Bogomils

   Bulgarian dualists who denounced both the church and state as creations of an evil material world. The founder of the movement was a certain priest (pop) Bogomil, who began preaching during the reign (927-969) of Peter of Bulgaria (q.v.) that the world was created by the devil and must be avoided. His cosmological dualism owed much to the Paulicians (q.v.), and before that to a long tradition that stretches back to Manichaeanism (q.v.) and Gnosticism. However, unlike the Paulicians, who took up arms to defend themselves, Bogomil and his followers were pacifists who practiced civil disobedience. The movement can be viewed as a popular reaction against Byzantine cultural influence in Bulgaria (q.v.). Alexios I Komnenos (q.v.) had a Bogomil leader named Basil burned in the Hippodrome (q.v.) in an effort to suppress the movement in Constantinople (q.v.). Bogomilism spread to western Europe, where its adherents were known by many names, including Albigensians and Cathars.

Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . .

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