1018-1185 1393-1760

Bulgaria 1185-1393

Responding to excessive taxation, the Bulgarians revolted against Byzantine rule in 1185 and crowned CZAR PETER, who established his capital at TRNOVO. The reestablished Bulgarian Empire was expanded by a series of campaigns, to include Serbia and Macedonia. In 1205 a Bulgarian army under CZAR KALOYAN defeated a host of crusaders near Adrianopolis; in 1208 the Bulgarians suffered a defeat at the hands of the Latin Empire in the Battle of Philippopolis (Plovdiv).
A synod held in Trnovo in 1211 condemned BOGOMILISM as a heresy. In 1235 the Patriarch of Constantinopolis recognized the independence of the Bulgarian church. German miners settled in Chiprovtzi; while their privileges have been lost, their descendants held on to their Catholic belief for centuries; over time, they adopted the Bulgarian language.
Tatar invasions in 1241 and 1273-1277 caused heavy damage. During the rule of child-king Michael II Asen 1246-1256, Iohannes Vatatzes, Emperor of Nicaea, cnquered southern Thrace and Macedonia. In 1257-1258 Bulgaria experienced an armed struggle for the throne. In 1277 peasant rebels under swineherd-turned-king Ivailo ousted the Tatars, but then faced war with the Byzantinians. Ivailo was killed in 1280; his successor was imposed by the Tatars (Tatar Dynasty). For a number of decades, Bulgaria became a Tatar vassall; territory was lost to the Hungarians and to the Serbs. In 1360, the Ottoman Turks took Adrianopolis (Edirne), and posed the greatest danger for the Bulgarian state. In 1371, the Bulgarian state was partitioned in two Kingdoms centering on Vidin and Trnovo respectively, while northeastern Bulgaria was contested by a number of warlords. Vidin became an Ottoman vassall in 1388. Trnovo fell in 1393, and following the defeat of the crusaders in 1396 the Turks were in control of entire Bulgaria. The vassall kingdom of Vidin was abolished, as the king had sided with the crusaders. The Bulgarian Orthodox Church was abolished in 1397.

Library of Congress, Country Studies : Bulgaria
Bulgarian History Timeline, from timelines.ws
The Most distinguished Bulgarian Rulers : Ivan Asen II., Kaloyan
Chronology : Second Bulgarian Kingdom, from Balcanica
Chiprovtzi, from OMDA
DOCUMENTS Historical maps of the Balkans, from Perry Castaneda Library, UTexas
Map featuring the Bulgarian Empire, early 13th century, posted by Dimiter Markovski, legend in Bulgarian
Coins of the Bulgarian Empire (1186-1393), from The Maskukat Collection
REFERENCE R.J. Crampton, A Concise History of Bulgaria, Cambridge Concise Histories 1997; KMLA Lib.Sign. 949.7 C889a
Article : Bulgaria, pp.623-636, in : Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition, Macropaedia vol.14, KMLA Lib.Sign. R 032 B862n v.14
Raymond Detrez, Historical Dictionary of Bulgaria, Lanham Md. : Scarecrow 2006, KMLA Lib.Sign. R 949.9003 D 483h

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First posted in 2000,last revised on October 19th 2006

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