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, several signal events from the 4th to 6th centuries mark the period of transition during which the Roman Empires Greek East and Latin West divided. Constantine I reorganised the empire, made Constantinople the new capital, under Theodosius I, Christianity became the Empires official state religion and other religious practices were proscribed. Finally, under the reign of Heraclius, the Empires military, the borders of the Empire evolved significantly over its existence, as it went through several cycles of decline and recovery. During the reign of Maurice, the Empires eastern frontier was expanded, in a matter of years the Empire lost its richest provinces and Syria, to the Arabs. This battle opened the way for the Turks to settle in Anatolia, the Empire recovered again during the Komnenian restoration, such that by the 12th century Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest European city.
Despite the eventual recovery of Constantinople in 1261, the Byzantine Empire remained only one of several small states in the area for the final two centuries of its existence. Its remaining territories were annexed by the Ottomans over the 15th century. The Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 finally ended the Byzantine Empire, the term comes from Byzantium, the name of the city of Constantinople before it became Constantines capital. This older name of the city would rarely be used from this point onward except in historical or poetic contexts. The publication in 1648 of the Byzantine du Louvre, and in 1680 of Du Canges Historia Byzantina further popularised the use of Byzantine among French authors, 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, the Roman Republic, and as Rhōmais. The inhabitants called themselves Romaioi and Graikoi, and even as late as the 19th century Greeks typically referred to modern Greek as Romaika and Graikika.
The authority of the Byzantine emperor as the legitimate Roman emperor was challenged by the coronation of Charlemagne as Imperator Augustus by Pope Leo III in the year 800. No such distinction existed in the Islamic and Slavic worlds, where the Empire was more seen as the continuation of the Roman Empire. In the Islamic world, the Roman Empire was known primarily as Rûm, the Roman army succeeded in conquering many territories covering the entire Mediterranean region and coastal regions in southwestern Europe and north Africa. These territories were home to different cultural groups, both urban populations and rural populations. The West suffered heavily from the instability of the 3rd century AD
Intercession of the Theotokos
The feast celebrates the protection afforded the faithful through the intercessions of the Theotokos. In the Slavic Orthodox Churches it is celebrated as the most important solemnity besides the Twelve Great Feasts, the feast is commemorated in Eastern Orthodoxy as a whole, but by no means as fervently as it is in Russia and Ukraine. The Slavic word Pokrov, like the Greek Skepê has a complex meaning, first of all, it refers to a cloak or shroud, but it means protection or intercession. For this reason, the name of the feast is variously translated as the Veil of Our Lady, the Protecting Veil of the Theotokos and it is often translated as Feast of the Intercession or Feast of the Holy Protectress. With some reservations, the Pokrov icon may be related to the Western Virgin of Mercy image, in which the Virgin spreads wide her cloak to cover and protect a group of kneeling supplicants. According to Eastern Orthodox Sacred Tradition, the apparition of Mary the Theotokos occurred during the 10th century at the Blachernae church in Constantinople where several of her relics were kept and she knelt and prayed with tears for all faithful Christians in the world.
The Virgin Mary asked Her Son, Jesus Christ, to accept the prayers of all the people entreating Him, once Her prayer was completed, She walked to the altar and continued to pray. Afterwards, She spread Her veil over all the people in the church as a protection. St Andrew turned to his disciple, St. Epiphanius, who was standing near him, and asked, Do you see, Epiphanius answered, Holy Father, I see it and am amazed. According to the Primary Chronicle of St. Nestor the Chronicler, according to Nestor, the feast celebrates the destruction of this fleet sometime in the ninth century. An icon of the Virgin Mary praying, surrounded by people, was said to be kept in the Blachernae church and it is said to reproduce the events as St Andrew saw them that day. The Feast of the Intercession commemorating the miracle is a holy day or feast day of the Byzantine Rite Eastern Orthodox Churches. It is not found in Oriental Orthodoxy nor Western Rite Orthodoxy and it is held annually on October 1 in new calendar churches, or October 14 according to the Julian calendar.
It is served as an All-Night Vigil, with many of the elements as occur on Great Feasts of the Theotokos. Some, but not all, regions of the Russian Federation celebrate the Feast of Intercession as a work holiday, in Ukraine, it is celebrated on October 14 as a religious and family holiday. The Mother of God as the Intercessor and Patron became firmly established among Ukrainians, kings, cossacks, an icon in the National Art Museum of Ukraine shows the Virgin Mary protecting the Ukrainian cossack hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky. By decree of the Ukrainian President, October 14 — Pokrova Feast Day was promulgated as Ukrainian Cossack Day, the icon of the feast, which is not found in Byzantine art, depicts in its upper part the Virgin Mary surrounded by a luminous aureole. She holds in her arms a orarion or veil, which symbolizes the protection of her intercession
The peninsula is located south of the Ukrainian region of Kherson and west of the Russian region of Kuban. It is connected to Kherson Oblast by the Isthmus of Perekop and is separated from Kuban by the Strait of Kerch, the Arabat Spit is located to the northeast, a narrow strip of land that separates a system of lagoons named Sivash from the Sea of Azov. Crimea has historically been at the boundary between the world and the Pontic–Caspian steppe. Crimea and adjacent territories were united in the Crimean Khanate during the 15th to 18th century, in 1783, Crimea was annexed by the Russian Empire. It became the Autonomous Republic of Crimea within newly independent Ukraine in 1991, with Sevastopol having its own administration, within Ukraine, the ex-Soviet Black Sea Fleet and its facilities were divided between Russias Black Sea Fleet and the Ukrainian Naval Forces. The two navies shared some of the harbours and piers, while others were demilitarised or used by either country. Sevastopol remained the location of the Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters with the Ukrainian Naval Forces Headquarters based in the city, most of the international community does not recognize the annexation and considers Crimea to be Ukrainian territory.
Russia currently administers the peninsula as two federal subjects, the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. Ukraine continues to assert its right over the peninsula, the classical name Tauris or Taurica is from the Greek Ταυρική, after the peninsulas Scytho-Cimmerian inhabitants, the Tauri. In English usage since the modern period the Crimean Khanate is referred to as Crim Tartary. The Italian form Crimea becomes current during the 18th century, the omission of the definite article in English became common during the 20th century. The name Crimea follows the Italian form from the Crimean Tatar name for the city Qırım which served as a capital of the Crimean province of the Golden Horde, the name of the capital was extended to the entire peninsula at some point during Ottoman suzerainty. The origin of the word Qırım is uncertain, suggestions argued in various sources include, a corruption of Cimmerium. A derivation from the Turkic term qirum, from qori-, other suggestions that have not been supported by sources but are apparently based on similarity in sound include, a derivation from the Greek Cremnoi.
However, he identifies the port, not in Crimea, no evidence has been identified that this name was ever in use for the peninsula. The classical name was revived in 1802 in the name of the Russian Taurida Governorate, in the 8th century BCE the Cimmerians migrated to the region and subsequently the Scythians as well it being the site of Greek colonies. The most important city was Chersonesos at the edge of todays Sevastopol, the Persian Achaemenid Empire expanded to Crimea. Later occupiers included the Romans, Huns, the Byzantine Empire, the Kipchaks, the Golden Horde, consideration of the succeeding residents of the peninsula by their linguistic grouping is of relevance
The Bulgars were semi-nomadic warrior Turkic tribes who 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 people. Modern genetic research on Central Asian Turkic people and ethnic groups related to the Bulgars points to an affiliation with western Eurasian and European populations, the Bulgars spoke a Turkic language, i. e. Bulgar language of Oghuric branch. They preserved military titles and customs of Eurasian steppes, as well as pagan shamanism, the Bulgars became semi-sedentary during the 7th century in the Pontic-Caspian steppe, establishing the polity of Old Great Bulgaria c. 635, which was absorbed by the Khazar Empire in 668 AD,679, Khan Asparukh conquered Scythia Minor, opening access to Moesia, and established the First Bulgarian Empire.
In the Balkans, the Bulgars became a political and military elite, and merged with previous populations, such as the Thracians and Vlachs, and were Slavicized, thus forming modern Bulgarians. The remaining Pontic Bulgars migrated in the 7th century to the Volga River, the Volga Tatars and Chuvash people claim to be originated from the Volga Bulgars. The etymology of the ethnonym Bulgar is not completely 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. Other scholars have added that bulğha might imply stir, confuse. Peter A. Boodberg noted that the Buluoji in the Chinese sources were recorded as remnants of the Xiongnu confederation, and 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, the names Onoğur and Bulgar were linked by Byzantine sources for reasons that are unclear.
Karatay interpreted gur/gor as country, and noted the Tekin derivation of gur from the Altaic suffix -gir, 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 initially were not the same, as oq/ogsiz meant arrow, while oğul meant offspring, son, oğuš/uğuš was tribe and the verb oğša-/oqša meant to be like, resemble. There appears to be an 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 he noted, however, an implication that the Kutrigurs and Utigurs were related to the Šarağur, and that according to Procopius these were Hunnish tribal unions, of partly Cimmerian descent. Karatay considered the Kutrigurs and Utigurs to be two related, ancestral people, and 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, according to D, the origin of the early Bulgars is still unclear
Baptism is a Christian sacrament of admission and adoption, almost invariably with the use of water, into the Christian Church generally. The canonical Gospels report that Jesus was baptized—a historical event to which a degree of certainty can be assigned. Baptism has been called a sacrament and an ordinance of Jesus Christ. In some denominations, baptism is called christening, but for others the word christening is reserved for the baptism of infants, Baptism has given its name to the Baptist churches and denominations. The usual form of baptism among the earliest Christians was for the candidate to be immersed, in v.16, Matthew will speak of Jesus coming up out of the water. The traditional depiction in Christian art of John the Baptist pouring water over Jesus head may therefore be based on Christian practice, other common forms of baptism now in use include pouring water three times on the forehead, a method called affusion. Martyrdom was identified early in Church history as baptism by blood, the Catholic Church identified a baptism of desire, by which those preparing for baptism who die before actually receiving the sacrament are considered saved.
Today, some Christians, particularly Christian Scientists, The Salvation Army, and Unitarians, do not see baptism as necessary, among those that do, differences can be found in the manner and mode of baptizing and in the understanding of the significance of the rite. Most Christians baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, much more than half of all Christians baptize infants, many others hold that only believers baptism is true baptism. Some insist on submersion or at least partial immersion of the person who is baptized, others consider that any form of washing by water, as long as the water flows on the head, is sufficient. The term baptism has used to refer to any ceremony, trial, or experience by which a person is initiated, purified. The Greek verb baptō, from which the verb baptizo is derived, is in turn hypothetically traced to a reconstructed Indo-European root *gʷabh-, the Greek words are used in a great variety of meanings. John the Baptist, who is considered a forerunner to Christianity, the apostle Paul distinguished between the baptism of John, and baptism in the name of Jesus, and it is questionable whether Christian baptism was in some way linked with that of John.
Christians consider Jesus to have instituted the sacrament of baptism, though whether Jesus intended to institute a continuing, the earliest Christian baptisms were probably normally by immersion, complete or partial. Though other modes may have been used, at the hour in which the cock crows, they shall first pray over the water. When they come to the water, the water shall be pure and flowing, that is, they shall take off all their clothes. The children shall be baptized first, all of the children who can answer for themselves, let them answer. If there are any children who cannot answer for themselves, let their parents answer for them, after this, the men will be baptized
Leo VI the Wise
Leo VI, called the Wise or the Philosopher, was Byzantine Emperor from 886 to 912. The second ruler of the Macedonian dynasty, he was very well-read, born to the empress Eudokia Ingerina, Leo was either the illegitimate son of Emperor Michael III or the second son of his successor, Basil I the Macedonian. Eudokia was both Michael IIIs mistress and Basil’s wife, in 867, Michael was assassinated by Basil, who succeeded him as Emperor. As the second eldest son of the Emperor, Leo was associated on the throne in 870, Basil married Zoe off to an insignificant official, and almost had Leo blinded when he was accused of conspiring against him. On August 29,886, Basil died in a hunting accident and this contributed to the suspicion that Leo was in truth Michaels son. His attempts to control the great aristocratic families occasionally led to serious conflicts, Leo attempted to control the church through his appointments to the patriarchate. He dismissed the Patriarch Photios, who had been his tutor, on Stephens death in 893, Leo replaced him with Zaoutzes nominee, Antony II Kauleas, who died in 901.
The church is one of the best examples of Byzantine architecture, Leo completed work on the Basilika, the Greek translation and update of the law code issued by Justinian I, which had been started during the reign of Basil. According to one story, he was captured by the city guards during one of his investigations. Late in the evening, he was walking alone and disguised, though he bribed two patrols with 12 nomismata and moved on, a third city patrol arrested him. When a terrified guardian recognized the jailed ruler in the morning, Leo VIs fortune in war was more mixed than Basils had been. In indulging his chief counselor Stylianos Zaoutzes, Leo provoked a war with Simeon I of Bulgaria in 894, bribing the Magyars to attack the Bulgarians from the north, Leo scored an indirect success in 895. However, deprived of his new allies, he lost the major Battle of Boulgarophygon in 896 and had to make the required commercial concessions, the same period saw the establishment of the important frontier provinces of Lykandos and Leontokome on territory recently taken from the Arabs.
In 907 Constantinople was attacked by the Kievan Rus under Oleg of Novgorod, Leo paid them off, but they attacked again in 911, and a trade treaty was finally signed. Leo VI caused a scandal with his numerous marriages which failed to produce a legitimate heir to the throne. Upon this marriage Leo created the title of basileopatōr for his father-in-law, after Zoes death a third marriage was technically illegal, but he married again, only to have his third wife Eudokia Baïana die in 901. Instead of marrying a fourth time, which would have been a greater sin than a third marriage Leo took as mistress Zoe Karbonopsina. He married her only after she had given birth to a son in 905, replacing Nicholas Mystikos with Euthymios, Leo got his marriage recognized by the church
The Khazars were a semi-nomadic Turkic people, who created what for its duration was the most powerful polity to emerge from the break-up of the Western Turkic Kaganate. For some three centuries the Khazars dominated the vast area extending from the Volga-Don steppes to the eastern Crimea, the alliance was dropped around 900. Between 965 and 969, the Kievan Rus ruler Sviatoslav I of Kiev conquered the capital Atil, the native religion of the Khazars is thought to have been Tengrism, like that of the North Caucasian Huns and other Turkic peoples. The polyethnic populace of the Khazar Khaganate appears to have been a multiconfessional mosaic of pagan, Jewish and this theory still finds occasional support, but most scholars view it with scepticism. The theory is associated with antisemitism and anti-Zionism. Gyula Németh, following Zoltán Gombocz, derived Xazar from a hypothetical *Qasar reflecting a Turkic root qaz- being an hypothetical velar variant of Common Turkic kez-, louis Bazin derived it from Turkic qas- on the basis of its phonetic similarity to the Uyğur tribal name, Qasar.
András Róna-Tas connects it with Kesar, the Pahlavi transcription of the Roman title Caesar, D. M. Dunlop tried to link the Chinese term for Khazars to one of the tribal names of the Uyğur Toquz Oğuz, namely the Gésà. One method for tracing their origins consists in analysis of the possible etymologies behind the ethnonym Khazar itself. The tribes that were to comprise the Khazar empire were not a union, but a congeries of steppe nomads and peoples who came to be subordinated. They appear to stem from Mongolia and South Siberia in the aftermath of the fall of the Hunnic/Xiōngnú nomadic polities, moving west, the confederation reached the land of the Akatziroi, who had been important allies of Byzantium in fighting off Attilas army. An embryonic state of Khazaria began to form sometime after 630, Göktürk armies had penetrated the Volga by 549, ejecting the Avars, who were forced to flee to the sanctuary of the Hungarian plain. The Āshǐnà clan whose tribal name was Türk appear on the scene by 552, by 568, these Göktürks were probing for an alliance with Byzantium to attack Persia.
Both briefly challenged Tang hegemony in eastern Turkestan, to the West, two new nomadic states arose in the meantime, Old Great Bulgaria under Kubrat, the Duōlù clan leader, and the Nǔshībì subconfederation, consisting of five tribes. The Duōlù challenged the Avars in the Kuban River-Sea of Azov area while the Khazar Qağanate consolidated further westwards, led apparently by an Āshǐnà dynasty. The Qağanate of the Khazars thus took out of the ruins of this nomadic empire as it broke up under pressure from the Tang dynasty armies to the east sometime between 630–650. According to Omeljan Pritsak, the language of the Onoğur-Bulğar federation was to become the lingua franca of Khazaria as it developed into what Lev Gumilev called a steppe Atlantis, Khazaria developed a Dual kingship governance structure, typical among Turkic nomads, consisting of a shad/bäk and a qağan. The emergence of this system may be deeply entwined with the conversion to Judaism, particularly elaborate rituals accompanied a royal burial.
At one period, travellers had to dismount, bow before the rulers tomb, such a royal burial ground is typical of inner Asian peoples
Michael III was Byzantine Emperor from 842 to 867. Michael III was the third and traditionally last member of the Amorian dynasty, Michael was the youngest child of the emperor Theophilos and his empress Theodora. Already crowned co-ruler by his father in his infancy in 840, during his minority, the empire was governed by a regency headed by his mother Theodora, her uncle Sergios, and the minister Theoktistos. The empress had iconodule sympathies and deposed Patriarch John VII of Constantinople and this put an end to the second spell of iconoclasm. As the emperor was growing up, the courtiers around him fought for influence, increasingly fond of his uncle Bardas, Michael invested him with the title kaisar and allowed him to murder Theoktistos in November 855. With the support of Bardas and another uncle, a general named Petronas, Michael III overthrew the regency on March 15,856 and relegated his mother. The internal stabilization of the state was not entirely matched along the frontiers, Byzantine forces were defeated by the Abbasids in Pamphylia, and on the border with Syria, but a Byzantine fleet of 85 ships did score a victory over the Arabs in 853.
There were many operations around the Aegean and off the Syrian coast by at least three more fleets, numbering 300 ships total, Michael was responsible, as per the writings of Constantine VII, for the subjugation of the Slavs settled in the Peloponnese. A conflict between the Byzantines and Bulgarian Empire occurred during 855 and 856, the Byzantine Empire wanted to regain its control over some areas of Thrace, including Philippopolis and the ports around the Gulf of Burgas on the Black Sea. At the time of this campaign the Bulgarians were distracted by a war with the Franks under Louis the German, in 853 Boris had allied himself to Rastislav of Moravia against the Franks. The Bulgarians were heavily defeated by the Franks, following this the Moravians changed sides, in 859, he personally led a siege on Samosata, but in 860 had to abandon the expedition to repel an attack by the Rus on Constantinople. In 863, Petronas defeated and killed the emir of Melitene at the battle of Lalakaon, Bardas justified his usurpation of the regency by introducing various internal reforms.
Photios, originally a layman, had entered holy orders and was promoted to the position of patriarch on the dismissal of the troublesome Ignatios in 858. This created a schism within the Church and, although a Constantinopolitan synod in 861 confirmed Photios as patriarch, Ignatios appealed to Pope Nicholas I, who declared Photios illegitimate in 863. The conflict over the throne and supreme authority within the church was exacerbated by the success of the active missionary efforts launched by Photios. Under the guidance of Patriarch Photios, Michael sponsored the mission of Saints Cyril, Michael III stood as sponsor, by proxy, for Boris at his baptism. Boris took the name of Michael at the ceremony. The Byzantines allowed the Bulgarians to reclaim the contested border region of Zagora, the conversion of the Bulgarians has been evaluated as one of the greatest cultural and political achievements of the Byzantine Empire
Mstislav I of Kiev
Mstislav I Vladimirovich the Great was the Grand Prince of Kiev, the eldest son of Vladimir II Monomakh by Gytha of Wessex. He figures prominently in the Norse Sagas under the name Harald, taken to allude to his grandfather, as his fathers future successor, Mstislav reigned in Novgorod the Great from 1088–93 and from 1095–1117. Thereafter he was Monomakhs co-ruler in Belgorod Kievsky, and inherited the Kievan throne after his death and he built numerous churches in Novgorod, of which St. Nicholas Cathedral and the cathedral of St Anthony Cloister survive to the present day. Later, he would erect important churches in Kiev, notably his family sepulchre at Berestovo, mstislavs life was spent in constant warfare with Cumans, Estonians and the princedom of Polotsk. In 1096, he defeated his uncle Oleg of Chernigov on the Koloksha River, Mstislav was the last ruler of united Rus, and upon his death, as the chronicler put it, the land of Rus was torn apart. In 1095, Mstislav wed Princess Christina Ingesdotter of Sweden, daughter of King Inge I of Sweden and their children were, Vladimir III Mstislavich Euphrosyne of Kiev, married King Géza II of Hungary in 1146.
Through Euphrosyne, Mstislav is an ancestor of both Philippa of Hainault and King Edward III of England, hence of all subsequent English and British monarchs. Through his mother Gytha, he is part of a link between Harold II of England and the line of English kings founded by William the Conqueror. List of Ukrainian rulers List of Russian rulers List of people known as The Great His listing in Medieval lands by Charles Cawley
Siege of Constantinople (860)
The Siege of Constantinople of 860 was the only major military expedition of the Rus Khaganate recorded in Byzantine and Western European sources. The cause of the siege was the construction of the fortress Sarkel by Byzantine engineers, accounts vary regarding the events, with discrepancies between contemporary and sources. It is known from Byzantine sources that the Rus caught Constantinople unprepared, while the empire was preoccupied by the ongoing Byzantine-Arab Wars and unable to deal with the Rus threat. After pillaging the suburbs of the Byzantine capital, the Rus retreated, although the nature of this withdrawal, the event gave rise to a Orthodox Christian tradition, which ascribed the deliverance of Constantinople to a miraculous intervention by the Theotokos. The first mention of the Rus near the Byzantine Empire comes from Life of St. George of Amastris, the Byzantines had come into contact with the Rus in 839. The exceptional timing of the attack suggests the Rus had been informed of the weakness, demonstrating that the lines of trade.
Nevertheless, the threat from the Rus in 860 came as a surprise, it was as sudden and unexpected as a swarm of wasps, the empire was struggling to repel the Abbasid advance in Asia Minor. In March 860, the garrison of the key fortress Loulon unexpectedly surrendered to the Arabs, on June 18,860, at sunset, a fleet of about 200 Rus vessels sailed into the Bosporus and started pillaging the suburbs of Constantinople. The attackers were setting homes on fire and drowning and stabbing the residents, unable to do anything to repel the invaders, Patriarch Photius urged his flock to implore the Theotokos to save the city. Having devastated the suburbs, the Rus passed into the Sea of Marmora and fell upon the Isles of the Princes, the Rus plundered the dwellings and the monasteries, slaughtering the captives. They took twenty-two of the patriarchs servants aboard ship and cut them into pieces with axes, the attack took the Byzantines by surprise, like a thunderbolt from heaven, as it was put by Patriarch Photius in his famous oration written on the occasion.
Emperor Michael III was absent from the city, as was his navy dreaded for its skill in using Greek fire, the Imperial army was fighting the Arabs in Asia Minor. The citys land defences were weakened by the absence of these garrisons, the Byzantine Navy was occupied fighting both Arabs and Normans in the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. These simultaneous deployments left the coasts and islands of the Black Sea, the Bosporus, the invasion continued until August 4, when, in another of his sermons, Photius thanked heaven for miraculously relieving the city from such a dire threat. The patriarch reported that they had no supreme ruler and lived in some distant northern lands, Photius called them έθνος άγνωστον, unknown people, although some historians prefer to translate the phrase as obscure people, pointing out the earlier contacts between Byzantines and the Rus. The sermons of Photius offer no clue as to the outcome of the invasion or the reasons why the Rus withdrew to their own country, sources attribute their retreat to the Emperors speedy return to the capital.
As the story goes, after Michael and Photius put the veil of the Theotokos into the sea, in centuries, it was said that the Emperor hurried to the church at Blachernae and had the robe of the Theotokos carried in procession along the Theodosian Walls. This precious Byzantine relic was dipped symbolically into the sea and a great wind immediately arose, the pious legend was recorded by George Hamartolus, whose manuscript was an important source for the Primary Chronicle
Chersonesus, in medieval Greek contracted to Cherson is an ancient Greek colony founded approximately 2,500 years ago in the southwestern part of the Crimean Peninsula. The colony was established in the 6th century BC by settlers from Heraclea Pontica, the ancient city is located on the shore of the Black Sea at the outskirts of Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula, where it is referred to as Khersones. It has been nicknamed the Ukrainian Pompeii, the site is now part of the National Preserve of Tauric Chersonesos. The name Chersonesos in Greek means peninsula, and aptly describes the site on which the colony was established and it should not be confused with the Tauric Chersonese, the name often applied to the whole of the southern Crimea. During much of the classical period Chersonesus was a democracy ruled by a group of elected archons, as time passed the government grew more oligarchic, with power concentrated in the hands of the archons. A form of oath sworn by all the citizens since the 3rd century BC has survived to the present day, in 2013, Chersonesus was listed as a World Heritage Site.
Greek colonies In the late 2nd century BC Chersonesus became a dependency of the Bosporan Kingdom and it was subject to Rome from the middle of the 1st century BC until the 370s AD, when it was captured by the Huns. It became a Byzantine possession during the Early Middle Ages and withstood a siege by the Göktürks in 581, Byzantine rule was slight, there was a small imperial garrison more for the towns protection than for its control. Among its more famous inmates were Pope Clement I and Pope Martin I, according to Theophanes the Confessor and others, Chersonesus was the residence of a Khazar governor in the late 7th century. It remained in Byzantine hands until the 980s, when it fell to Kiev. Vladimir the Great agreed to evacuate the fortress only if Basil IIs sister Anna Porphyrogeneta would be him in marriage. The demand caused a scandal in Constantinople, as a pre-condition for the marriage settlement, Vladimir was baptized here in 988, thus paving the way to the Baptism of Kievan Rus. Since this campaign is not recorded in Greek sources, historians have suggested that this account actually refers to the events of the Rus-Byzantine War and to a different Vladimir.
In fact, most valuables looted by the Slavs in Korsun made their way to Novgorod, one of the most interesting items from this Korsun Treasure is the copper Korsun Gate, supposedly captured by the Novgorodians in Korsun and now part of the St. Sophia Cathedral. After the Fourth Crusade, Chersonesus became dependent on the Byzantine Empire of Trebizond, in 1299, the town was sacked by the Mongol armies of Nogai Khans Golden Horde. In 1333 a Latin Church diocese of Chersonnesus was established, but it appears that it had only a bishop, Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians, President of Synod of the Armenian Catholic Church Chersonesus ancient ruins are presently located in one of Sevastopols suburbs. They were excavated by the Russian government, starting from 1827 and they are today a popular tourist attraction, protected as an archaeological park. The buildings mix influences of Greek and Byzantine culture, the defensive wall was approximately 3.5 kilometres long,3.5 to 4 metres wide and 8 to 10 metres high with towers at a height of 10 to 12 metres
Christianization of Bulgaria
Because of Bulgarias 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 knyaz adopted Christianity from Constantinople in 870. As a result, he achieved his goal of gaining an independent Bulgarian national church, when Tsar Boris began his reign in 852, the international situation was very complicated. The conflict with the Byzantine Empire for domination over the Slavic tribes in modern-day Macedonia, in the middle Danube region, Bulgarias interests crossed with those of the emerging kingdom of the East Franks and the principality of Great Moravia. It was about that period when Croatia emerged on the scene, carrying its own ambitions. On a larger scale, the tensions between Constantinople and Rome were tightening, both centres were competing to lead the Christianization that would integrate the Slavs in South and Central Europe.
The Bulgarian Empire and the Kingdom of the East Franks had established diplomatic relations as soon as the 20s and 30s of the 9th century. In 852, at the beginning of the reign of Knyaz Boris, a Bulgarian embassy was sent to Mainz to tell Louis II of the change in Pliska, most probably the embassy worked to renew the Bulgarian-German alliance. Some time later, Tsar Boris concluded an alliance with Rastislav of Moravia instigated by the King of the West Franks, the German Kingdom responded by attacking and defeating Bulgaria, forcing Knyaz Boris to re-establish an alliance with the German king directed against Great Moravia, a Byzantine ally. The situation held great risk for the Bulgarian state, war finally broke out between 855-856. The Empire wanted to control over some fortresses on the Diagonal Road that went from Constantinople, through Philippopolis, to Naissus. The Byzantine Empire was victorious and reconquered a number of cities and this renewed alliance threatened Great Moravia, which sought help from Byzantium.
This was at the time when a Byzantine mission to Great Moravia was taking place. Cyril and his brother Methodius intended to draw Great Moravia closer to Constantinople circle, Tsar Boris was more interested in that Cyril and Methodius brought him the first Slavonic alphabet they created for Knyaz Rostislav. Bulgaria wanted to implement a Slavonic alphabet as well as a means to stop the influence of the Byzantine Empire. A Rome-dependent Bulgaria in the hinterland of Constantinople was a threat to the Byzantine Empires immediate interests, Byzantium did not demand territories but the conversion to Eastern Christianity of Bulgarian representatives and leaders, followed by conversion by the rest of the Bulgarian people. Such a demand would be unacceptable in other circumstances, the two sides concluded a deep peace for a 30-year period. In the late autumn of 863, a mission from the Patriarch of Constantinople Photios came to Pliska and converted the tsar, his family and they were all baptized as Christians