David of Bulgaria

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David (Bulgarian: Давид) (died 976) was a Bulgarian noble, brother of Emperor Samuel and eldest son of komes Nicholas. After the disastrous invasion of Rus' armies and the fall of North-eastern Bulgaria under Byzantine occupation in 971, he and his three younger brothers took the lead of the defence of the country. They executed their power together and each of them governed and defended a separate region. He ruled the southern-most parts of the realm from Prespa and Kastoria and was responsible for the defence the dangerous borders with Thessalonica and Thessaly. In 976 he participated in the major assault against the Byzantine Empire but was killed by vagrant Vlachs between Prespa and Kostur.

Family tree[edit]

of Armenia
of Bulgaria

Another theory[edit]

However, there's also another version about David’s origin. David gains the title "comes" during his service in the Byzantine army which recruited many Armenians from the Eastern region of the empire. The 11th-century historian Stepanos Asoghik wrote that Samuel had one brother, and they were Armenians from the district Derjan.[1] This version is supported by the historians Nicholas Adontz,[2] Jordan Ivanov,[3] and Samuil's Inscription where it’s said that Samuel’s brother is David. Also, the historians Yahya[4] and Al Makin[5] clearly distinguish the race of Samuel and David (the Comitopouli) from the one of Moses and Aaron (the royal race):


  1. ^ Asoghik (Stepanos de Taron). L'histoire universelle, Paris, 1859. Translation in German, Leipzig, 1907
  2. ^ Nicholas Adontz. Samuel l'Armenien, Roi des Bulgares. Bruxelles, Palais des academies, 1938. Published also in: Etudes Armeno-Byzantines. Livraria Bertrand. Lisbonne, 1965, Pp. 347 – 407.
  3. ^ Иванов, Йордан (Jordan Ivanov). Произход на цар Самуиловия род (The origin of the family of the king Samuil). In: Сборник в чест на В. Н. Златарски, София, 1925.
  4. ^ Extracts of the Chronicle of Yahia of Antioch see in: Patrologia Orientalis, vol. XVIII, XXIII.
  5. ^ Al Makin (El Macine). Historia Saracenica (Latin translation by Thomas Erpenius), Leyde, 1625.