“Эринии и вакханки”. Кто стоял у истоков новой болгарской общности в 1185–1186 гг.?
The paper investigates the nature and identity of the “demoniacs” mentioned in Niketas Choniates’ “History” as instrumental in bringing about the anti-Byzantine revolt in Bulgaria, 1185–1186. Until recently, researchers from Bulgaria, Russia, Western Europe and America approached the issue basically along two lines. According to the first, the “demoniacs” were a special group of people differing from everyone else by physical appearance and/or behaviour, obsessed by ecstatic feelings or just simulating it. The second viewed them as first-hand participants of the revolt, indignant over and profoundly disturbed by foreign rule and, at the same time, encouraged by the perspectives of the future independence from Byzantine power. In this opinion, Niketas Choniates intentionally portrays the rebels’ actions in the form of a caricature and substitutes it for the heroic picture of the liberation struggle of the Bulgarians and Vlachs. However, trying to reconstruct historical truth researchers read the complex text of Niketas Choniates, full of numerous quotations, allusions, and reminiscences, too literally. Textual research of Choniates’ work shows that the description of persons urging the Bulgarians and Vlachs to fight against Byzantium was stylized to look like they were Erinyes and Maenads from the ancient poetry and drama. Obviously, this description is of a literary nature and may hardly be used for an exact reconstruction of historical reality