The Bulgars were Turkic semi-nomadic warrior tribes that flourished in the Pontic–Caspian steppe and the Volga region during the 7th century. Emerging as nomadic equestrians in the Volga-Ural region, according to some researchers their roots can be traced to Central Asia. During their westward migration across the Eurasian steppe the Bulgars absorbed other ethnic groups and cultural influences, including Hunnic and Indo-European peoples. Modern genetic research on Central Asian Turkic people and ethnic groups related to the Bulgars points to an affiliation with Western Eurasian populations; the Bulgars spoke a Turkic language, i.e. Bulgar language of Oghuric branch, they preserved the military titles and customs of Eurasian steppes, as well as pagan shamanism and belief in the sky deity Tangra. The Bulgars became semi-sedentary during the 7th century in the Pontic-Caspian steppe, establishing the polity of Old Great Bulgaria c. 635, absorbed by the Khazar Empire in 668 AD. In c. 679, Khan Asparukh conquered Scythia Minor, opening access to Moesia, established the First Bulgarian Empire, where the Bulgars became a political and military elite.
They merged subsequently with established Byzantine populations, as well as with settled Slavic tribes, were Slavicized, thus forming the ancestors of modern Bulgarians. The remaining Pontic Bulgars migrated in the 7th century to the Volga River, where they founded the Volga Bulgaria; the Volga Tatars and Chuvash people claim to be originated from the Volga Bulgars. The etymology of the ethnonym Bulgar is not understood and difficult to trace back earlier than the 4th century AD. Since the work of Wilhelm Tomaschek, it is said to be derived from the Common Turkic bulğha, bulga- or bulya, which with the consonant suffix -r implies a noun meaning "mixed". Other scholars have added that bulğha might imply "stir", "disturb", "confuse". and Talat Tekin interpreted bulgar as the verb form "mixing". Both Gyula Németh and Peter Benjamin Golden advocated the "mixed race" theory, but like Paul Pelliot, considered that "to incite", "rebel", or "to produce a state of disorder", i.e. the "disturbers", was a more etymology for migrating nomads.
According to Osman Karatay, if the "mixed" etymology relied on the westward migration of the Oğurs and merging with the Huns, north of the Black Sea, it was a faulty theory, since the Oghurs were documented in Europe as early as 463, while the Bulgars were not mentioned until 482 – an overly short time period for any such ethnogenesis to occur. However, the "mixing" in question may have occurred before the Bulgars migrated from further east, scholars such as Sanping Chen have noted analogous groups in Inner Asia, with phonologically similar names, who were described in similar terms: during the 4th Century, the Buluoji, a component of the "Five Barbarian" groups in Ancient China, were portrayed as both a "mixed race" and "troublemakers". Peter A. Boodberg noted that the Buluoji in the Chinese sources were recorded as remnants of the Xiongnu confederation, had strong Caucasian elements. Another theory linking the Bulgars to a Turkic people of Inner Asia has been put forward by Boris Simeonov, who identified them with the Pugu, a Tiele and/or Toquz Oguz tribe.
The Pugu were mentioned in Chinese sources from 103 BC up to the 8th century AD, were situated among the eastern Tiele tribes, as one of the highest-ranking tribes after the Uyghurs. According to the Chronicle by Michael the Syrian, which comprises several historical events of different age into one story, three mythical Scythian brothers set out on a journey from the mountain Imaon in Asia and reached the river Tanais, the country of the Alans called Barsalia, which would be inhabited by the Bulgars and the Pugurs; the names Onoğur and Bulgar were linked by Byzantine sources for reasons that are unclear. Karatay interpreted gur/gor as "country", noted the Tekin derivation of gur from the Altaic suffix -gir, related to the word yir, meaning "earth, place". Modern scholars consider the terms oğuz or oğur, as generic terms for Turkic tribal confederations, to be derived from Turkic *og/uq, meaning "kinship or being akin to"; the terms were not the same, as oq/ogsiz meant "arrow", while oğul meant "offspring, son", oğuš/uğuš was "tribe, clan", the verb oğša-/oqša meant "to be like, resemble".
There appears to be an etymological association between the Bulgars and the preceding Kutrigur and Utigur – as'Oğur tribes, with the ethnonym Bulgar as a "spreading" adjective. Golden considered the origin of the Kutrigurs and Utigurs to be obscure and their relationship to the Onogurs and Bulgars – who lived in similar areas at the same time – as unclear, he noted, however, an implication that the Kutrigurs and Utigurs were related to the Šarağur, that according to Procopius these were Hunnish tribal unions, of Cimmerian descent. Karatay considered the Kutrigurs and Utigurs to be two related, ancestral people, prominent tribes in the Bulgar union, but different from the Bulgars. Among many other theories regarding the etymology of Bulgar, the following have had limited support. An Eastern Germanic root meaning "combative" (i.e. cognate with the Latin pugn
Edirne known as Adrianople, is a city in the northwestern Turkish province of Edirne in the region of East Thrace, close to Turkey's borders with Greece and Bulgaria. Edirne served as the third capital city of the Ottoman Empire from 1369 to 1453, before Constantinople became the empire's fourth and final capital between 1453 and 1922; the city's estimated population in 2014 was 165,979. The city was founded as Hadrianopolis, named after the Roman emperor Hadrian; this name is still used in the modern Greek language. The Turkish name Edirne derives from the Greek name; the name Adrianople was used in English until the Turkish adoption of the Latin alphabet in 1928 made Edirne the internationally recognized name. Bulgarian: Одрин, Albanian: Edrenë, Macedonian: Одрин / Eдрене, Slovene: Odrin and Serbian: Једрене / Jedrene are adapted forms of the name Hadrianopolis or of its Turkish version; the area around Edirne has been the site of numerous major battles and sieges, from the days of the ancient Greeks.
The vagaries of the border region between Asia and Europe gives rise to Edirne's historic claim to be the most contested spot on the globe. In Greek mythology, son of king Agamemnon, built this city as Orestias, at the confluence of the Tonsus and the Ardiscus with the Hebrus; the city was founded eponymously by the Roman Emperor Hadrian on the site of a previous Thracian settlement known as Uskadama, Uskodama or Uscudama. It was the capital of the Bessi, or of the Odrysians. Hadrian developed it, adorned it with monuments, changed its name to Hadrianopolis, made it the capital of the Roman province of Thrace. Licinius was defeated there by Constantine I in 323, Emperor Valens was killed by the Goths in 378 during the Battle of Adrianople. In 813, the city was temporarily seized by Khan Krum of Bulgaria who moved its inhabitants to the Bulgarian lands north of the Danube. During the existence of the Latin Empire of Constantinople, the Crusaders were decisively defeated by the Bulgarian Emperor Kaloyan in the Battle of Adrianople.
In 1206 Adrianople and its territory was given to the Byzantine aristocrat Theodore Branas as a hereditary fief by the Latin regime. Theodore Komnenos, Despot of Epirus, took possession of it in 1227, but three years was defeated at Klokotnitsa by Emperor Ivan Asen II of Bulgaria. In 1361, the Ottoman Empire under Sultan Murad. Murad captured Adrianople in 1369; the city became "Edirne". Murad moved the Ottoman capital to Edirne. Mehmed the Conqueror was born in Edirne, where he fell under the influence of some Hurufis dismissed by Taş Köprü Zade in the Şakaiki Numaniye as "Certain accursed ones of no significance", who were burnt as heretics by a certain Mahmud Pasha; the city remained the Ottoman capital for 84 years until 1453, when Mehmed II took Constantinople and moved the capital there. Edirne is famed for its many mosques, domes and palaces from the Ottoman period. Under Ottoman rule, Edirne was the principal city of the administrative unit, the eponymous Eyalet of Edirne, after land reforms in 1867, the Vilayet of Edirne.
Sultan Mehmed IV left the palace in Constantinople and died in Edirne in 1693. During his exile in the Ottoman Empire, the Swedish king Charles XII stayed in the city during most of 1713. Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, lived in Edirne from 1863 to 1868, he was exiled there by the Ottoman Empire before being banished further to the Ottoman penal colony in Akka. He referred to Edirne in his writings as the "Land of Mystery". Edirne was a sanjak centre during the Ottoman period and was bound to, the Rumeli Eyalet and Silistre Eyalet before becoming a provincial capital of the Eyalet of Edirne at the beginning of the 19th century. Edirne was occupied by imperial Russian troops in 1829 during the Greek War of Independence and in 1878 during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878; the city suffered a fire in 1905. In 1905 it had about 80,000 inhabitants, of. Edirne was a vital fortress defending Ottoman Constantinople and Eastern Thrace during the Balkan Wars of 1912–13, it was occupied by the Bulgarians in 1913, following the Siege of Adrianople.
The Great Powers–Britain, Italy and Russia–forced the Ottoman Empire to cede Edirne to Bulgaria at the end of First Balkan War, which created a political scandal in the Ottoman government in Istanbul, leading to the 1913 Ottoman coup d'état. Although it was victorious in the coup, the Committee of Union and Progress was unable to keep Edirne, but under Enver Pasha, it was retaken from the Bulgarians soon after the Second Balkan War began, it was occupied by the Greeks between the Treaty of Sèvres in 1920 and their defeat at the end of the Greco-Turkish War known as the Western Front of the larger Turkish War of Independence, in 1922. According to the 2007 census, Edirne Province had a population of 382,222 inhabitants; the city is a commercial centre for woven textiles, silks and agricultural products
Malamir of Bulgaria
Malamir was the ruler of Bulgaria 831–836. Malamir was a grandson of Krum, his name may be of Slavic origin, which would make him the first Bulgar khan to possess a Slavic name. Another theory is. Malamir became ruler of Bulgaria in 831 on the death of his father Omurtag, because his older brother Enravota had forfeited his right to the succession by becoming a Christian, it is possible that Malamir was young and inexperienced at the time of his accession, that affairs of state were managed by his kavhan Isbul. About 833, Malamir executed his brother Enravota for refusing to renounce Christianity. After the expiration of the original 20-year peace treaty with the Byzantine Empire in 836, emperor Theophilos ravaged the regions inside the Bulgarian frontier; the Bulgarians retaliated, under the leadership of Isbul they reached Adrianople. At this time, if not earlier, the Bulgarians annexed its environs. Several surviving monumental inscriptions from this reign make reference to the Bulgarian victories and others to the continuation of construction activities in and near Pliska.
Malamir died in 836 as retribution for his execution of his older brother. In several older studies, Malamir is identified with his successor Presian I, it is assumed that he survived until the 850s as the direct predecessor of Boris I; this is unlikely, as Malamir is attested as having been succeeded by his nephew, while Boris I was preceded by his father Presian I. Zlatarski resolved the problems in the fragmentary sources by determining that Malamir's unnamed nephew and successor was in fact Presian I, Boris I was the latter's son; the 17th century Volga Bulgar compilation Cäğfär Taríxı represents Balamir as the son of Yomyrčak, as the brother of Sabanša, the father of Birdžihan. Malamir Knoll on Greenwich Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named for Khan Malamir of Bulgaria. History of Bulgaria Bulgars Jordan Andreev, Ivan Lazarov, Plamen Pavlov, Koj koj e v srednovekovna Bălgarija, Sofia 1999. Bahši Iman, Džagfar Tarihy, vol. I, Orenburg 1997
Krum was the Khan of Bulgaria from sometime between 796 and 803 until his death in 814. During his reign the 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. Krum was a Bulgar chieftain from Pannonia, his background and the surroundings of his accession are unknown. It has been speculated that Krum might have been a descendant of the old Bulgar royal house of Kubrat; the name Krum is of Iranian origin. Around 805, Krum defeated the Avar Khaganate to destroy the remainder of the Avars and to restore Bulgar authority in Ongal again, the traditional Bulgar name for the area north of the Danube across the Carpathians covering Transylvania and along the Danube into eastern Pannonia; this resulted in the establishment of a common border between the Frankish Empire and Bulgaria, which would have important repercussions for the policy of Krum's successors.
Krum engaged in a policy of territorial expansion. In 807 Bulgarian forces defeated the Byzantine army in the Struma valley. In 809 Krum besieged and forced the surrender of Serdica, slaughtering the garrison of 6,000 despite a guarantee of safe conduct; this victory provoked Byzantine Emperor Nikephoros I to settle Anatolian populations along the frontier to protect it and to attempt to retake and refortify Serdica, although this enterprise failed. In early 811, Nikephoros I undertook a massive expedition against Bulgaria. Here Krum attempted to negotiate on July 11, 811, but Nikephoros was determined to continue with his plunder, his army somehow made its way into Moesia. They managed to take over Pliska on July 20, as only a small, hastily assembled army was in their way. Here Nikephoros helped himself to the treasures of the Bulgarians while setting the city afire and turning his army on the population. A new diplomatic tentative from Krum was rebuffed; the Chronicle of 12th-century patriarch of the Syrian Jacobites, Michael the Syrian, describes the brutalities and atrocities of Nikephoros: "Nikephoros, emperor of the Byzantine empire, walked into the Bulgarians' land: he was victorious and killed great number of them.
He seized it and devastated it. His savagery went to the point that he ordered to bring their small children, got them tied down on earth and made thresh grain stones to smash them." While Nikephoros I and his army pillaged and plundered the Bulgarian capital, Krum mobilized as many soldiers as possible, giving weapons to peasants and women. This army was assembled in the mountain passes to intercept the Byzantines as they returned to Constantinople. At dawn on July 26, the Bulgarians managed to trap the retreating Nikephoros in the Vărbica pass; the Byzantine army was wiped out in the ensuing battle and Nikephoros was killed, while his son Staurakios was carried to safety by the imperial bodyguard after receiving a paralyzing wound to the neck. It is said that Krum used it as a drinking cup. Staurakios was forced to abdicate after a brief reign, he was succeeded by his brother-in-law Michael I Rangabe. In 812 Krum invaded Byzantine Thrace, taking Develt and scaring the population of nearby fortresses to flee towards Constantinople.
From this position of strength, Krum offered a return to the peace treaty of 716. Unwilling to compromise his regime by weakness, the new Emperor Michael I refused to accept the proposal, ostensibly opposing the clause for exchange of deserters. To apply more pressure on the Emperor, Krum besieged and captured Mesembria in the autumn of 812. In February 813 the Bulgarians were repelled by the Emperor's forces. Encouraged by this success, Michael I summoned troops from the entire Byzantine Empire and headed north, hoping for a decisive victory. Krum pitched camp near Versinikia. Michael I lined up his army against the Bulgarians, but neither side initiated an attack for two weeks. On June 22, 813, the Byzantines attacked but were turned to flight. With Krum's cavalry in pursuit, the rout of Michael I was complete, Krum advanced on Constantinople, which he besieged by land. Discredited, Michael was forced to abdicate and become a monk — the third Byzantine Emperor forced to give up the throne by Krum in as many years.
The new emperor, Leo V the Armenian, arranged for a meeting with Krum. As Krum arrived, he was wounded as he made his escape. Furious, Krum ravaged the environs of Constantinople and headed home, capturing Adrianople en route, transplanting its inhabitants across the Danube. In spite of the approach of winter, Krum took advantage of good weather to send a force of 30,000 into Thrace, capturing Arkadioupolis and carrying off 50,000 captives in the Bulgarian lands across the Danube; the loot from Thrace was used to enrich Krum and his nobility and included architectural elements utilized in the reconstruction of Pliska largely by captured Byzantine artisans. Krum spent the winter preparing for a major attack on Constantinople, where rumor reported the assemblage of an extensive siege park to be transported on 5,000 carts, he died before he set out, however, on April 13, 814, he was succeeded by his son Omurtag. Krum was remembered for instituting the first known written Bulgarian law code, which ensured subsidies to beggars and state protection to all poor Bulgarians.
Drinking and robbery were severely
Michael II, surnamed the Amorian or the Stammerer, reigned as Byzantine Emperor from 25 December 820 to his death on 2 October 829, the first ruler of the Phrygian or Amorian dynasty. Born in Amorium, Michael was a soldier, rising to high rank along with his colleague Leo V the Armenian, he helped Leo take the place of Emperor Michael I Rangabe. However, after they fell out Leo sentenced Michael to death. Michael masterminded a conspiracy which resulted in Leo's assassination at Christmas in 820, he faced the long revolt of Thomas the Slav, which cost him his throne and was not quelled until spring 824. The years of his reign were marked by two major military disasters that had long-term effects: the beginning of the Muslim conquest of Sicily, the loss of Crete to the Saracens. Domestically, he supported and strengthened the resumption of official iconoclasm, which had begun again under Leo V. Michael was born in 770 in Amorium, in Phrygia, into a family of professional peasant-soldiers who received land from the government for their military service.
His family belonged to the Judeo-Christian sect of the Athinganoi, whose members were Cappadocians and had adopted the Jewish faith and rituals. The Athinganoi were numerous in Anatolia and together with the Greeks and Armenians formed the backbone of the Byzantine army of that era. Michael first rose to prominence as a close aide to the general Bardanes Tourkos, alongside his future antagonists Leo the Armenian and Thomas the Slav, he married Bardanes' daughter Thekla. Michael and Leo abandoned Bardanes shortly after he rebelled against Emperor Nikephoros I in 803, they were rewarded with higher military commands: Michael was named the Emperor's Count of the Tent. Michael was instrumental in Leo's overthrow of Michael I Rangabe in 813, after Rangabe’s repeated military defeats against the Bulgarians. Under Leo V, Michael was appointed to command the elite tagma of the Excubitors, he became disgruntled with Leo V, when the Emperor divorced Michael's sister-in-law. On Christmas Eve 820, Leo V accused him of conspiracy, jailed him, sentenced him to death, although he postponed the execution until after Christmas.
Michael sent messages to his co-conspirators threatening to reveal their identity, whereupon his partisans freed him and murdered Leo V during the Christmas mass in the palace chapel of St. Stephen. Michael was proclaimed Emperor, while still wearing prison chains on his legs; the same day, he was crowned by Patriarch Theodotos I of Constantinople. In his internal policy, Michael II supported iconoclasm, but he tacitly encouraged reconciliation with the iconodules, whom he stopped persecuting and allowed to return from exile; these included the former Patriarch Nikephoros and Theodore of Stoudios, who failed, however, to persuade the emperor to abandon iconoclasm. One of the few victims of the Emperor's policy was the future patriarch Methodios I. Michael's accession whetted the appetite of his former comrade-in-arms Thomas the Slav, who set himself up as rival emperor in Anatolia and transferred his forces into Thrace besieging the capital in December 821. Although Thomas did not win over all the Anatolian themes, he secured the support of the naval theme and their ships, allowing him to tighten his grip on Constantinople.
In his quest for support, Thomas presented himself as a champion of the poor, reduced taxation, concluded an alliance with Al-Ma'mun of the Abbasid Caliphate, having himself crowned Emperor by the Patriarch of Antioch Job. With the support of Omurtag of Bulgaria, Michael II forced Thomas to lift his siege of Constantinople in the spring of 823. Michael forced his surrender in October. Michael inherited a weakened military and was unable to prevent the conquest of Crete in 824 by 10,000 Arabs, or to recover the island with an expedition in 826. In 827 the Arabs invaded Sicily, taking advantage of local infighting, besieged Syracuse. Thekla and Michael had only one known the Emperor Theophilos; the existence of a daughter called Helena is possible but there is a contradiction between different sources. Helena is known as the wife of Theophobos, a patrician executed in 842 for conspiring to gain the throne for himself. George Hamartolus and Theophanes report him marrying the sister of the Empress Theodora.
Joseph Genesius records Theophobos marrying the sister of the Emperor Theophilos. Whether Helena was sister or sister-in-law to Theophilos is thus unclear. After the death of Thekla, in c. 823, Michael II married Euphrosyne, a daughter of Constantine VI and Maria of Amnia. This marriage was intended to strengthen Michael's position as Emperor, but it incurred the opposition of the clergy, as Euphrosyne had become a nun. Michael II died on October 2, 829; because of his Judeo-Christian origin and iconoclasm, Michael II was not popular among Orthodox clergy, who depicted him as an ignorant and poorly educated peasant, but Michael II was a competent statesman and administrator. Though the civil war his accession precipitated gravely weakened the imperial government, by the end of his reign he had begun a restoration of the Byzantine military; the system of government and military built by Michael II enabled the Empire under his grandson Michael III to gain the ascendancy in their struggles with the Abbasids and to withstand all the vicissitudes of Byzantine palace life.
Michael II's direct descendants, the Amorian dynasty followed by the so-called Macedonian dynasty, ruled the Empire for more than two centurie
The Byzantine Empire referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic and military force in Europe. Both the terms "Byzantine Empire" and "Eastern Roman Empire" are historiographical terms created after the end of the realm. Several signal events from the 4th to 6th centuries mark the period of transition during which the Roman Empire's Greek East and Latin West diverged. Constantine I reorganised the empire, made Constantinople the new capital, legalised Christianity. Under Theodosius I, Christianity became the Empire's official state religion and other religious practices were proscribed.
Under the reign of Heraclius, the Empire's military and administration were restructured and adopted Greek for official use in place of Latin. Thus, although the Roman state continued and its traditions were maintained, modern historians distinguish Byzantium from ancient Rome insofar as it was centred on Constantinople, oriented towards Greek rather than Latin culture, characterised by Eastern Orthodox Christianity; the borders of the empire evolved over its existence, as it went through several cycles of decline and recovery. During the reign of Justinian I, the empire reached its greatest extent after reconquering much of the Roman western Mediterranean coast, including North Africa and Rome itself, which it held for two more centuries; the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628 exhausted the empire's resources and contributed to major territorial losses during the Early Muslim conquests of the 7th century, when it lost its richest provinces and Syria, to the Arab caliphate. During the Macedonian dynasty, the empire expanded again and experienced the two-century long Macedonian Renaissance, which came to an end with the loss of much of Asia Minor to the Seljuk Turks after the Battle of Manzikert in 1071.
This battle opened the way for the Turks to settle in Anatolia. The empire recovered during the Komnenian restoration, by the 12th century Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest European city. However, it was delivered a mortal blow during the Fourth Crusade, when Constantinople was sacked in 1204 and the territories that the empire governed were divided into competing Byzantine Greek and Latin realms. Despite the eventual recovery of Constantinople in 1261, the Byzantine Empire remained only one of several small rival states in the area for the final two centuries of its existence, its remaining territories were progressively annexed by the Ottomans over the 15th century. The Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 ended the Byzantine Empire; the last of the imperial Byzantine successor states, the Empire of Trebizond, would be conquered by the Ottomans eight years in the 1461 Siege of Trebizond. The first use of the term "Byzantine" to label the years of the Roman Empire was in 1557, when the German historian Hieronymus Wolf published his work Corpus Historiæ Byzantinæ, a collection of historical sources.
The term comes from "Byzantium", the name of the city of Constantinople before it became Constantine's capital. This older name of the city would be used from this point onward except in historical or poetic contexts; the publication in 1648 of the Byzantine du Louvre, in 1680 of Du Cange's Historia Byzantina further popularised the use of "Byzantine" among French authors, such as Montesquieu. However, it was not until the mid-19th century that the term came into general use in the Western world; the Byzantine Empire was known to its inhabitants as the "Roman Empire", the "Empire of the Romans", "Romania", the "Roman Republic", as "Rhōmais". The inhabitants called themselves Romaioi and as late as the 19th century Greeks referred to Modern Greek as Romaiika "Romaic." After 1204 when the Byzantine Empire was confined to its purely Greek provinces the term'Hellenes' was used instead. While the Byzantine Empire had a multi-ethnic character during most of its history and preserved Romano-Hellenistic traditions, it became identified by its western and northern contemporaries with its predominant Greek element.
The occasional use of the term "Empire of the Greeks" in the West to refer to the Eastern Roman Empire and of the Byzantine Emperor as Imperator Graecorum were used to separate it from the prestige of the Roman Empire within the new kingdoms of the West. No such distinction existed in the Islamic and Slavic worlds, where the Empire was more straightforwardly seen as the continuation of the Roman Empire. In the Islamic world, the Roman Empire was known as Rûm; the name millet-i Rûm, or "Roman nation," was used by the Ottomans through the 20th century to refer to the former subjects of the Byzantine Empire