Basil II Conquers the Bulgars (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: Basil II conquers the Bulgars, devastating the Bulgar troops and ending the First Bulgarian Empire with the death of Czar Samuel, thus ensuring the continued existence of the Byzantine state.
Summary of Event
Relations between the Bulgarians and the Byzantines, peaceful for forty years following the tumultuous reign of Symeon, again became problematic during the coregency of Nicephorus Phocas with his two stepsons, Basil and Constantine. In 965, when Bulgarian envoys appeared at his court demanding their accustomed tribute, Nicephorus claimed that no tribute was owed, had the envoys beaten and sent back to Bulgaria, and then attacked Bulgarian fortresses.
Deciding to destroy Bulgaria as a nation and incorporate it into the Byzantine Empire, Nicephorus then prompted the Russians, led by Prince Svyatoslav of Kiev, to attack and plunder the Bulgarians, which they did. Svyatoslav, however, decided that he would then use his access through Bulgaria to launch an attack on the Byzantine Empire itself. He proceeded to occupy some of Bulgaria’s Danubian territory in 967, including the important trading city Perejaslavec, as his base of operations.
Peter, the ailing Bulgarian czar, abdicated in favor of his son Boris, and entered a monastery. Boris II entered Preslav and was proclaimed czar.
By this time, the Byzantines were concerned about the Russian presence on the lower...
(The entire section is 1489 words.)
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