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III. The Proto-Bulgar Calendar

By Peter Dobrev

 

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The double specification of the events in the Nominalia of the Bulgarian Princes and their importance in deciphering the unclear calendar terms

Mathematical translation of the calendar terms of Nominalia

Where the special names in the calendar of Isperih come from?

The ancient peoples of the East and the arithmetic of the Proto-Bulgarians

 

 

The double specification of the events in the Nominalia of the Bulgarian Princes and their importance in ieciphering 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.

 


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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Mathematical translation of the calendar terms of Nominalia
 
The Nominalia of the Asparuh Bulgars is an excellent field for the application of mathematics. Its information is exclusively numerical - a line of connected one to another numbers.

The previous translation attempts relied on coincidence, the unclear calendar terms were interpreted not by mathematical calculations, but on the basis of a priori considerations about the similarity of the Proto-Bulgarian calendar with Turkic and Mongolian calendars. And these considerations were very arbitrary, i.e. it was assumed that TVIREM means 9, VECHEM - 3, CHITEM - 7, etc. and after that followed the attempts to calculate the periods of rule of the individual princes. That led to contradictory results but nobody knew where (in which term) the errors laid.

Since we know the exact periods of rule of the princes, we must follow to other way round - to calculate the points on the twelve-years cycle corresponding to the calendar expressions. I decided to check whether it was possible to find an unique and logical mathematical solution to that problem. It was shown that such a mathematical solution exists and that it is unique. So we can be convinced that each calendar term of the Proto-Bulgarians is a part of a harmonious system, which forms the basis of Proto-Bulgarian calendar dates. The mathematical solution supplied the following translation of the Proto-Bulgarian calendar terms:

Year

Month

SOMOR - Mouse

ALEM - first

SHEGOR - Bull

TUTOM - second

 

CHITEM - third

DVAN - Hare

TVIREM - fourth

VER - Dragon

VECHEM - fifth

DILOM - Snake

SHEHTEM - sixth

TEKU - Horse 

 

 

 

TOH - Cock

ELEM - tenth

ETH - Dog

ENIALEM - eleventh

DOHS - Wild boar

ALTEM -twelfth, literally last

So, the mathematical decoding of the Nominalia detected, for example, that the year DILOM and the month TVIREM correspond to the year of the SNAKE, the fourth month of the cyclic calendar. The procedure was applied successively to all calendar terms, it pointed that TOH ALTOM was the year of the cock, the twelfth month. Likewise, TEKUCHITEM was determined to be the year of the horse, the third month - only this translation satisfied all conditions of the Nominalia.

The scholars working on the Nominalia accused the unknown VIIIth c. writers of being imprecise and having often entered false years and months. By these accusations they tried to excuse their own inaccurate translations. In fact, the authors of the Nominalia were quite precise - both the periods of rule and the years of ascension (or the life span) of all Bulgarian princes were perfectly correct.

The only, and easy to overcome, inaccuracy which crept into the Nominalia was due to later transcribers. The late XV-XVIth c. transcribers had the month ENIELEM, in which Isperih (Asparuh) assumed the throne, written as ENIALEM. They have also inadvertently changed the dates of the successor of Tervel by copying the expression TVIREMAK LET as TVIREM KH LET, but both errors are easily spotted mathematically. In the case of Isperih by the fact that writing his month as ENIELEM we obtain the right correspondence between his first year and Tervel, and in the second case -  by the fact that only the return of the letter K to its place (before L) fits to the other history records about Tervel.

Let us look at one example, which best illustrates the mistakes of the previous investigators. 61 years are entered against the name of Isperih. These 61 years made hard the life of those, who those tried to decipher the name calendar with the help of the Turkic calendar. Assuming that VER - the year of Isperih's ascension, corresponded to the Tatarian word VJORE (wolf), and that the year of ascension of his successor Tervel was the year of the sheep (for a long time the term TEKU was translated in this way), they concluded Isperih ruled for 65 and not for 61 years.

Rarely, the Turcologists shifted the first year of Isperih to the year of the dragon, although the dragon was LUN and not VER in the Turkic calendar. But again, the years did not fit, now they had 63.5 years for the reign of Isperih. Similarly, the shift of the ascension of Tervel to the year of the horse did not help, because between the first month of the dragon and the seventh month of the horse (as TEKU CHITEM was translated) there were 62 years and six months and not 61 years. It seemed as if the authors of the Nominalia were quite ignorant about Isperih - the central figure of their work.

The mathematical deciphering put the guessing to an end. It proved that the month written next to Isperih corresponds to the eleventh month of the year of the dragon, and the month next to Tervel - to the third month of the year of the horse. Counting on the twelve-year cycle, between the eleventh month of the dragon and the third month of the horse we have the whole numbers of 13, 25, 37, 61 etc. years. The authors of the Nominalia did not err writing 61 years next to Isperih - between the eleventh month of the dragon and the third month of the horse there are 61 years and four months.

The determination of exact meaning of the term ELEM (tenth) and its derivation ENIALEM (or ENIELEM) - eleventh, was very important for the solution of another mystery of the Nominalia. The Chatalar inscription from Omurtag says that it was made in the year SIGOR ELEM (written with Greek letters), i.e. in the year of the bull and the month ELEM. The Turkologists mistranslated SIGOR ELEM as the year of the bull, the first month - the first month of the bull corresponded to January of 821 AD; at the same time the inscription in Greek read that it was made in September of 821 (the 15th Byzantine indict began in September 821). The Greek date clearly showed that ELEM was not the first month and the solution of the mystery was quite simple - SIGOR, that is - SHEGOR ELEM, was October 821 and that is exactly the second month of the Byzantine 15th indict.

The mathematical deciphering places all calendar terms on their correct places. Let us examine briefly these so important for the Bulgarian history dates:

AVITOHOL. He assumed the throne in DILOMTVIREM (snake, fourth month). A legendary progenitor of the Bulgars, he lived for 300 years. Counting 300 years from the cyclic calendar we arrive in the year of the snake, fourth month in which, according to the Nominalia, was born Irnik.

IRNIK. The second progenitor. Born in DILOMTVIREM (snake, fourth month). Lived for 150 years. Counting 150 years we arrive in the year of the wild boar.

GOSTUN. A deputy. Reigned for 2 years staring in DOHS TVIREM (wild boar, fourth month). Continuing for two more years, we correctly reach KOURT (Kubrat).

KOURT (Kubrat). The renovator of Old Great Bulgaria. Starts in SHEGOR VECHEM (bull, fifth month), 60 years. Counting these 60 years we again arrive at the starting point, which is the beginning of the next ruler - BEZMER.

BEZMER. Governed for 3 years, starting from the bull, fifth month (SCHEGOR VECHEM).

ISPERIH. Founder of a new state and therefore entered in the Nominalia with his whole life span of 61 years, as the legendary AVITOHOL and the renovator KUBRAT. Ascended the throne in VERENIELEM (dragon, eleventh month).

TERVEL. Started in TEKU CHITEM (horse, third month) and ruled for 21 years.

TVIREMIK (or Tvirelik). He was mentioned in History of Paisij as as Trivelius. Ascended the throne in the year of the DVAN (hare) in the sixth month (SHEHTEM) and ruled for 6 years. Late transcribers introduced an error here.

SEVAR. The last of the clan DULO. He mounted the throne in TOH ALTOM (the year of the cock, twelfth month). Ruled for 15 years.

KORMISOSH. His first year of rule was SHEGOR TVIREM (bull, fourth month), and he ruled for 17 years.

VINEH. Ascended the throne in IMENSHEGOR ALEM (horse, first month). A second name for the year of the horse is not uncommon - many peoples had two or even three names for the same year of the cyclic calendar. Thus, the Tadjiks near Pamir have three different names for the year of the dog - SAK, VAFODOR and KUCHUK, and for the year of the wild boar - two (HUG and HUBON).

TELEC. Assumed the throne in SOMOR ALTEM (mouse, eleventh month) and governed for three years. In June 763 he suffered a catastrophic defeat and soon thereafter, not later than August, he was dethroned and probably murdered. From SOMORALTEM, which corresponds to the eleventh month of the year 760 AD, to August 763 there are two years and nine months, rounded by the authors of the Nominalia to three years.

INTERREGNUM. This period is inferred indirectly. The first year of the next ruler UMOR is DILOM TUTOM (snake, second month) which corresponds to February 765 AD. That is, since the deposition of TELEC (August 763) Bulgaria was governed for one year by a temporarily appointed person, or by an unpopular ruler, whose name was omitted by the authors Nominalia. Exactly in this period the Byzantines mention the unpopular SABIN, who saved his life by taking refuge in Constantinople. Obviously, his name was intentionally omitted after his infamous betrayal.

UMOR. This last ruler of Nominalia ascended the throne in DILOM TUTOM (snake, second month) and governed for 40 days. That fits exactly the information of the Byzantine sources, as in the summer of 765 AD the Byzantine emperor mounted a campaign against Bulgaria because of the deposition of Umor.

The data, arranged in table look thus:  

Ruler

Year of 
Ascension

Given in the Nominalia

Duration

Our 
calculations

Avitohol

153

Snake, 4th month

300

300

Irnik

453

Snake, 4th month

150

150

Gostun

603

Boar, 4th month

2

2

Kourt

605

Bull, 5th month

60

60

Bezmer

665

Bull, 5th month

3

3

Isperih

633

Dragon, 11th month

61

61

Tervel

694

Horse, 3rd month

21

21

Tviremik

715

Hare, 6th month

6

6

Sevar

721

Cock, 12th month

15

15

Kormisosh

737

Bull, 4th month

17

17

Vineh

754

Horse, 1st month

7

7

Telec

760

Mouse, 11th month

3

3

It was already said the that mathematical solution is unique. Let us then examine the particularity of this translation and have a closer look at the mysteries of the Proto-Bulgarian calendar.

Let us compare this and the previous attempts for translation of the calendar terms of the Nominalia.  

Name of the Month 

Mathematical translation

Previous translation 

ALEM 

first

first

TUTOM

second

fourth

CHITEM

third

seventh

TVIREM

fourth

ninth

VECHEM

fifth

third

SHEHTEM

sixth

eighth

ELEM

tenth

first

ENIALEM

eleventh

 

ALTEM

twelfth

sixth

The previously assumed names of the months were particularly incorrect. All months, except the first one - ALEM, were mistaken. The reason for that was the false belief of the previous translators that the Proto-Bulgarians were Turkic people. They unconditionally tried to find the Turkic prototype behind each Proto-Bulgarian name of the months - behind VECHEM - JUCHINCHI, behind CHITEM - ETINCHI, behind TVIREM - TAHAREMASH, etc. This play with the months undermined the mathematical base of the Proto-Bulgarian calendar.

The names of the months were the weakest and, perhaps, fatal point of the past translations, their translations were much more erroneous than the translations of the names of cyclic years. It can be easily explained - the cyclic years were very helpful, it sufficed to guess the name of the first year of the Nominalia - DILOM (snake), in order to proceed correctly, almost automatically with the next records. Counting 150 years from DILOM (snake) they arrived to the year of the wild boar. Thus, it was correctly assumed DOHS is a wild boar, two more years led to SHEGOR (bull), etc. And although nowhere in the Turkic calendars names such as SOMOR, DVAN, VER, TEKU (as a horse) or IMENSCHEGOR were to be found, the translators obtained their correct meaning on a purely logical way, if even still believing in the Turkic origin of the Proto-Bulgarian calendar.

In the case of the translation of the months, however, the situation was completely different, there were no additional clues to the correct interpretation and it produced a complete chaos. The large inconsistencies in the Turkic translations, were a very valuable symptom to us. The Bulgarian names of the months are not Turkic in origin, they come from a different numerical system.

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Where the special names in the calendar of Isperih come from?

The Proto-Bulgarian names of the months were as follows:

First month

ALEM

Second month

TUTOM

Third month

CHITEM

Fourth month

TVIREM

Fifth month

VECHEM

Sixth month

SHEHTEM

 

 

Tenth month

ELEM

Eleventh month

ENIALEM

Twelfth month

ALTEM

The solution is unique and the names of the months were derived by a purely mathematical way and not under the influence of any linguistic or historical hypothesis. It is interesting to see, which peoples in the world have (or had) a similar system of months.

We cannot find a similar system among the Turkic peoples and the Turkic languages. For them the first month was BIRINCHI, the second - IKINCHI, the third - JUCHINCHI, etc. But the mathematical solution could be an artificial system which do not exist anywhere in the world. If it is indeed so, if that system was not known not only by the Turkic but by any other peoples in the world, it would compromise completely our mathematical exercises with the calendar. The obtained solution, although attractive, would be then unrealistic from a linguistic and historical point of view.

In our quest for peoples which have (or had) a similar numerical system it would be appropriate to look first at one little known but particularly interesting area - the Pamirs and the Hindu Kush, because according to the documentary sources it was the place where the Proto-Bulgarian people was formed. There one still meets the following cardinal numbers:

AL - one

OLAM - first, initial, ALIN - front 

TU - two

TUOM, DUOM - second 

CHIT - three

CHITEM, CHITAM - third

ZFIR - four

ZVIREM - fourth 

VUCH, VOCH - five

VJUCHOM - fifth 

SHEH - six

SHEHEM - sixth

 

 

IL - ten

ILEM - tenth 

We have almost the entire numerical system, produced by the mathematical solution of the Proto-Bulgarian calendar terms, still present in the Pamirs and in the Hindu Kush. It was common in the mentioned area since oldest times - its signs were discovered in Khotan handwritings from the third, fourth century BC. The same system of counting is also found among peoples, emigrated from these areas a long time ago. It is partially preserved at present in the Eastern Caucasus, once affected by migration from the Pamirs. Some of the above cardinal numbers are used even as calendar terms.

Caucasian examples (Dagestani):
AL - one, ALHEN - first month
SHI - three
DIA - four
PHI, VID - five
EL - ten

In Caucasus and Dagestan, however, only the roots of these numbers were preserved, and they changed a lot: SHI instead of CHIT, DIA insted of TVIR, VID instead of VECH, etc. It shows they were taken from outside by the Caucasusian peoples, as individual words and not as a whole system.

Distant similarities are also found in the Georgian language, where ERT resembles our AL (one) and ERMETI corresponds to our ALEM (eleventh).

There are stronger parallels among some Celtic peoples, for example the Cymmrs, whose name reminds of the legendary eastern Cimmerians:

AL - one, ALEN - first, initial
TU, DU - two
PIS - five, FIS - fifth.

In earlier times the word EL - ten, was also used. It led to the English ELEVEN  - literally "ten and one".

The vestiges of the Proto-Bulgarian cardinal numbers are most pronounced in the Pamirs and in the Hindu Kush. Indicative is that traces of this system were found exactly in those areas, that were once populated by peoples from the Pamirs.

The mathematical deciphering of the Nominalia is completely harmonious with the characteristics of the Proto-Bulgarians derived from the other branches of science.

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The ancient peoples of the East and the arithmetic of the Proto-Bulgarians

The question to be answered now, after the numerical system of the Proto-Bulgarians was nearly clarified, is:
was there another ancient people that counted in a similar way. Regarding the names of the months, the Sumerian civilization has very interesting points of contact with the Proto-Bulgarian names. They refer, however, to individual isolated words, while in the Pamir the whole system was discovered, with specific endings EM and OM. But the problem is that there existed an older people, who had whole system. The examples listed in the table below are to clarify this difficult question.

Comparison of the names of the Months from the Nominalia and from the Pamirs

Proto-Bulgarian example

Pamirian and Dardic analogies

Precursors

ALEM (first)

ALAM, OLAM (first) - Ishkash., Chuf. 
ALEIN (frontal ) - Tal.

Accad. ALEN, 
Sanskr. ALAM (initial, highest)

TUTOM (second)

DU, TU (two); DUTA, DUDON (both) - Prasun

Sanskr. DU-TAMA; Pers. DUTOM (second)

CHITEM (third)

CHI, CHIT (three); 
CHIIEM, CHITEM (third) - Jazgul.

Old Pers. CHITIJA (third); 
CHITEAM (month May) - Irish 

TVIREM (fourth)

ZFIR (four), ZFIREM (fourth)- Munj. 
TIJREMA (month July) -

Sanskr. TURIA, Avest. TURIA (tuyria), TUIRAM (fourth); TEOIR (four) - Irish 

VECHEM (fifth)

VJUCH, VISH (five) - Prasun; 
PJUCH, PINCH - Saryk.

PENCHEM from PENDSHAMA - Sanskr. 
PENCHEMA (fifth) - Avest.

SHEHTEM (sixth)

SHEHT (six), SHEHEM (sixth) 

SASTAMA (sixth) - Sanskr.

ALTEM (last, twelfth)

ALSAM - Vaynakh., ALD - Wakh.

ALSAM (rest, end) - Vaynakh, 
AILT (limit) - Celt.

ES (eight) (discovered in Murfatlar's inscriptions)

AZ (Torv.), AS (Bashk.), ASH, ASTE (Prasun), HESHT (Tal.)

ASHTAU - Sanskr.; ES (eth) - Celt., EIGHT - Engl.

Old Sanskrit or Avestan, and in some to cases Sumerian and Accadian words are behind almost all Proto-Bulgarian and Pamirian words. The Accadian ALEN, which was changed to ALAM in Sanskrit is, corresponds to our term ALEM. Our TUTOM corresponds to the Sanskrit DUTAMA and the reconstructed Persian DUTOM (which was formed in the same way as the Old Persian EVAKTOM (first) from EVAK (one)).

CHITEM (third) corresponds to the Old Persian form CHITIJA (hyia) and to the Avestan CHITIJEM (cityiem); TVIREM (fourth) - to the Sanskrit double word TURIA-TURIAMA abd to the Avestan TUIRIA-TUIRIEM (tuiriyem); VECHEM (fifth) - to the Avestan PENCHA and PENCHEMA, changed in Pamir to VISH and VISHEM; SHEHTEM (sixth) - to the Sanskrit SASTAMA and the Gaelic SEATHAMH; ES (eight) - to the Sanskrit number ASHTA, which was transformed in the Pamirs into AST and ESHT (HESHT).

All Proto-Bulgarian cardinal numbers have analogies with Sanskrit and Avestan, i.e. with the peoples known today under the general term Indo-Iranians. The developments the Proto-Bulgarian numbers underwent were identical to the developments undergone by the Pamirian and Dardic numbers, they were marked by modifications of the same type. Both the Pamirian peoples and the Proto-bulgarians had the endings OM and EM in place of the former endings AMA and EMA, and in both of them in the cardinal number four appeared an intermediate sound V or F: TUIREM became TVIREM or ZFIREM. In both the word DU (two) became TU, and in the word PENCH the P changed to V. The Proto-Bulgarian and the Pamirian cardinal numbers not only possess a common source, but common modifications as well. It is a proof that these peoples had lived for a long time in close contact and had a long common development. The times, when the Proto-Bulgarians and the ancestors of the Pamir peoples had a common life are far in the past, now we could compare the Proto-Bulgarian cardinal numbers to that of the oldest settlers from the east - the Celts.

Among the Celts, who already in the fourth/fifth c. BC immigrated from the Pamir area, there were also a people named BOLGI, whose name in Old-Celtic generally sounded as BOLGAR. There are many similarities between the Proto-Bulgarian and the Celtic cardinal numbers - the word TU (two) from the British islands (once under a strong Celtic influence) corresponds to the former Sogdian and Proto-Bulgarian word DO (two), which survived partly in Pamir. The Celtic language is the only one which have preserved the old word TEOIR (four), derived from the Avestan TUIRIA, i.e. from the prototype of the Proto-Bulgarian TVIREM (fourth). The word PIMP (five) and FIFS (fifth) is similar to the Pamirian VISH and the Proto-Bulgarian VECHEM (fifth); ES and EIGHT resemble the Proto-Bulgarian form ES. If we add that in the Irish language the month of May, the third month of the spring, is called CHITEAM and the Old Irish form was CHEATAM, it becomes clear that the former Celts not only had a similar system as the peoples of Pamir, but that this system was also used for calendar purposes.

The list of the Proto-Bulgarian numerals and their Old Celtic analogies:

Proto-Bulgarian word 

Old Celtic analogies

EL (1), ELEM (first)

EL (one), from which - ELEVEN (11) 

TE (2), TUTOM (second)

TU (two), from which the English TWO

CHIT (3), CHITEM (third)

CHITEAM (the 3rd month of the spring) - Irish

TVIR (4), TVIREM (fourth)

TEOIR (four) - Irish

VECH (5), VECHEM (fifth)

FIF, from which the English FIFTH

SHEHT (6), SHEHTEM (sixth)

SEAHT (seven) - Irish 

ES (8), ESTEK (80)

ES (eight) - Cornish, ESDEK (eth, ethdek) - 80

ALT (11), ALTEM (eleventh)

EALTA (multiplicity), ALT (added to the end, old)

The similarities with the Celts, the earliest settlers from the east, show that this type of counting was very old. It existed in an accomplished form already in the first millennium BC, at the time, when the first groups of emigrants from the Pamirs made their way to Europe, taking with them this special system of counting.

As this system was so old it is to be assumed that also the calendar, where it appears - the Proto-Bulgarian calendar, was quite old. It did not develop after their settlement in Europe, but much earlier. A proof to this are the Khotano-Saka handwritings from the IV-V c. BC found at the northern edge of the Pamir mountains, with cardinal numbers of the same type as that in the Proto-Bulgarian calendar, for example - PENCHEM (fifth) and PAMJEM with the specific ending "EM".

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