Portal:Bulgarian Empire

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THE BULGARIAN EMPIRE PORTAL

Coat of Arms of the Bulgarian Empire in the 14th century
The Bulgarian Empire in its expansion in the 13th century

The First Bulgarian Empire (Bulgarian: Първо Българско царство, Parvo Balgarsko Tsarstvo), was the first country of the contemporary Bulgarian people located in Southeastern Europe. Since its foundation it occupied a large part of the Balkan peninsula and struggled with the Byzantine Empire for control of the region.

Founded as a crude form of a confederacy between Bulgars, Slavs and Thracians in 681 on the two banks of the Danube river, it became the first Slavic country and is the oldest state still in existence in Europe. In 802-805 it destroyed the Avar Khanate and expanded its territory twice covering the whole area of contemporary Romania. During the 9th and the beginning of the 10th century in the course of the Byzantine-Bulgarian Wars the Bulgarians took control of most of the Balkans. However in the mid 10th century the Empire suffered disastrous invasions of Magyars, Pechenegs and wars with Kievan Rus' and after a 50-year struggle it was destroyed by the Byzantines in 1018.

After the Christianization of Bulgaria the country became a major center of culture and learning. Literature flourished in the Preslav and Ohrid Literary Schools. The Bulgarian scholar Climent of Ohrid (840 - 916), who was a student of Saints Cyril and Methodius, invented the Cyrillic alphabet which carries the name of one of his teachers. The beauty and wealth of the new capital Preslav was compared by some contemporaries with Constantinople. In the 10th century in Bulgaria emerged one of the major heretic movements in Medieval Europe, the Bogomils.

The Second Bulgarian Empire (Bulgarian: Второ българско царство, Vtorо Bălgarskо Tsartsvo) was established in 1185 as a result of the Uprising of Asen and Peter and reached the peak of its power under Kaloyan and Ivan Asen II before gradually being conquered by the Ottomans in the late 14th and early 15th centuries.

Up until 1256, the Second Bulgarian Empire was the dominant power in the Balkans. The Byzantines were defeated in several major battles, and in 1205 the newly-established Latin Empire was crushed in the battle of Adrianople by Emperor Kaloyan. His nephew, Ivan Asen II (r. 1218–1241), defeated the Despotate of Epiros and made Bulgaria a regional power once again. However, in the late 13th century the Empire declined under the constant invasions of Tatars, Byzantines, Hungarians, Serbs, and internal instability and revolts.

The capital Tarnovo became a major cultural, religious and literary center during 13th and 14th centuries and was considered by some as the Third Rome for a time. During the rule of Ivan Alexander (1331-1371) Bulgaria experienced its Second Golden Age.


Selected Article

The icon of Saint Theodor.
The Bulgarian Orthodox Church or the Bulgarian Patriarchate (Bulgarian: Българска православна църква или Българска патриаршия, Balgarska pravoslavna tsarkva; Balgarska patriarshia) is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Church with some 6.5 million members in the Republic of Bulgaria and between 1.5 and 2.0 million members in a number of European countries, the Americas and Australia. The recognition of the autocephalous Bulgarian Patriarchate by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in 927 AD makes the Bulgarian Orthodox Church the oldest autocephalous Slavic Orthodox Church in the world, which was added to the Pentarchy of the original Patriarchates - those of Rome (which became today's Roman Catholic Church after the Schism), Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem - and the autocephalous Georgian Catholicosate.

Selected Biography

Maria Palaiologina Kantakouzene (Bulgarian: Мария Палеологина Кантакузина, Greek: Μαρία Παλαιολογίνα Καντακουζηνή; reigned 1269-1279) was a Byzantine princess, niece of emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos, and empress consort of Constantine Tikh and Ivaylo. As the health of Constantine Tikh deteriorated she took control of the government and poisoned the despot of Vidin Jacob Svetoslav who seemed the most prominent threat to her son Michael for the throne. During the Uprising of Ivaylo the peasant leader personally killed Constantine Tikh in battle but Maria married Ivaylo under the condition that he would be inherited by Michael. After the failure of the rebellion the empress was exiled to the Byzantine Empire. The last mention of Maria was from 1300.

Selected Picture

Rila monastery
Credit: Aski

The Rila Monastery was founded by the hermit St. John of Rila (Ivan Rilski), whose name it bears, during the rule of Tsar Peter I (927-969). The hermit actually lived in a cave not far from the monastery's location, while the complex was built by his students, who came to the mountains to receive their education.

Did You Know?

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  • ... that Nessebar (pictured) was an important and well-protected Black Sea port and had over 40 churches?

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Nuvola apps kate.png Requested articles : Manuel IvatsTrapezitsaConquest of Serbia (924)Conquest of Serbia (998)Bulgarian-Khazar WarsVlachs in the First Bulgarian empireMedieval Bulgarian economyMedieval Bulgarian aristocracyWar of 894-896Joasaph of BdinCouncil of Tarnovo (1211)Council of Tarnovo (1360)VoysilRadoslavByadan

Nuvola kdict glass.png Expansion needed : KrumShishman dynastyDulo clanPliskaTarnovoTheodore SvetoslavBattle of Adrianople (1205)Siege of TarnovoKaloyanPeter IPereyaslavetsIrene Doukaina LaskarinaConstantine IIIvan Asen IIByzantine conquest of BulgariaGreat Basilica, Pliska

Cleanup and/or improvement needed : OhridBulgarsFirst Bulgarian EmpireSecond Bulgarian EmpireUprising of Peter DelyanUprising of IvayloByzantine–Bulgarian Wars

Nuvola apps kappfinder.png Requested images : Battle of KlokotnitsaCroatian-Bulgarian WarsOhrid Literary SchoolConstantine of Preslav


Topics

Battles Rulers
Byzantine-Bulgarian Wars
Bulgarian-Hungarian Wars
Croatian-Bulgarian Wars
Bulgarian-Rus' Wars
Bulgarian-Latin Wars
Bulgarian-Serbian Wars
Bulgarian-Ottoman Wars
Khans
Knyaze
Tsars (Emperors)
 
Capitals

Pliska

Preslav

Skopie

Ohrid

Tarnovo

Vidin

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