Thraco–Roman Stories in Contemporary Bulgaria: (Re)negotiating Antiquity through Historical Reenactments Cover Image

Трако-римски сюжети от съвременна България: (пре)договаряне на античното наследство в историческите възстановки
Thraco–Roman Stories in Contemporary Bulgaria: (Re)negotiating Antiquity through Historical Reenactments

Author(s): Ivo Strahilov
Subject(s): History, Anthropology, Social Sciences, Archaeology, Customs / Folklore, Ethnohistory, Local History / Microhistory, Oral history, Social history, Ancient World, Cultural Anthropology / Ethnology, Culture and social structure
Published by: Институт за етнология и фолклористика с Етнографски музей при БАН
Keywords: historical reenactments; archaeological heritage; indigenous past; Classical Antiquity; Roman Thrace

Summary/Abstract: This paper explores the interactions between Thracians and Romans visible in historical reenactments in Bulgaria. Situated at the periphery of Classical Antiquity, Bulgarianhistoriography is strongly interested in the indigenous past. The idea of an alternative national Antiquity where autochthonous Thracians are imagined as equally important as Ancient Greeks and Romans has been promoted intensively through academic and cultural activities since the late 1960s. Beyond the official discourse, however, the Roman past appears to be more common among reenactors in Bulgaria than the Thracian one. Drawing upon ethnographic fieldwork during thematic festivals in several heritage sites, the article traces some of the contemporary representations of the Thraco–Roman relations. It examines the simultaneous heritagization of Classical and native Antiquity, and questions how modern identities are connected to living history and its ambivalent dependency on cosmopolitism and ethnonationalism.

  • Issue Year: 2021
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 339-359
  • Page Count: 21
  • Language: Bulgarian