During the pagan period, Bulgarians and Slavs recorded their history by using the Greek alphabet. However, some marks and notches (not the ones to which Chernorizetz Khrabar refered) prompt speculations that the Protobulgarians had their own alphabet. From the ninety-two stone inscriptions dating as far back as the 8th and 9th centuries, during the rule of Tervel (701-718), Krum (802-814), Omurtag (814-831), Malamir (831-836), Presian (836-852), and Boris (852-889), the oldest one is the one from the rock of the Madara Rider. The most important one from this period however, the “Imennik na Bulgarskite Khanove”, is known only in later copies. The most significant of the original stone inscriptions continues to be the one left by Omurtag.
Khan Omurtag’s wish was that one of the stone columns of the Church of the Forty Saints and Martyrs in Tarnovo should bear a stirring inscription – a dedication to the philosophical and ethical thought and a deep insight of a people aware of its historical immortality; an excerpt of it appears below:
…A man, even if he lives abundantly, dies, and another one is born, so let whoever is born hereafter, by seeing this, recall the man who raised it up ….