Bulgarian Empire

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[1]) 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. Bulgaria is one of the few historic states and nations whose economy and society were never based on slavery, and slavery never played an important role in Bulgarian statehood development and wealth.

Bulgarian Empire

ц︢рьство бл︢гарское
Bulgaria during the reign of Simeon the Great, 10th century
Bulgaria during the reign of Simeon the Great, 10th century
Common languagesBulgar, Greek
Old Bulgarian
Middle Bulgarian
Bulgarian Orthodox
Bulgarian Orthodox
Roman Catholic
Bulgarian Orthodox
• 681–700
Asparukh (first)
• 1397–1422
Constantine II (last)
Historical eraMiddle Ages
• Established
• Disestablished
ISO 3166 codeBG
Today part of

First Bulgarian Empire

Kanasubigi Omurtag (814–831)

Not long after the Slavic incursion, Moesia was once again invaded, this time by the Bulgars under Khan Asparukh.[2] Their horde was a remnant of Old Great Bulgaria, an extinct tribal confederacy situated north of the Black Sea in what is now Ukraine. Asparukh attacked Byzantine territories in Moesia and conquered the Slavic tribes there in 680.[3] A peace treaty with the Byzantine Empire was signed in 681, marking the foundation of the First Bulgarian Empire on the territory both north and south of the lower course of the Danube River in 681 as an alliance between the ruling Bulgars and the numerous slavs in the area, becoming the oldest still existing Slavic state. The minority Bulgars formed a close-knit ruling caste.[4] It is usually described as having lasted between 681[5][6][7] and 1018, when it was subjugated by the Byzantine Empire despite Emperor Samuel's fierce resistance. Tervel of Bulgaria, son of Asparuh, was the Khan at the beginning of the 8th century. In 705 Emperor Justinian II named him Caesar, the first foreigner to receive this title.[8][9] Tervel played an important role in defeating the Arabs during the Siege of Constantinople in 717–718. During Krum reign in the early 9th century Bulgarian territory doubled in size, spreading from the middle Danube to the Dnieper and from Odrin to the Tatra Mountains. His able and energetic rule brought law and order to Bulgaria and developed the rudiments of state organization.[10][11] Bulgaria gradually reached its cultural and territorial apogee in the 9th century and early 10th century under Prince Boris I and Emperor Simeon the Great, when its early christianization in 864 allowed it to develop into the cultural and literary center of Slavic Europe, as well as one of the largest states in Europe, thus the period is considered the Golden Age of medieval Bulgarian culture. Major event is the development of the Cyrillic script at the Preslav Literary School, declared official in 893, as also was declared the liturgy in Old Church Slavonic, also called Old Bulgarian.[12][13][14]

Second Bulgarian Empire

The medieval Bulgarian state was restored as the Second Bulgarian Empire after a successful uprising of two nobles from Tarnovo, Asen and Peter, in 1185, and existed until it was conquered during the Ottoman invasion of the Balkans in the late 14th century, with the date of its subjugation usually given as 1396, although some fringe views place it at 1422.[15] Until 1256, the Second Bulgarian Empire was the dominant power in the Balkans, defeating the Byzantine Empire in several major battles. In 1205 Emperor Kaloyan defeated the newly established Latin Empire in the Battle of Adrianople. His nephew Ivan Asen II defeated the Despotate of Epiros and made Bulgaria a regional power again. During his reign, Bulgaria spread from the Adriatic to the Black Sea and the economy flourished. Under Ivan Asen II in the first half of the 13th century the country gradually recovered much of its former power, though this did not last long due to internal problems and foreign invasions. Bulgarian artists and architects created their own distinctive style. Until the 14th century, during the period known as the Second Golden Age of Bulgarian culture, literature, art and architecture flourished.[16] The capital city Tarnovo, which was considered a "New Constantinople", became the country's main cultural hub and the centre of the Eastern Orthodox world.[17] The Empire became tributary to the Golden Horde, a successor state of the Mongol Empire in the 13th to 14th centuries.[18][19] After the death of Emperor Ivan Alexander in 1371 Bulgaria was split into three countries and in the following decades fell under the domination of the Ottomans. After the Ottoman conquest, many Bulgarian clerics and scholars emigrated to Serbia, Wallachia, Moldavia, and Russian principalities, where they introduced Bulgarian culture, books, and hesychastic ideas.[20]

Ivan Alexander

Tsar Ivan Alexander (1331–1371)

Coat of arms of the Second Bulgarian Empire

Coat of Arms of Bulgaria


Balkans about 680 A.D., foundation of the First Bulgarian Empire

Bulgaria after its foundation by kanasubigi Asparukh in 681


Map of Bulgaria during its largest territorial extension under Simeon the Great

Bulgaria Samuil raster

Map of Bulgaria during the reign of Samuel

Second Bulgarian Empire (1185-1196)

Bulgaria under the brothers Peter and Asen

Campaigns of Ivan Assen II

The Bulgarian Empire during the reign of Ivan Asen II


The Second Bulgarian Empire after the death of Ivan Alexander

See also


  1. ^ R. Craig Nation. War in the Balkans, 1991–2002. Lulu.com. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
  2. ^ Zlatarski, Vasil (1938). История на Първото българско Царство. I. Епоха на хуно–българското надмощие (679–852) [History of the First Bulgarian Empire. Period of Hunnic-Bulgarian domination (679–852)] (in Bulgarian). Marin Drinov Publishing House. p. 188. ISBN 978-9544302986. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  3. ^ "Bulgar". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
  4. ^ Fine, John V.A.; Fine, John Van Antwerp (1991). The Early Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Sixth to the Late Twelfth Century. University of Michigan Press. pp. 68–70. ISBN 978-0472081493.
  5. ^ A Concise History of Bulgaria, R. J. Crampton, Cambridge University Press, 2005, ISBN 0521616379, pp. 8-9.
  6. ^ The New Cambridge Medieval History: Volume 1, c.500–c.700, Paul Fouracre, Cambridge University Press, 2005, ISBN 0521362911, p. 301.
  7. ^ Мутафчиев, П. Гюзелев. В, История на българския народ 681–1323. Българска Академия на науките, 1986. стр. 106–108.
  8. ^ Андреев, Й. Българските ханове и царе (VII-XIV в.). София, 1987
  9. ^ Хан Тервел - тема за кандидат студенти Archived 1 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Krum, Encyclopædia Britannica Online
  11. ^ Токушев, Д. "История на българската средновековна държава и право", Сиби, С. 2009
  12. ^ Dvornik, Francis (1956). The Slavs: Their Early History and Civilization. Boston: American Academy of Arts and Sciences. p. 179. The Psalter and the Book of Prophets were adapted or "modernized" with special regard to their use in Bulgarian churches, and it was in this school that glagolitic writing was replaced by the so-called Cyrillic writing, which was more akin to the Greek uncial, simplified matters considerably and is still used by the Orthodox Slavs.
  13. ^ Florin Curta (2006). Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500–1250. Cambridge Medieval Textbooks. Cambridge University Press. pp. 221–222. ISBN 978-0-521-81539-0.
  14. ^ J. M. Hussey, Andrew Louth (2010). "The Orthodox Church in the Byzantine Empire". Oxford History of the Christian Church. Oxford University Press. p. 100. ISBN 978-0-19-161488-0.
  15. ^ http://liternet.bg/publish13/p_pavlov/konstantin_II_asen.htm
  16. ^ Kǎnev, Petǎr (2002). "Religion in Bulgaria after 1989". South-East Europe Review (1): 81.
  17. ^ Obolensky, p. 246
  18. ^ Peter Jackson, The Mongols and the West, p. 204
  19. ^ Denis Sinor, "The Mongols in the West", Journal of Asian History v. 33 n. 1 (1999).
  20. ^ Kazhdan 1991, pp. 334, 337

Further reading

  • Zlatarski, Vasil N. (2006) [1918]. Medieval History of the Bulgarian State (in Bulgarian). Sofia: Science and Arts Publishers, 2nd Edition (Petar Petrov, Ed.), Zahari Stoyanov Publishers, 4th Edition, 2006. ISBN 978-954-739-928-0.
  • Бакалов, Георги; Милен Куманов (2003). Електронна издание – История на България (in Bulgarian). София: Труд, Сирма. ISBN 978-954-528-613-1.
  • Делев, Петър; Валери Кацунов; Пламен Митев; Евгения Калинова; Искра Баева; Боян Добрев (2006). История и цивилизация за 11. клас (in Bulgarian). Труд, Сирма.
  • Българите и България (in Bulgarian). Министерство на външните работи на България, Труд, Сирма. 2005. Archived from the original on November 10, 2005.
  • Fine, John V. A., Jr. (1991). The Early Medieval Balkans. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. ISBN 978-0-472-08149-3.
Albania under the Bulgarian Empire

The territory of modern Albania was part of the Bulgarian Empire during certain periods in the Middle Ages and some parts in what is now eastern Albania were populated and ruled by the Bulgarians for centuries. Most of Albania became part of the First Empire in the early 840s during the reign of Khan Presian. Some coastal towns such as Durrës remained in the hands of the Byzantines for most of that period. The castles of the inner mountainous country remained one of the last Bulgarian strongholds to be conquered by the Byzantines in 1018/1019 during the fall of the First Bulgarian Empire. During the Byzantine rule Albania was one of the centres of a major Bulgarian uprising. The last Bulgarian Emperor to govern the whole territory was Ivan Asen II (1218–1241) but after his successors the Bulgarian rule diminished. Much of that area corresponded with the Bulgarian historical region Kutmichevitsa.

Battle of Dyrrhachium (1018)

The Battle of Dyrrhachium in February 1018 was a part of the Byzantine-Bulgarian Wars. It happened as the Bulgarian tsar Ivan Vladislav tried to establish his power on the southeastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. He led an army against Dyrrhachium (present-day Durrës, in Albania) and besieged it, but was killed during a counterattack of the city’s defenders.

This was the final battle of the centuries long struggle between the First Bulgarian Empire and Byzantium. Within months after Vladislav’s death most of his realm was subjugated by the Byzantine emperor Basil II, with the last independent region (Sirmium) subdued in 1019.

Battle of Ihtiman

The Battle of Ihtiman occurred in 1355 between Bulgarians and Ottomans and resulted in an Ottoman victory. The exact location is not known, but in an anonymous Bulgarian chronicle, it is mentioned that the armies of Michail Asen engaged the invading forces before they could reach Sofia.

Battle of Klokotnitsa

The Battle of Klokotnitsa (Bulgarian: Битката при Клокотница, Bitkata pri Klokotnitsa) occurred on 9 March 1230 near the village of Klokotnitsa (today in Haskovo Province, Bulgaria). As a result, the Second Bulgarian Empire emerged once again as the most powerful state in South-Eastern Europe. Nevertheless Bulgarias power was soon to be contested and surpassed by the rising Empire of Nicaea.

Battle of Marcellae (756)

The battle of Marcellae (Bulgarian: Битката при Маркели, Greek: Μάχη των Μαρκελλών) took place in 756 between the armies of the First Bulgarian Empire and the Byzantine Empire at Markeli, near the town of Karnobat in south eastern Bulgaria. The result was a Byzantine victory.

Battle of Skafida

The Battle of Skafida (Bulgarian: Битка при Скафида) was an engagement between the Second Bulgarian Empire and the Byzantine Empire which occurred in 1304 near Poros (Burgas), modern Bulgaria. The outcome was a Bulgarian victory. As a result, the Bulgarian Empire overcame the crisis from the end of the 13th century, achieved internal stability and regained most of Thrace. For a time afterwards, Byzantium was not a serious threat to it.

Byzantine conquest of Bulgaria

From ca. 970 until 1018, a series of conflicts between the Bulgarian Empire and the Byzantine Empire led to the gradual conquest of Bulgaria by the Byzantines, who thus re-established their control over the entire Balkan peninsula for the first time since the 7th-century Slavic invasions. The struggle began with the incorporation of eastern Bulgaria after the Russo–Byzantine War (970–971). Bulgarian resistance was led by the Cometopuli brothers, who based in the unconquered western regions of the Bulgarian Empire led it until its fall under Byzantine rule in 1018.As the Byzantine-Bulgarian relations deteriorated by the end of the 960s, the Eastern Roman Empire paid the Kievan prince Sviatoslav to attack Bulgaria. The unexpected collapse of Bulgaria and Sviatoslav's ambitions to seize Constantinople caught the Eastern Roman Empire off-guard but they managed to pull back the Kievan armies and occupied eastern Bulgaria including the capital Preslav in 971. Emperor Boris II was captured and taken to Constantinople where he abdicated and the Byzantine Emperor John I Tzimiskes announced the annexation of Bulgaria, even though the Eastern Roman Empire only controlled Eastern Bulgaria at the time, but the lands to the west remained under Bulgarian control. The four brothers David, Moses, Aron and Samuel of the Cometopuli dynasty ruled in the free territories and in 976 launched a major offensive against the Byzantines to regain the lost lands. Soon the youngest brother Samuel took the whole authority following the deaths of his three eldest brothers.

Samuel proved to be a successful general inflicting a major defeat on the Byzantine army commanded by Basil II at the Gates of Trajan and retaking north-eastern Bulgaria. His successful campaigns expanded the Bulgarian borders into Thessaly and Epirus and in 998 he conquered the principality of Duklja. In 997 Samuel was proclaimed Emperor of Bulgaria after the death of the legitimate ruler, Roman.

By the end of the millennium the fortunes of war turned into Byzantine favour. The Byzantines under Basil II, a successful general and experienced soldier, slowly got the upper hand and from 1001 started to seize a number of important areas and towns. The Bulgarians were unable to stop the annual Byzantine campaigns which devastated the country. In 1014 the Byzantines won the decisive battle of Kleidion and Samuel died a few weeks later. Tsar Samuel's reign was followed by the short reigns of his son Gavril Radomir and his nephew Ivan Vladislav. In 1018, Ivan Vladislav's widow, Maria, negotiated very favorable terms of surrender to the Byzantine emperor. All local lords who surrendered were transferred either to Constantinople or to Anatolia and most of them were later assimilated into the Byzantine society. Bulgaria lost its independence and remained subject to Byzantium for more than a century and a half, until 1185. Its western part was transformed into one of the many Byzantine's provinces, which was ruled by a governor appointed by the Emperor. With the collapse of the first Bulgarian state, the Bulgarian church fell under the domination of Greek ecclesiastics who took control of the see of Ohrid and attempted to replace the Bulgarian Slavic liturgy with a Greek liturgy.

Christianization of Bulgaria

The Christianization of Bulgaria was the process by which 9th-century medieval Bulgaria converted to Christianity. It reflected the need of unity within the religiously divided Bulgarian state as well as the need for equal acceptance on the international stage in Christian Europe. This process was characterized by the shifting political alliances of Boris I of Bulgaria (ruled 852-889) with the kingdom of the East Franks and with the Byzantine Empire, as well as his diplomatic correspondence with the Pope.

Because of Bulgaria's strategic position, the churches of both Rome and Constantinople each wanted Bulgaria in their sphere of influence. They regarded Christianization as a means of integrating Slavs into their region. After some overtures to each side, the Khan adopted Christianity from Constantinople in 870. As a result, he achieved his goal of gaining an independent Bulgarian national church and having an archbishop appointed to head it.

Cometopuli dynasty

The Cometopuli dynasty (Bulgarian: Династия на комитопулите; Byzantine Greek: Κομητόπουλοι) was the last royal dynasty in the First Bulgarian Empire, ruling from ca. 976 until the fall of Bulgaria under Byzantine rule in 1018. The most notable member of the dynasty, tsar Samuel is famous for successfully resisting Byzantine conquest for more than 40 years. Sometimes the realm of the Cometopuli is called Western Bulgarian Kingdom or Western Bulgarian Empire.

First Bulgarian Empire

The First Bulgarian Empire (Old Bulgarian: ц︢рьство бл︢гарское, ts'rstvo bl'garskoe) was a medieval Bulgarian state that existed in Southeastern Europe between the 7th and 11th centuries AD. It was founded in 681 when Bulgar tribes led by Asparuh moved to the northeastern Balkans. There they secured Byzantine recognition of their right to settle south of the Danube by defeating – possibly with the help of local South Slavic tribes – the Byzantine army led by Constantine IV. At the height of its power, Bulgaria spread from the Danube Bend to the Black Sea and from the Dnieper River to the Adriatic Sea.

As the state solidified its position in the Balkans, it entered into a centuries-long interaction, sometimes friendly and sometimes hostile, with the Byzantine Empire. Bulgaria emerged as Byzantium's chief antagonist to its north, resulting in several wars. The two powers also enjoyed periods of peace and alliance, most notably during the Second Arab siege of Constantinople, where the Bulgarian army broke the siege and destroyed the Arab army, thus preventing an Arab invasion of Southeastern Europe. Byzantium had a strong cultural influence on Bulgaria, which also led to the eventual adoption of Christianity in 864. After the disintegration of the Avar Khaganate, the country expanded its territory northwest to the Pannonian Plain. Later the Bulgarians confronted the advance of the Pechenegs and Cumans, and achieved a decisive victory over the Magyars, forcing them to establish themselves permanently in Pannonia.

During the late 9th and early 10th centuries, Simeon I achieved a string of victories over the Byzantines. Thereafter, he was recognized with the title of Emperor, and proceeded to expand the state to its greatest extent. After the annihilation of the Byzantine army in the battle of Anchialus in 917, the Bulgarians laid siege to Constantinople in 923 and 924. The Byzantines, however, eventually recovered, and in 1014, under Basil II, inflicted a crushing defeat on the Bulgarians at the Battle of Kleidion. By 1018, the last Bulgarian strongholds had surrendered to the Byzantine Empire, and the First Bulgarian Empire had ceased to exist. It was succeeded by the Second Bulgarian Empire in 1185.

After the adoption of Christianity, Bulgaria became the cultural center of Slavic Europe. Its leading cultural position was further consolidated with the invention of the Glagolitic and Early Cyrillic alphabets shortly after in the capital Preslav, and literature produced in Old Bulgarian soon began spreading north. Old Bulgarian became the lingua franca of much of Eastern Europe and it came to be known as Old Church Slavonic. In 927, the fully independent Bulgarian Patriarchate was officially recognized.

The ruling Bulgars and other non-Slavic tribes in the empire gradually mixed and adopted the prevailing Slavic language, thus gradually forming the Bulgarian nation from the 7th century to the 9th century. Since the late 9th century, the names Bulgarians and Bulgarian gained prevalence and became permanent designations for the local population, both in literature and in common parlance. The development of Old Church Slavonic literacy had the effect of preventing the assimilation of the South Slavs into neighbouring cultures, while stimulating the formation of a distinct Bulgarian identity.

History of Bulgaria

The history of Bulgaria can be traced from the first settlements on the lands of modern Bulgaria to its formation as a nation-state and includes the history of the Bulgarian people and their origin. The earliest evidence of hominid occupation discovered on what is today Bulgaria date from at least 1.4 million years ago. Around 5000 BC, a sophisticated civilization already existed and produced some of the first pottery and jewelry in the world. After 3000 BC, the Thracians appeared on the Balkan peninsula. In the late 6th century BC, most of what is nowadays Bulgaria came under the Persian Empire. In the 470s BC, the Thracians formed the powerful Odrysian Kingdom, probably after the Persian defeat in Greece, which subsequently declined and Thracian tribes fell under Macedonian, Celtic and Roman domination. This mixture of ancient peoples was assimilated by the Slavs, who permanently settled on the peninsula after 500 AD.

Meanwhile, in 632 the Bulgars formed an independent state north of the Black sea that became known as Great Bulgaria under the leadership of Kubrat. Pressure from the Khazars led to the disintegration of Great Bulgaria in the second half of the 7th century. One of the Kubrat's successors, Asparukh, migrated with some of the Bulgar tribes to the area around the Danube delta, and subsequently conquered Scythia Minor and Moesia Inferior from the Byzantine Empire, expanding his new kingdom further into the Balkan Peninsula. A peace treaty with Byzantium in 681 and the establishment of a permanent Bulgarian capital at Pliska south of the Danube mark the beginning of the First Bulgarian Empire. The new state brought together Thracian remnants and Slavs under Bulgar rule, and a slow process of mutual assimilation began. In the following centuries Bulgaria established itself as a powerful empire, dominating the Balkans through its aggressive military traditions, which led to development of distinct ethnic identity. Its ethnically and culturally diverse people united under a common religion, language and alphabet which formed and preserved the Bulgarian national consciousness despite foreign invasions and influences.

In the 11th century, the First Bulgarian Empire collapsed under Rus' and Byzantine attacks, and became part of the Byzantine Empire until 1185. Then, a major uprising led by two brothers - Asen and Peter of the Asen dynasty, restored the Bulgarian state to form the Second Bulgarian Empire. After reaching its apogee in the 1230s, Bulgaria started to decline due to a number of factors, most notably its geographic position which rendered it vulnerable to simultaneous attacks and invasions from many sides. A peasant rebellion, one of the few successful such in history, established the swineherd Ivaylo as a Tsar. His short reign was essential in recovering - at least partially - the integrity of the Bulgarian state. A relatively thriving period followed after 1300, but ended in 1371, when factional divisions caused Bulgaria to split into three small Tsardoms. By 1396, they were subjugated by the Ottoman Empire. The Turks eliminated the Bulgarian system of nobility and ruling clergy, and Bulgaria remained an integral Turkish territory for the next 500 years.

With the decline of the Ottoman Empire after 1700, signs of revival started to emerge. The Bulgarian nobility had vanished, leaving an egalitarian peasant society with a small but growing urban middle class. By the 19th century, the Bulgarian National Revival became a key component of the struggle for independence, which would culminate in the failed April uprising in 1876, which prompted the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78 and the subsequent Liberation of Bulgaria. The initial Treaty of San Stefano was rejected by the Western Great Powers, and the following Treaty of Berlin limited Bulgaria's territories to Moesia and the region of Sofia. This left many ethnic Bulgarians out of the borders of the new state, which defined Bulgaria's militaristic approach to regional affairs and its allegiance to Germany in both World Wars.

After World War II, Bulgaria became a Communist state, dominated by Todor Zhivkov for a period of 35 years. Bulgaria's economic advancement during the era came to an end in the 1980s, and the collapse of the Communist system in Eastern Europe marked a turning point for the country's development. A series of crises in the 1990s left much of Bulgaria's industry and agriculture in shambles, although a period of relative stabilization began with the election of Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha as prime minister in 2001. Bulgaria joined NATO in 2004 and the European Union in 2007.

List of Bulgarian monarchs

The monarchs of Bulgaria ruled the country during three periods of its history as an independent country: from the establishment of the First Bulgarian Empire in 681 to the Byzantine conquest of Bulgaria in 1018; from the Uprising of Asen and Peter that established the Second Bulgarian Empire in 1185 to the annexation of the rump Bulgarian principality into the Ottoman Empire in 1422; and from the re-establishment of an independent Bulgaria in 1878 to the abolition of monarchy in a manipulated referendum held on 15 September 1946.

Early Bulgarian rulers possibly used the title Kanasubigi (Khan), later knyaz (prince) for a brief period, and subsequently tsar (emperor). The title tsar, the Bulgarian form of the Latin Caesar, was first adopted and used in Bulgaria by Simeon I, following a decisive victory over the Byzantine Empire in 913. It was also used by all of Simeon I's successors until the fall of Bulgaria under Ottoman rule in 1396. After Bulgaria's liberation from the Ottomans in 1878, its first monarch Alexander I adopted the title knyaz, or prince. However, when de jure independence was proclaimed under his successor Ferdinand in 1908, the title was elevated to the customary tsar once more. The use of tsar continued under Ferdinand and later under his heirs Boris III and Simeon II until the abolition of monarchy in 1946.

While the title tsar was translated as "emperor" in the First and Second Bulgarian Empires, it was translated as "king" in modern Bulgaria.

In the few surviving medieval Bulgarian royal charters, the monarchs of Bulgaria styled themselves as "In Christ the Lord Faithful Emperor and Autocrat of all Bulgarians" or similar variations, sometimes including “... and Romans, Greeks, or Vlachs".

This list does not include the mythical Bulgar rulers and the rulers of Old Great Bulgaria listed in the Nominalia of the Bulgarian khans as well as unsuccessful claimants to the throne who are not generally listed among the Bulgarian monarchs.

List of wars involving Bulgaria

This article lists the wars, campaigns and battles fought by Bulgaria since its creation in 681.

Medieval Greece

Medieval Greece refers to geographic components of the area historically and modernly known as Greece, during the Middle Ages.

These include:

Byzantine Greece (Early to High Middle Ages)

Northern Greece under the First Bulgarian Empire

various High Medieval Crusader states ("Frankish Greece") and Byzantine splinter states:

Latin Empire

Kingdom of Thessalonica

Principality of Achaea

Duchy of Athens

Despotate of Epirus

Despotate of the Morea

Northern Greece under the Second Bulgarian Empire (Ivan Asen II of Bulgaria)

Ottoman Greece (Late Middle Ages)

Medieval architecture

Medieval architecture is architecture common in the Middle Ages, and includes religious, civil, and military buildings. Styles include pre-Romanesque, Romanesque, and Gothic. While most of the surviving medieval architecture is to be seen in churches and castles, examples of civic and domestic architecture can be found throughout Europe, in manor houses, town halls, almshouses, bridges, and residential houses.

Old Great Bulgaria

Old Great Bulgaria or Great Bulgaria (Byzantine Greek: Παλαιά Μεγάλη Βουλγαρία, Palaiá Megálē Voulgaría), also often known by the Latin names Magna Bulgaria and Patria Onoguria ("Onogur land"), was a 7th century state formed by the Onogur Bulgars on the western Pontic-Caspian steppe (modern southern Ukraine and southwest Russia). Great Bulgaria was originally centred between the Dniester and lower Volga.

The original capital was Phanagoria on the Taman Peninsula between the Black and Azov seas. In the mid-7th century, Great Bulgaria expanded west to include Avar territory and was centered in Poltava. During the late 7th century, however, an Avar-Slavic alliance in the west, and Khazars in the east, defeated the Bulgars and the Great Bulgaria disintegrated. Successor states included Volga Bulgaria and the First Bulgarian Empire .

Second Bulgarian Empire

The Second Bulgarian Empire (Bulgarian: Второ българско царство, Vtorо Bălgarskо Tsarstvo) was a medieval Bulgarian state that existed between 1185 and 1396. A successor to the First Bulgarian Empire, it reached the peak of its power under Tsars Kaloyan and Ivan Asen II before gradually being conquered by the Ottomans in the late 14th and early 15th centuries. It was succeeded by the Principality and later Kingdom of Bulgaria in 1878.Until 1256, the Second Bulgarian Empire was the dominant power in the Balkans, defeating the Byzantine Empire in several major battles. In 1205 Emperor Kaloyan defeated the newly established Latin Empire in the Battle of Adrianople. His nephew Ivan Asen II defeated the Despotate of Epiros and made Bulgaria a regional power again. During his reign, Bulgaria spread from the Adriatic to the Black Sea and the economy flourished. In the late 13th century, however, the Empire declined under constant invasions by Mongols, Byzantines, Hungarians, and Serbs, as well as internal unrest and revolts. The 14th century saw a temporary recovery and stability, but also the peak of Balkan feudalism as central authorities gradually lost power in many regions. Bulgaria was divided into three parts on the eve of the Ottoman invasion.

Despite strong Byzantine influence, Bulgarian artists and architects created their own distinctive style. In the 14th century, during the period known as the Second Golden Age of Bulgarian culture, literature, art and architecture flourished. The capital city Tarnovo, which was considered a "New Constantinople", became the country's main cultural hub and the centre of the Eastern Orthodox world for contemporary Bulgarians. After the Ottoman conquest, many Bulgarian clerics and scholars emigrated to Serbia, Wallachia, Moldavia, and Russian principalities, where they introduced Bulgarian culture, books, and hesychastic ideas.

Siege of Tarnovo

The siege of Tarnovo occurred in the spring of 1393 and resulted in a decisive Ottoman victory. With the fall of its capital, the Bulgarian Empire was reduced to a few fortresses along the Danube.

Simeon I of Bulgaria

Simeon (also Symeon) I the Great (Bulgarian: Симеон I Велики, transliterated Simeon I Veliki [simɛˈɔn ˈpɤ̞rvi vɛˈliki]) ruled over Bulgaria from 893 to 927, during the First Bulgarian Empire. Simeon's successful campaigns against the Byzantines, Magyars and Serbs led Bulgaria to its greatest territorial expansion ever, making it the most powerful state in contemporary Eastern Europe. His reign was also a period of unmatched cultural prosperity and enlightenment later deemed the Golden Age of Bulgarian culture.During Simeon's rule, Bulgaria spread over a territory between the Aegean, the Adriatic and the Black Sea. The newly independent Bulgarian Orthodox Church became the first new patriarchate besides the Pentarchy, and Bulgarian Glagolitic and Cyrillic translations of Christian texts spread all over the Slavic world of the time. It was at the Preslav Literary School in the 890s that the Cyrillic alphabet was developed. Halfway through his reign, Simeon assumed the title of Emperor (Tsar), having prior to that been styled Prince (Knyaz).

Topics on the Bulgarian Empire
State Military Culture

De facto independent Bulgarian states from the Second Empire

Important rulers

First Bulgarian Empire

AsparukhTervelKrumOmurtagBoris ISimeon IPeter ISamuel

Second Bulgarian Empire

Ivan Asen IKaloyanIvan Asen IIKonstantin TihMichael ShishmanIvan Alexander


Krum of BulgariaOmurtag of BulgariaConstantine I of Bulgaria

Major battles

First Bulgarian Empire

Battle of OngalSiege of ConstantinopleBattle of MarcellaeBattle of PliskaBattle of Southern BuhBattle of AchelousBattle of the Gates of TrajanBattle of KleidionBattle of Dyrrhachium

Second Bulgarian Empire

Battle of TryavnaBattle of AdrianopleBattle of KlokotnitsaBattle of SkafidaBattle of VelbazhdBattle of RusokastroBattle of ChernomenSiege of TarnovoBattle of Nicopolis

Major uprisings
Tetraevangelia of Ivan Alexander

Prominent writers and scholars:
Saint NaumClement of OhridChernorizets HrabarConstantine of PreslavJohn the ExarchEvtimiy of TarnovoGregory Tsamblak

Art and architecture

Famous examples:
Madara RiderGreat BasilicaRound ChurchHoly Forty Martyrs ChurchBoyana ChurchTsarevetsBaba VidaCherven

Saint Theodor
Portal Portal

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