Vladimir of Bulgaria

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Vladimir-Rasate
Knyaz of Bulgaria
Reign 889–893
Predecessor Boris I
Successor Simeon I
Royal house "Krum's dynasty" (possibly Dulo)
Father Boris I

Vladimir-Rasate (Bulgarian: Владимир Расате) was the ruler of Bulgaria from 889 to 893.

Biography[edit]

He became ruler (knyaz) of Bulgaria when his father Boris-Mihail I (Boris adopted the name Mihail - Michael - after his baptism) decided to retire to a monastery after a reign of 36 years. Preserved seals with the inscription "Michael the Monk, who is archon of the Bulgarians" suggest, however, that Boris I never fully relinquished his power.

Vladimir-Rasate was the oldest of Boris-Mihail's sons and possibly the only one of them who had been born before Boris' adoption of Christianity. According to Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitos, Vladimir had taken part in a Bulgarian invasion of the Serbian lands, predating the Christianization of Bulgaria. The little we know about his reign includes a military alliance he concluded in 892 with the East Frankish (German) King Arnulf of Carinthia against Great Moravia which, having in mind the interests of the Byzantine Empire, was indirectly aimed against Constantinople. This was a serious straying from the pro-Byzantine policy of his father.

Vladimir is mainly remembered for his attempt to eliminate Christianity in Bulgaria and the re-institution of Paganism. This event is written of by Constantine of Preslav in his Didactic Gospel. Vladimir started the process of destroying the Christian temples and persecuting of the clergymen, because he regarded them as instruments of Byzantium and its efforts to influence the Bulgarian kingdom. However, Vladimir Rasate's actions were not well received by the population and the aristocracy, and he was only supported by a few of the boyars. Therefore, in 893, Boris I left the monastery he inhabited and dispossessed his son. He blinded Vladimir and put him in a dungeon, where his trails vanish.

After coping with Vladimir's uprising against Christianity, Boris placed his third son Simeon on the Bulgarian throne during the Council of Preslav which was a direct consequence of Vladimir-Rasate's ill attempt to restore paganism.

Preceded by
Boris I
Knyaz of Bulgaria
889–893
Succeeded by
Simeon I