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GREEK-BULGARIAN COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES AND NATIONAL IDENTITIES IN 19TH-CENTURY BALKANS: THE CASE OF THE ROMBI/РОБЕВИ FAMILY

Issue: 2018 N 4

Maria Litina
National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation, Center for History and Palaeography

Abstract: The paper examines perceptions and self-perceptions of national identities in 19th century Balkans using the history of the merchant family of Rombi or Робев as a case study. According to Greek and Bulgarian historians the family appeared to be of Greek-Wlach or Bulgarian origin. Preliminary research, mainly based on the family archive preserved in the National Library in Sofia, shows changing attitudes in terms of ethnic identity. Despite their Greek education certain members of the family identified themselves as Bulgarians and support the Bulgarian independent movement against the Greeks.

Keywords: Rombi, Rompi, Robev, Demitsas, Pycheon, Ochrid, Monastir, Benediktos