The Legend of Basil the Bulgar-Slayer
Paul Stephenson, Professor of History and Head of the School of History and Heritage Paul Stephenson
Cambridge University Press, Aug 7, 2003 - History - 164 pages
The reign of Basil II (976-1025), 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 (1904-1908) and the Balkan Wars (1912-1913).
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Ahrweiler Alexios Athens Basil II Basil the Bulgar-slayer Basil's reign battle battle of Kleidion Belgrade Bulgares Bulgarian Byzance Byzantine emperors Byzantine empire byzantinischen Byzantium Byzantium's Balkan frontier Cambridge campaigns CFHB chartophylax Chronicle Church Constantine Constantine VIII Constantinople contemporary crown CSHB Bonn Danube Darrouzes Delta Duklja Dumbarton Oaks Dyrrachion eleventh century emperor Basil epithet fortress Greece Gregorovius Gunthertuch Hebdomon Hellenic imperial inscription Isaak John Justinian Kekaumenos Kleidion Komnenos lands legend Leo the Deacon List of Tombs literature London Macedonia Magdalino Mango manuscript medieval Mesarites Michael military modern Greek Nikephoros Niketas northern Balkans Ohrid Oikonomides Ostrogorsky Ottoman Palamas Paparrigopoulos Paris patriarch Pechenegs poem portrait Preslav Prespa psalter region repr Roman ruler Samuel Schlumberger seals Serbia siecle Skopje Skylitzes Slavic slayer Sofia Stephenson strategos suggests Theophylaktos Thessalonika toupha translation triumphal Tsar Tzimiskes victory Vladislav vols Voulgaroktonos Yahya
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