The Legend of Basil the Bulgar-Slayer

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Cambridge University Press, Aug 7, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 164 pages
4 Reviews
The reign of Basil II (9761025), the longest of any Byzantine emperor, has long been considered as a 'golden age', in which his greatest achievement was the annexation of Bulgaria. This, we have been told, was achieved through a long and bloody war of attrition which won Basil the grisly epithet Voulgartoktonos, 'the Bulgar-slayer'. In this 2003 study Paul Stephenson argues that neither of these beliefs is true. Instead, Basil fought far more sporadically in the Balkans and his reputation as 'Bulgar-slayer' was created only a century and a half later. Thereafter the 'Bulgar-slayer' was periodically to play a galvanizing role for the Byzantines, returning to centre-stage as Greeks struggled to establish a modern nation state. As Byzantium was embraced as the Greek past by scholars and politicians, the 'Bulgar-slayer' became an icon in the struggle for Macedonia (19041908) and the Balkan Wars (19121913).

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Review: The Legend of Basil the Bulgar-Slayer

User Review  - Monique - Goodreads

really neat the way he traces the changing perceptions of this ledgend into the modern era and looks at the way it has shaped nationalist discourses in the Balkans. Read full review

Review: The Legend of Basil the Bulgar-Slayer

User Review  - Matthew - Goodreads

Basically, I read this for my thesis, and it was invaluable. Read full review


Basil and Samuel
Basil annexes Bulgaria
Victory and its representations
Basil the younger porphyrogennetos
The origins of a legend
Basile apres Byzance
Basil and the Macedonian Question

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About the author (2003)

Paul Stephenson is a professor of history at the University of Durham and a specialist in the early and middle Byzantine periods. His publications include The Legend of Basil the Bulgar-slayer (2003) and Byzantium's Balkan Frontier: A Political Study of the Northern Balkans, 900-1204 (2003). Stephenson has researched and taught in the UK, Ireland, Germany, and the United States.

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