Portal:Bulgarian Empire

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THE BULGARIAN EMPIRE PORTAL

The Bulgarian Empire in its expansion in the 13th century

In the medieval history of Europe, Bulgaria's status as the Bulgarian Empire (Bulgarian: Българско царство, Balgarsko tsarstvo [ˈbəlɡɐrskʊ ˈt͡sarstvʊ]), wherein it acted as a key regional power (particularly rivaling Byzantium in Southeastern Europe) occurred in two distinct periods: between the seventh and eleventh centuries, and again between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries. The two "Bulgarian Empires" are not treated as separate entities, but rather as one state restored after a period of Byzantine rule over its territory.

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Khan Krum celebrates his victory over Nicephorus.
The Battle of Pliska or Battle of Vărbitsa Pass (Bulgarian: битката при Върбишкия проход) was a series of battles between troops, gathered from all parts of the Byzantine Empire, led by the Emperor Nicephorus I Genik, and Bulgaria, governed by Khan Krum. The Byzantines plundered and burned the Bulgarian capital Pliska which gave time for the Bulgarians to block passes in the Balkan Mountains that served as exits out of Bulgaria. The final battle took place on July 26, 811, in some of the passes in the eastern part of the Balkans, most probably the Vărbitsa Pass. There, the Bulgarians used the tactics of ambush and surprise night attack to effectively trap and immobilize the Byzantine Army, thus annihilating almost the whole army, including the Emperor. After the battle, Krum encased the Nicephorus's skull in silver, and used it as a cup for wine-drinking. This is probably the best documented instance of the custom of skull cup.

The battle of Pliska is one of the worst defeats in Byzantine history. It deterred Byzantine rulers to sent their troops north of the Balkans for more than 150 years afterwards which increased the influence and spread of the Bulgarians to the west and south of the Balkan Peninsula, resulting in a great territorial enlargement of the First Bulgarian Empire.

Selected Biography

A coin minted by Jacob Svetoslav.
Jacob Svetoslav (Bulgarian: Яков Светослав, Yakov Svetoslav) (ca. 1210s/1220s–1275 or 1276/1277) was a prominent 13th-century Bulgarian noble (bolyarin) of princely Russian origin. Bestowed the title of despot, Yakov Svetoslav was the ruler of a widely autonomous domain of the Second Bulgarian Empire most likely located around Sofia. Seeking further independence and claiming the title of Emperor of Bulgaria, he twice changed allegiance from Bulgaria to the Kingdom of Hungary and vice versa, and the Hungarians recognized his Bulgarian royal rank as their vassal and ruler of Vidin (medieval Bdin).

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Did You Know?

Monastere batchkovo.jpg
  • ... that the first Bulgarian capital Pliska encircled an area of 27 km² and had a sewerage long before cities such as Paris or London?

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

Skopje

Ohrid

Tarnovo

Vidin

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