“A Bulgarian means a wise, knowledgeable person” – that’s how the written history of the Volga-Bulgarians started. The ancient Bulgarians had a well-developed hierarchy with more than 40 established in time country and military posts. The country relied on one wholly established community:
Spiritual – kolobri;
Military – boili, tarkani, bagaturi, bagaini;
The Priest-King had supreme power over the 3 levels of citizens and he had the holy title Kanas Iuvigi – “From the Ruler-God.” Similar titles existed in some of the most ancient global civilizations as well – Sumeria and the ancient Indians, which is a proof of the ancient existence of the Bulgarian country.
Up until the 6th century the Old Bulgarians had a mostly nomadic lifestyle. During the second half of the 6th century and the beginning of the 7th century they were already in direct contact with Byzantium and gradually took on a more settled way of life. One main occupation of Proto-Bulgarians was cattle. They also practiced crafts such as pottery, forgery, skinning and goldsmithing.
The Proto-Bulgarian army was mostly horse-based and every man, capable of wielding a weapon participated in it.
Around year 660 the last ruler of Old Great Bulgaria khan Kubrat died of old age. His oldest son Bat Baian remained with his army in the capital of Fanagoria and the rest took the Bulgarian tribes to new lands.
Kotrag took to the East, where near the shores of Volga he found Volga Bulgaria with its capital the city of Bolgar. Kuber passed through Pannonia and made a settlement in the field of Bitola (modern Macedonia) and Altsek reached the lands of modern Italy. Along with the main part of the Bulgarians Asparuh headed towards the delta of Danube, where in an alliance with the Slavs he founded the new Bulgarian country with the capital Pliska, acknowledged by Byzantium in 681.