Battle of Southern Buh

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Battle of Southern Buh
Part of Bulgarian-Hungarian Wars
Byzantine–Bulgarian war of 894–896
Date 896
Location Southern Buh river, Ukraine
Result Decisive Bulgarian victory
Bulgarian Empire the Magyars
Commanders and leaders
Boris I, Simeon I Unknown
Very large army Unknown
Casualties and losses
20,000 Heavy

The Battle of Southern Buh occurred near the banks of the eponymous river, in modern Ukraine. The result was a great Bulgarian victory which forced the Magyars to leave forever the steppes of southern Ukraine[1][2] and to establish the Kingdom of Hungary a hundred years later.

Origins of the conflict[edit]

In 894 a war broke out between Bulgaria and Byzantium due to the Emperor moving the marketplace for Bulgarian goods from Constantinople to Thessaloniki, which meant higher taxes on Bulgarian trade. In the same year Simeon I defeated the Byzantines near Adrianople and they turned to their old method for such situations: they bribed the Magyars to attack Bulgaria from the northeast. In 895 they crossed the Danube and were victorious over the Bulgarians twice. Simeon withdrew to Drastar, which he successfully defended. In 896 he persuaded the Pechenegs to help him and while the Magyars were fighting with them to the east he and his father Boris I who left the monastery for this occasion gathered an enormous army and marched to the north eastern borders of the country.

The battle[edit]

Simeon ordered three days of fasting, saying that the soldiers should repent for their sins and seek help in God. When this was done, the battle began. It was long and unusually fierce but in the end the Bulgarians were victorious.[3][4][5]


The victory allowed Simeon to lead his troops to the south where he decisively defeated the Byzantines in the battle of Bulgarophygon. The war ended with a peace treaty which formally lasted until around Leo VI's death in 912, and under which Byzantium was obliged to pay Bulgaria an annual tribute[6] in exchange for the return of allegedly 120,000 captured Byzantine soldiers and civilians.[7] Under the treaty, the Byzantines also ceded an area between the Black Sea and Strandzha to the Bulgarian Empire,[8] while the Bulgarians also promised not to invade Byzantine territory.[9]


  1. ^ Zlatarski, V. Istorija na parvoto balgarsko carstvo, pp. 311-312,
  2. ^ Constantin Porphyrogen, ibid., p. 173 (2–10), Symeon Logothet, ibid., p. 773 (19–22), Leo Grammaticus, p. 268 (19–22), Theophanes Continuatus, p. 359 (10–22), Skylica—Cedrin, II, p. 256 (8–11), Zonaras, IV, p. 411–3, Dummler, III, pp. 444—445.
  3. ^ Runciman, A history of the First Bulgarian Empire, p. 147,
  4. ^ Annales Fuldenses, p. 413
  5. ^ Harimannus Augiensis, p. 111
  6. ^ Runciman, p. 148
  7. ^ Treadgold, p. 464
  8. ^ Zlatarski, pp. 318–321
  9. ^ Zlatarski, p. 317