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Capture and imprisonment of Nikulitsa by the Byzantines

Nikulitsa (Bulgarian: Никулица) was a Greek noble from Larissa, governor of Servia during the reign of Samuil.[1] He received his name ("little Nicholas") because of his short height. In 1001 the Byzantines led by Basil II besieged the city and after a long siege they managed to break through despite the garrison's desperate defence. To secure the fortress, the entire Bulgarian population deported in the area called Boleron between the rivers Nestos and Hebros (Maritsa).

Nikulitsa was taken to Constantinople and given the title patrikios. Soon however he fled Constantinople and rejoined Samuil's forces, who were trying to take back Servia. Basil II reacted quickly, heading to the town with an army and repulsing the Bulgarians. Samuil and Nikulitsa retreated but soon after the latter was ambushed and captured again. He was taken back to the Byzantine capital where he was imprisoned.

He managed to escape once more and continued to fight. After the death of Emperor Ivan Vladislav in 1018 he was among the few nobles who continued the resistance in the mountainous areas of the country. After his troops were surrounded by a Byzantine army he understood that further resistance was pointless and surrendered to Basil II with the rest of his troops. Basil II sent him in Thessalonica under arrest.

His grandson, Nikoulitzas Delphinas, led an unsuccessful Vlach rebellion in Thessaly in 1066.[1]


  1. ^ a b Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, page 280