Kanasubigi, possibly read as Kanas Ubigi or Kanas U Bigi was a title of the early rulers of the Bulgars.

The title khan for early Bulgar rulers is an assumed one, as only the form kanasubigi or "kanasybigi"[1] is attested in stone inscriptions. Historians presume that it includes the title khan in its archaic form kana, and there is a presumptive evidence suggesting that the latter title was indeed used in Bulgaria, e.g. the name of one of the Bulgars rulers Pagan occurs in Patriarch Nicephorus's so-called breviarium as Καμπαγάνος (Kampaganos), likely an erroneous rendition of the phrase "Kan Pagan".[2] Among the proposed translations for the phrase kanasubigi as a whole are lord of the army, from the reconstructed Turkic phrase *sü begi, paralleling the attested Old Turkic sü baši,[3] and, more recently, "(ruler) from God", from the Indo-European *su- and baga-, i.e. *su-baga (an equivalent of the Greek phrase ὁ ἐκ Θεοῦ ἄρχων, ho ek Theou archon, which is common in Bulgar inscriptions).[4] This titulature presumably persisted until the Bulgars adopted Christianity.[5] Some Bulgar inscriptions written in Greek and later in Slavonic refer to the Bulgarian ruler respectively with the Greek title archon or the Slavic title knyaz.[6]


  1. ^ Florin Curta, Roman Kovalev, “The” Other Europe in the Middle Ages: Avars, Bulgars, Khazars and Cumans ; [papers ... Presented in the Three Special Sessions at the 40th and 42nd Editions of the International Congress on Medieval Studies Held at Kalamazzo in 2005 and 2007], BRILL, 2008, p. 363, ISBN 9789004163898
  2. ^ Източници за българската история . Fontes historiae bulgaricae, VI. Fontes graeci historiae Bulgaricae. БАН, София. p. 305 (in Byzantine Greek and Bulgarian). Also available online
  3. ^ Veselin Beševliev, Prabylgarski epigrafski pametnici - 5
  4. ^ "Digital object identifier - Early Medieval Europe, vol. 10, issue 1, pp. 1-19, March 2001 (Article Abstract)". doi:10.1111/1468-0254.00077. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ Sedlar, Jean W,. East Central Europe in the Middle Ages, 1000-1500, p. 46
  6. ^ Manassias Chronicle, Vatican transcription, p. 145, see Battle of Pliska


  • Hanswilhelm Haefs, Das goldene Reich der Pamir-Bulgaren an Donau und Wardar (p. 120), ISBN 3-8334-2340-4