinct features of a liberation movement is supported by the fact that the komitopulis David, Moysey, Aran and Samuil, sons of the Komitadji Nikola, accepted Bogomilism and began a rebellion in 869 resulting in breaking Macedonia away from the Bulgarian Empire, establishing the first Slavic-Macedonian state.
After the victory of the komitopulis and the establishment of a Macedonian kingdom, the Bogomils ceased to verbally attack the upper classes-the king, royal officials and high clergy-and allied with them, although Samuil's state was as feudal as those of Boris and Petar. There is a simple explanation for the sympathy of Tsar Samuil for the Bogomils and their participation in his rebellion: the Bogomils were the only organized anti-Byzantine party in Macedonia with a clear Slavic orientation. It is interesting that the rebellion of the Macedonian Slavs broke out in the region where Bogomilism was strongest, in the territory defined by the triangle of the Vardar River, Ohrid and Mt. Shar. The measures taken by Byzantium and Bulgaria against this "evil" were severe. Patriarch of Constantinople Theophylast advised Tsar Petar: "Those who will remain in evil, sick from unrepentance, will be cut out of God's church as rotten and malignant parts and will be delivered for eternal damnation... The social laws of Christianity prescribe death for them, especially when it is apparent that the evil drags even deeper, progresses and kills many people." Nevertheless, Bogomilism spread first throughout Bulgaria and Bosnia, then to Italy and southern France; a movement which was to influence the course of history.

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Carlin 04-05-2017 11:17 PM


[B]The Council of Saint-Flix, a landmark in the organisation of the Cathars, was held at Saint-Felix-de-Caraman, now called Saint-Flix-Lauragais, in 1167.[/B] The senior figure, who apparently presided and gave the consolamentum to the assembled Cathar bishops (some newly appointed), was papa Nicetas, [B]Bogomil[/B] [B]bishop of Constantinople.[/B]

In documents of the Council are mentioned five of the original (Bogomil) Churches of the East, which serve as a model for French churches:

[SIZE="3"]Ecclesia Romana
Ecclesia Dragometia (= [I]Dragovitia?[/I])
Ecclesia Melenguia ([I]that is, the Peloponnese[/I]*)
Ecclesia Bulgaria
Ecclesia Dalmatiae [/SIZE]

* - [I]Cathars in Question[/I], Antonio Sennis


Dragovitia = Драговитија?

Carlin 06-17-2017 09:57 PM

[COLOR="Blue"][B]The Bogomils were also called [U]torbeshi[/U][/B][/COLOR]


[COLOR="Blue"][I]Bogomils on Via Egnatia and in the Valley of Pelagonia: the Geography of a Dualist Belief[/I][/COLOR], Robert Mihajlovski

Page 158: [COLOR="Blue"]Fundaghiagites (Latin funda - the bag) was known in Western Macedonia as Torbeshi from Slavonic torba - the Bag, in which the believers carried their alms and scriptures. In Bulgaria and Macedonia they had various names such as Bogomili, Babouni, Torbeshi, Obshtari.[/COLOR]

Carlin 06-20-2017 02:00 PM

Constantine V Copronymus (741-775) and Leo IV the Khazar (750-780) began to [B]repopulate Thrace (and Macedonia) colonising the Syrian Monophysites, some Massalians and Armenian Paulicians.[/B] Most of the 'heretical' Armenian population were resettled along the main roads through the peninsula, such as the Via Militaris and Via Egnatia in Thrace and Macedonia, in order to repopulate and to assimilate them into the local Christian communities. From the early 8th century though, they already had some close ties with the Balkan's pagan Slavic population and with the shamanistic Bulgars. Theophanes ended up blaming the emperor Constantine V for resettling Armenians to Thrace, introducing the Paulician 'heresy' into the Empire.

As a further interesting example, the area and mountains of Moglena (Meglen) in Macedonia seemed to have had a rather strong presence of Bogomils. This well-known region had a [B]mixed population of Slavic, Vlach, Romanized Pechenegs and Armenian Paulicians.[/B] The historical sources confirm the presence of Bogomils in this area during the 11th and 12th centuries.

Near the village of Banitsa (renamed to Vevi in 1926), a Bogomil burial ground once existed. In 1982, according to Eliyas Petropoulos,[B] the bishop of Florina ordered the [U]obliteration of the cemetery[/U] and the [U]removal of its tombstones[/U]. [/B]

Taken from -
Bogomils on Via Egnatia and in the Valley of Pelagonia: the Geography of a Dualist Belief


Liberator of Makedonija 02-05-2019 10:09 AM


Carlin15 02-16-2019 10:30 PM



Carlin15 02-17-2019 09:28 PM

[B]Кочо Рацин

Драговитските богомили[/B]

Богомилството е една од најсветлите, најзначајните и најинтересните појави на средновековното минато на Повардарјето. Наспроти официјалното христијанство, што е воведено одозгора, од страна на самите државни главари, и што е пренесено од Византија, со цел идејно да се зацврсти владавината на новата словенска феудална аристократија, богомилството никна од народот, ги зафати најшироките народни маси и во верско-опозициона форма го мобилизира народниот отпор против с поголемото феудално поробување. По тој начин, отпрвин како верско-опозициона секта, богомилството подоцна се претвори по вистинско социјално-реформаторско народно движење со отворени стремежи за промени на општествениот поредок. Во таа повисока фаза од својот развиток богомилството со своето високоморално сфаќање на средновековните културни проблеми, со својата народна, рационалистичка интерпретација на христијанството, како и со својата беспоштедна критика на сите негативни последици од феудалното устројство на општеството, што настанаа во време на првите симптоми од распаѓањето на феудализмот кај нас пројави таков порој од необично смели и напредни мисли за својата епоха, што со право го поставуваат во редот на значајните социјално-реформаторски движења во историјата. Веќе cо самото тоа богомилството би требало да се смета и како наше најсветло историско минато, што ги овоплотило нашите најдрагоцени културни традиции и ни оставило едно богато културно наследство.

На тоа наследство наидуваме насекаде во нашиот народен живот. Како една од најкрупните појави на јужнословенската историја",[1] богомилството со своето учење ги завладеа срцата на словенските народи на Балканот",[2] длабоко навлезе во духовниот живот на балканските Словени"[3] и при такви услови невозможно е да не влијаело силно врз нашиот народен живот, да не оставило подлабоки траги во нашите народни обичаи и преданија, но нашиот богат народен бит".[4] Нашата народна култура, нашиот богат народен фолклор, неисцрпната духовна ризница на нашиот народ низ многу мрачни векови на искушение повеќе се дело од влијанието на богомилството одошто од влијанието на православјето. Повеќе се во нив одразени немирот и трезноста на богомилството, одошто слепата вера и укоченост на православјето.

Full article here:

[B]Кочо Рацин

Селското движење на богомилите во Средниот век[/B]

На нашите широки народни слоеви речиси и непознато им е големото средновековно народно движење на богомилите. Многумина и не претчувствуваат дека нивните одамнешни предедовци учествувале во тоа движење, станувајќи во одбрана на демократските преданија на својата старословенска задруга, против новите, словенски феудални и црковни властелини. Но уште е помал бројот на оние што знаат дека лулката на тоа движење му била меѓу Словените што живееле во Повардарјето, и дека од првата богомилска општина, меѓу племето Драговити, како зраци од светлина потекнало богомилското учење низ целиот свет", како што го вели тоа големиот хрватски научник Фрањо Рачки.

Кои биле тие наши храбри предеди, што во глувата доба на европскиот среден век ја запалиле таа светлина", и што барале тие?

Full article here:

Кочо Рацин main page:


Carlin15 02-25-2019 02:57 PM

Images of abandoned Bogomil Graveyard near Ilidzievo (Илиџиево), Salonica area:

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