852-893 1018-1185

The Later First Bulgarian Empire, 893-1018

In 893 an assembly of Bulgarian notables decided that SLAVO-BULGARIAN should be the national language (of course, the name 'Slavo- Bulgarian' is an academic creation. Meant is the Bulgarian language, a Slavic language with Altai-Bulgarian loanwords). SIMEON THE GREAT (893-927) began his rule.
The arrival of the Magyars and their choice of Pannonia as the pastures where they would nourish their herds and from where they would conduct their raids changed the political landscape significantly. Bulgaria lost most of her lands north of the Danube. Simeon's successes were of diplomatic nature; in 896 Byzantium accepted the independence of the Bulgarian church; in 926 Simeon himself was recognized as basileus (king, although the Bulgarians were to claim the title of CZAR). Simeon moved the capital from Pliska to PRESLAV. As Simeon had been brought up in Byzantium, during his rule the court 'Byzantinized'. During his rule, Byzantium was engaged in warfare with the Magyars as well as with the Byzantine Empire, the latter often over trade disputes.
Under Simeon's son and successor PETER (927-970), wars both with the Hungarians and the Byzantinians resumed, and a long period of decline set in. BOGOMILISM found great resonance in Bulgaria; there werenumerous hermits in the country.
After Peter's death, Byzantinian armies conquered and annexed eastern Bulgaria, including the capital Preslav. Bulgaria's capital was moved to OHRID in modern Macedonia. Under Czar SAMOUIL I. (997-1014) Bulgaria (Western Bulgaria) briefly expanded again; in 1014 he suffered a decisive defeat at the hands of the Byzantinians. Emperor Basileus II., the "Bulgarian-slayer", ordered the Bulgarian prisoners to be blinded. In 1017, Simeon II. died; in 1018, Bulgaria was annexed into the Byzantinian Empire.

Library of Congress, Country Studies : Bulgaria
Bulgarian History Timeline, from timelines.ws
The Church of Imperial Byzantium
L.P. Brockett, The Bogomils of Bulgaria and Bosnia, 1879
Bulgaria's Relation with Byzantium, by Dimiter Markovski
DOCUMENTS Historical maps of the Balkans, from Perry Castaneda Library, UTexas
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 November 7th 2004

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