Bulgarian Land Forces
The Bulgarian Land Forces are the ground warfare branch of the Bulgarian Armed Forces. The Land Forces were established in 1878, when they were composed of anti-Ottoman militia and were the only branch of the Bulgarian military; the Land Forces are administered by the Ministry of Defence known as the Ministry of War during the Kingdom of Bulgaria. The Land Forces were made up of conscripts throughout most of Bulgaria's history. During World War I, it fielded more than one million troops out of Bulgaria's total population of around four million. Two-year conscription was obligatory during Communism. Conscription for all branches was terminated in 2008. Bulgarian Land Forces troops are deployed on peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan and Herzegovina and Kosovo. Since 2004, the Land Forces are in a process of continued restructuring. Under the most recent reform, brigades were reduced to regiments, while several garrisons and brigades were disbanded; the Land Forces are functionally divided into'Active" and "Reserve Forces".
Their main functions include deterrence, peace support and crisis management and rescue missions, as well as social functions within Bulgarian society. The Active Forces have peacekeeping and defensive duties, are further divided into Deployment Forces, Immediate Reaction, Main Defense Forces; the Reserve Forces consists of Enhancement Forces, Territorial Defense Forces, Training Grounds. They deal with planning and reservist preparation and equipment storage, training of formations for active forces rotation or increase in personnel. During peacetime the Land Forces maintain permanent mobilization readiness, they become part of multinational military formations in compliance with international treaties Bulgaria is a Party of, participate in the preparation of the population, the national economy and the maintenance of wartime reserves and the infrastructure of the country for defense. In times of crisis the Land Forces' main tasks relate to participation in operations countering terrorist activities and defense of strategic facilities, assisting the security forces in preventing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, illegal armaments traffic and international terrorism.
In case of low- and medium-intensity military conflict the Active Forces that are part of the Land Forces participate in carrying out the initial tasks for the defense of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country. In case of a military conflict of high intensity the Land Forces, together with the Air Force and the Navy, form the defense group of the Bulgarian Military aiming at countering aggression and protection of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country. On 22 July 1878 a total of 12 battalions of opalchentsi who participated in the Liberation war, formed the Bulgarian armed forces. According to the Tarnovo Constitution, all men between 21 and 40 years of age were eligible for military service. In 1883 the military was reorganized in one cavalry brigade; the Bulgarian unification of 1885 made Bulgaria the largest Balkan state in terms of territory, which sparked dissent in Serbia and Greece, which demanded territorial compensations. While the agitation of the Greek side calmed down, Serbia - backed by Austria-Hungary - launched a military campaign against Bulgaria.
The Serbs, expecting a quick end to the war, suffered losses and were pushed back by Bulgarian troops who did not have higher-ranking officers than captains at the time. Owing to its militaristic policy at the time, Bulgaria was labelled as a "Balkan Prussia". In the early 1900s instability in the Balkans continued, as the collapse of the Ottoman Empire was progressing. After an anti-Ottoman rebellion in Macedonia and an Ottoman defeat in the Italo-Turkish War, Greece and Montenegro settled their differences and formed a coalition against the Ottoman Empire, known as the Balkan League. In late September 1912, both the League and the Ottoman Empire mobilised their armies. Montenegro was the first to declare war, on 25 September; the other three states, after issuing an impossible ultimatum to the Sublime Porte on 13 October, declared war on 17 October. Bulgaria was militarily the most powerful of the four states, with a large, well-trained and well-equipped army; the peacetime force of 60,000 men was expanded during the war to 370,000, with 600,000 men mobilised in total, out of a population of 4,300,000.
The field army counted for 1 cavalry division and 1,116 artillery units. Bulgarian troops marked a decisive victory at Kirk Kilisse and captured Adrianople after a prolonged siege. A British war correspondent of the era compared the determination of Bulgarian troops to kill their enemy with that of the Japanese and the Gurkhas; the Second Balkan War began shortly after the end of the first one. A dispute between Bulgaria and Greece over the division of Macedonia prompted the Bulgarian leadership to attack its neighbours. Bulgarian troops were still exhausted by the first war, the majority of Bulgaria's forces were deployed along the Ottoman border. During the war, Bulgaria fought against all its neighbours, including Romania, which did not participate in the first war; the 500,000-man Bulgarian army faced a total of 1,250,000 enemy troops from all sides. Supply and coordination problems and the overwhelming numbers of the attackers brought about an end to the war in less than two months; the outcome
Second Balkan War
The Second Balkan War was a conflict which broke out when Bulgaria, dissatisfied with its share of the spoils of the First Balkan War, attacked its former allies and Greece, on 16 / 29 June 1913. Serbian and Greek armies repulsed the Bulgarian counter-attacked, entering Bulgaria. With Bulgaria having engaged in territorial disputes with Romania, this war provoked Romanian intervention against Bulgaria; the Ottoman Empire took advantage of the situation to regain some lost territories from the previous war. When Romanian troops approached the capital Sofia, Bulgaria asked for an armistice, resulting in the Treaty of Bucharest, in which Bulgaria had to cede portions of its First Balkan War gains to Serbia and Romania. In the Treaty of Constantinople, it lost Edirne to the Ottomans; the political developments and military preparations for the Second Balkan War attracted an estimated 200 to 300 war correspondents from around the world. During the First Balkan War, the Balkan League succeeded in driving out the Ottoman Empire from its European provinces, leaving the Ottomans with only the Çatalca and Gallipoli peninsulas.
The Treaty of London, signed on 30 May 1913, which ended the war, acknowledged the Balkan states' gains west of the Enos–Midia line, drawn from Midia on the Black Sea coast to Enos on the Aegean Sea coast, on an uti possidetis basis, created an independent Albania. However, the relations between the victorious Balkan allies soured over the division of the spoils in Macedonia. During the pre-war negotiations that had resulted in the establishment of the Balkan League and Bulgaria signed a secret agreement on 13 March 1912 which determined their future boundaries, in effect sharing northern Macedonia between them. In case of a postwar disagreement, the area to the north of the Kriva Palanka–Ohrid line, had been designated as a "disputed zone" under Russian arbitration and the area to the south of this line had been assigned to Bulgaria. During the war, the Serbs succeeded in capturing an area far south of the agreed border, down to the Bitola–Gevgelija line. At the same time, the Greeks advanced north, occupying Thessaloniki shortly before the Bulgarians arrived, establishing a common Greek border with Serbia.
When Bulgarian delegates in London bluntly warned the Serbs that they must not expect Bulgarian support on their Adriatic claims, the Serbs angrily replied that, a clear withdrawal from the prewar agreement of mutual understanding according to the Kriva Palanka-Adriatic line of expansion, but the Bulgarians insisted that in their view, the Vardar Macedonian part of the agreement remained active and the Serbs were still obliged to surrender the area as agreed. The Serbs answered by accusing the Bulgarians of maximalism, pointing out that if they lost both northern Albania and Vardar Macedonia, their participation in the common war would have been for nothing; when Bulgaria called upon Serbia to honor the pre-war agreement over northern Macedonia, the Serbs, displeased at the Great Powers' requiring them to give up their gains in northern Albania, adamantly refused to alienate any more territory. The developments ended the Serbo-Bulgarian alliance and made a future war between the two countries inevitable.
Soon thereafter, minor clashes broke out along the borders of the occupation zones with the Bulgarians against the Serbs and the Greeks. Responding to the perceived Bulgarian threat, Serbia started negotiations with Greece, which had reasons to be concerned about Bulgarian intentions. On 19 May/1 June 1913, two days after the signing of the Treaty of London and just 28 days before the Bulgarian attack and Serbia signed a secret defensive alliance, confirming the current demarcation line between the two occupation zones as their mutual border and concluding an alliance in case of an attack from Bulgaria or from Austria-Hungary. With this agreement, Serbia succeeded in making Greece a part of its dispute over northern Macedonia, since Greece had guaranteed Serbia's current occupation zone in Macedonia. In an attempt to halt the Serbo-Greek rapprochement, Bulgarian Prime Minister Geshov signed a protocol with Greece on 21 May agreeing on a permanent demarcation between their respective forces accepting Greek control over southern Macedonia.
However, his dismissal put an end to the diplomatic targeting of Serbia. Another point of friction arose: Bulgaria's refusal to cede the fortress of Silistra to Romania; when Romania demanded its cession after the First Balkan War, Bulgaria's foreign minister offered instead some minor border changes, which excluded Silistra, assurances for the rights of the Kutzovlachs in Macedonia. Romania threatened to occupy Bulgarian territory by force, but a Russian proposal for arbitration prevented hostilities. In the resulting Protocol of St. Petersburg of 8 May 1913, Bulgaria agreed to give up Silistra; the resulting agreement was a compromise between the Romanian demands for the entire southern Dobruja and the Bulgarian refusal to accept any cession of its territory. However the fact that Russia failed to protect the territorial integrity of Bulgaria made the Bulgarians uncertain of the reliability of the expected Russian arbitration of the dispute with Serbia; the Bulgarian behavior had a long-term impact on the Russo-Bulgarian relations.
The uncompromising Bulgarian position tο review the pre-war agreement with Serbia during a second Russian initiative for arbitration between them led Russia to cancel its alliance with Bulgaria. Both acts made conflict with Romania and Serbia inevitable
The Rilska River is a river in south-western Bulgaria, a left tributary of the Struma. The river drains the western sections of the Rila mountain range. Under the name Manastirska River, it takes its source from the north-eastern corner of the Upper Fish Lake in the western part of Central Rila at an altitude of 2,225 m in a cirque surrounded by the peaks Yosifitsa in the east, Kanarata in the south and Kyoravitsa in the west, it flows through the Lower Fish Lake, turns in north-western direction and after forming a large convex to the north it turns to the south-west. Following the confluence with its largest tributary, the Iliyna River, it flows in western direction under the name Rilska River, it forms deep and densely forested valley until it reaches the town of Rila and enters the plain and wide Dupnitsa Valley. There, the Rilska River turns in south-western direction and after 10 km flows into the Struma at an altitude of 346 m in the outskirts of the town of Kocherinovo, its drainage basin covers a territory of 392 km 2.27 % of Struma's total.
It borders the basins of the rivers Dzherman to the north and north-west, Iskar to the east and north-east, Mesta to the south-east and Blagoevgradska Bistritsa to the south. The Rilska River has predominantly snow-rain feed with high water in late spring and early summer and low water in winter, its left tributaries have more contribution to the annual flow because they are situated in southern end of the valley on slopes that face in northern direction and accumulate more snow. The average annual flow is 6.26 m3/s at the village of Pastra and 3.35 m3/s at the confluence with the Struma. The overall annual flow is 11.4 % of Struma's total. The river has low levels of mineralisation and is saturated with oxygen. There are five settlements along the river: Pastra and Rila in Rila Municipality and Stob and Barakovo in Kocherinovo Municipality; the waters of the upper and middle course are used for electricity by the smalls hydro power stations of Pastra and Rila. The entire length of 38 km of the third class road III-107 between Kocherinovo and the Rila Monastery follows the Rilska River valley.
The whole upper course and watershed of the river falls within borders of the Rila Monastery Nature Park. On the river's left banks some 4.8 km downstream of the confluence with the Iliyna is located the Rila Monastery, one of Bulgaria's oldest and most important sanctuaries. The monastery is an important national and international tourist destination and was designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. Further downstream at the village of Stob, just south of Rilska River's left banks are situated the Stob Earth Pyramids, rock formations, known as hoodoos. Мичев, Николай. Географски речник на България. София: Наука и култура. Yankov, Petar. Rila Monastery Nature Park. Management Plan 2004–2013. Sofia: Ministry of Environment and Water
Brasidas was the most distinguished Spartan officer during the first decade of the Peloponnesian War. Brasidas was the son of Tellis and Argileonis, won his first laurels by the relief of Methone, besieged by the Athenians. During the following year he seems to have been eponymous ephor, in 429 he was sent out as one of the three commissioners to advise the admiral Cnemus; as trierarch he distinguished himself in the assault on the Athenian position at the Battle of Pylos, during which he was wounded In the next year, while Brasidas mustered a force at Corinth for a campaign in Thrace, he frustrated an Athenian attack on Megara, afterwards marched through Thessaly at the head of 700 helots and 1000 Peloponnesian mercenaries to join the Macedonian king Perdiccas. Refusing to be made a tool for the furtherance of Perdiccas's ambitions, Brasidas set about the accomplishment of his main object, by the rapidity and boldness of his movements by his personal charm and the moderation of his demands, succeeded during the course of the winter in winning over the important cities of Acanthus, Stagirus and Toroni as well as a number of minor towns.
An attack on Eion was foiled by the arrival of Thucydides at the head of an Athenian squadron. In the spring of 423 a truce was concluded between Athens and Sparta, but its operation was at once imperiled by the city of Scione, which it transpired had come over to Brasidas two days after the truce began, which led to the Athenian requiring it to be returned to them. Brasidas refused to return Scione. An Athenian fleet under Nicias and Nicostratus recovered Mende and blockaded Scione, which fell two years later. Meanwhile, Brasidas joined Perdiccas in a campaign against Arrhabaeus, king of the Lyncesti, defeated. On the approach of a body of Illyrians, though summoned by Perdiccas, unexpectedly declared for Arrhabaeus, the Macedonians fled, Brasidas's force was rescued from a critical position only by his coolness and ability; this brought to a head the quarrel between Perdiccas. In April 422, the truce with Sparta expired, in the same summer Cleon was dispatched to Thrace, where he stormed Toroni and Galepsus and prepared for an attack on Amphipolis, the most important Athenian subject city in Chalcidice.
When Cleon brought part of his army forward to probe the defenses, Brasidas recognized an opportunity to defeat his superior force in detail. Brasidas' plan for his final victory was typical of his campaigns in Thrace, it was a boldly aggressive surprise attack aimed to throw the enemy into confusion and it made the best possible use of both his small force of Spartan hoplites and his allies who made up the bulk of his army, in this case Edonians from the city of Myrkinos. Brasidas led the Spartans in a sudden charge from Amphipolis, routing the left wing of the Athenian army, his allies sallied from the northeastern gate and attacked from the north, breaking the enemy's right wing. Edonian and Chalcidian cavalry and light infantry pursued the fleeing Athenians, killing 600 men, including Cleon. On the Spartan side only seven fatalities are reported, but one of them was Brasidas, mortally wounded at the head of his Spartan troops, he was buried at Amphipolis within the city limits with impressive pomp, for the future was regarded as the founder of the city and honored with yearly games and sacrifices.
At Sparta a cenotaph was erected in his memory near the tombs of Pausanias and Leonidas, yearly speeches were made and games celebrated in their honor, in which only Spartiates could compete. Ch. Koukouli-Chrysanthaki in her three-decade research at Amphipolis offers evidence of the recovery and identification of Brasidas' burial at the ancient Amphipolis' agora. According to the Greek historian Thucydides, Brasidas's grave was placed in front of the new, relocated agora of Amphipolis. An archaeological dig at Amphipolis unearthed the foundations of a small building, a cist grave containing the remains of a silver ossuary accompanied by a gold wreath, believed to hold the remains of Brasidas; this ossuary is located in the Archaeological Museum of Amphipolis. The grave itself was a hole dug into the existing rock, with limestone blocks and mortar used to create the cist grave. Thucydides' characterization of Brasidas suggests that Brasidas united in himself the stereotypical Spartan courage with those virtues in which regular Spartans were most signally lacking.
Brasidas was quick in forming his plans and carried them out without delay or hesitation. Furthermore, the rhetoric in the speech of Brasidas to the Acanthians is of noticeably higher quality than the other Spartan speeches recorded by Thucydides, it appears that Brasidas's un-Spartan virtues raised suspicion at Sparta. See in particular Thucydides. A fuller account will be found in the histories of Greece and in G. Schimmelpfeng, De Brasidae Spartani rebus gestis atque ingenio. "Make no show of cowardice on your part, seeing the greatness of the issues at stake, I will show that what I preach to others I can practice myself"."Not a bad speaker either, for a Spartan""He did the Lacedaemonians great service" History of the Peloponnesian War Brasidas by Jona Lendering
Lake Kerkini, is an artificial reservoir, created in 1932, redeveloped in 1980, on the site of what was an extensive marshland. Before 1932, there were irregular marsh lakes on Strymon, one of them called "Podkova" Ottoman Turkish: ݒودقوه كولي Podkova Gölü. Lake Kerkini is now one of, if not the, premier birding site in Greece, and, as it is situated along the migratory flyway for migratory birds en route to the Aegean Sea, the Balkan region, the Black Sea, the Hungarian steppes and beyond it experiences an interesting migration. In the flat and semi-mountainous area, important hydrobiospheres are developing which are of great international significance and acceptance; the most essential hydrobiosphere is the one in Kerkini lake. It is a miracle of nature which came about by man's technical intervention on the natural characteristics of Strymon river; the water extent, which varies from time to time from 54 Km2 to 72 Km2, works out to be useful in two ways: as a technical work of great agricultural utility and as a hydrobiosphere for thousands of water fowls.
This wonderful biosphere is recouped by the International Convention of Ramsar and presents numerous admirable elements. Thousands of birds, both rare and protected, riverside forests, water-lilies in a large area, fish variety and fantastic panoramic view from the mountains of Belasica and Krousia give it a characteristic tone; the lake hosts 227 kinds of birds non-migrants. 76 of them are recorded in the National Red Catalogue, while at least 31 of them are protected by EEC's Directive concerning wild life. What makes an exceptional presence is the buffalo's herd in the area, plus the one of the jackelo in the area of Kerkini lake. In the surrounding area of Kerkini lake there are at least 10 amphibian species, five snail species, 19 reptile species and a great variety of insects which play an important part in the food chain and contribute towards the biological resources of the lake. A winter view of some tree at Kerkini lake The lake was created where Kerkini lake was by making embankments on the eastern and western sides and a dam was constructed near the village of Lithotopos, which started functioning in 1932.
The main water provider of the lake is Strymon River. Additionally, there is Kerkinitis river from Krousia. After the construction of the dam, the form of the initial hydrobioshere changed completely; the human intervention retracts or takes negative action against the natural processes, Kerkini lake is a rare example, where the gentle human handling had the exact opposite result. As time went by, the lake's capacity was reduced because of the substances that were washed up by Strymon river. So the rising of the embankments and the construction of a new dam was necessary, started operating in 1982. Harvard University Library, Rumeli-i Şahane Haritası Lake Kerkini: A Greek Wonderland
Greece the Hellenic Republic, self-identified and known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, with a population of 11 million as of 2016. Athens is largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is located at the crossroads of Europe and Africa. Situated on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, Turkey to the northeast; the Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length, featuring a large number of islands, of which 227 are inhabited. Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres; the country consists of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Thrace and the Ionian Islands.
Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilisation, being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, Western literature, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, Western drama and notably the Olympic Games. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as poleis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea. Philip of Macedon united most of the Greek mainland in the fourth century BC, with his son Alexander the Great conquering much of the ancient world, from the eastern Mediterranean to India. Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming an integral part of the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire, in which Greek language and culture were dominant. Rooted in the first century A. D. the Greek Orthodox Church helped shape modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World. Falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence.
Greece's rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The sovereign state of Greece is a unitary parliamentary republic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, a high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001, it is a member of numerous other international institutions, including the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. Greece's unique cultural heritage, large tourism industry, prominent shipping sector and geostrategic importance classify it as a middle power, it is the largest economy in the Balkans. The names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages and cultures.
The Greek name of the country is Hellas or Ellada, its official name is the Hellenic Republic. In English, the country is called Greece, which comes from Latin Graecia and means'the land of the Greeks'; the earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, in the Greek province of Macedonia. All three stages of the stone age are represented for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries, as Greece lies on the route via which farming spread from the Near East to Europe. Greece is home to the first advanced civilizations in Europe and is considered the birthplace of Western civilisation, beginning with the Cycladic civilization on the islands of the Aegean Sea at around 3200 BC, the Minoan civilization in Crete, the Mycenaean civilization on the mainland; these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek.
The Mycenaeans absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC, during a time of regional upheaval known as the Bronze Age collapse. This ushered from which written records are absent. Though the unearthed Linear B texts are too fragmentary for the reconstruction of the political landscape and can't support the existence of a larger state contemporary Hittite and Egyptian records suggest the presence of a single state under a "Great King" based in mainland Greece; the end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to the year of the first Olympic Games. The Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, which spread to the shores of the Black Sea, So
Samuel of Bulgaria
Samuel was the Tsar of the First Bulgarian Empire from 997 to 6 October 1014. From 977 to 997, he was a general under Roman I of Bulgaria, the second surviving son of Emperor Peter I of Bulgaria, co-ruled with him, as Roman bestowed upon him the command of the army and the effective royal authority; as Samuel struggled to preserve his country's independence from the Byzantine Empire, his rule was characterized by constant warfare against the Byzantines and their ambitious ruler Basil II. In his early years Samuel managed to inflict several major defeats on the Byzantines and to launch offensive campaigns into their territory. In the late 10th century, the Bulgarian armies conquered the Serb principality of Duklja and led campaigns against the Kingdoms of Croatia and Hungary, but from 1001, he was forced to defend the Empire against the superior Byzantine armies. Samuel died of a heart attack on 6 October 1014, two months after the catastrophic battle of Kleidion, his successors failed to organize a resistance, in 1018, four years after Samuel's death, the country capitulated, ending the five decades-long Byzantine–Bulgarian conflict.
Samuel was considered "invincible in power and unsurpassable in strength". Similar comments were made in Constantinople, where John Kyriotes penned a poem offering a punning comparison between the Bulgarian Emperor and Halley's comet, which appeared in 989. During Samuel's reign, Bulgaria gained control of most of the Balkans as far as southern Greece, he moved the capital from Skopje to Ohrid, the cultural and military centre of southwestern Bulgaria since Boris I's rule, made the city the seat of the Bulgarian Patriarchate. Because of this, his realm is sometimes called the Western Bulgarian Empire. Samuel's energetic reign restored Bulgarian might on the Balkans, although the Empire was disestablished after his death, he is regarded as a heroic ruler in Bulgaria,Samuel is considered a heroic ruler in North Macedonia. Samuel was the fourth and youngest son of count Nicholas, a Bulgarian noble, who might have been the count of Sredets district, although other sources suggest that he was a regional count of Prespa district in the region of Macedonia.
His mother was Ripsimia of the daughter of King Ashot II of Armenia. The actual name of the dynasty is not known. Cometopuli is the nickname used by Byzantine historians, translated as "sons of the count"; the Cometopuli rose to power out of the disorder that occurred in the Bulgarian Empire from 966 to 971. During the reign of Emperor Peter I, Bulgaria prospered in a long-lasting peace with Byzantium; this was secured by the marriage of Peter with the Byzantine princess Maria Lakapina, granddaughter of Byzantine Emperor Romanos I Lekapenos. However, after Maria's death in 963, the truce had been shaken and it was at this time or that Peter I sent his sons Boris and Roman to Constantinople as honorary hostages, to honor the new terms of the peace treaty. During these years the Byzantines and Bulgarians had entangled themselves in a war with Kievan Rus' Prince Sviatoslav, who invaded Bulgaria several times. After a defeat from Sviatoslav, Peter I suffered a stroke and abdicated his throne in 969.
Boris was allowed back to Bulgaria to take his father's throne, restore order and oppose Sviatoslav, but had little success. This was used by Nicholas and his sons, who were contemplating a revolt in 969; the Rus' suffered a defeat in the Battle of Arcadiopolis. The new Byzantine Emperor John Tzimiskes used this to his advantage, he invaded Bulgaria the following year, defeated the Rus, conquered the Bulgarian capital Preslav. Boris II of Bulgaria was ritually divested of his imperial insignia in a public ceremony in Constantinople and he and his brother Roman of Bulgaria remained in captivity. Although the ceremony in 971 had been intended as a symbolic termination of the Bulgarian Empire, the Byzantines were unable to assert their control over the western provinces of Bulgaria. Count Nicholas, Samuel's father, who had close ties to the royal court in Preslav, died in 970. In the same year "the sons of the count" David, Moses and Samuel rebelled; the series of events are not clear due to contradicting sources, but it is sure that after 971 Samuel and his brothers were the de facto rulers of the western Bulgarian lands.
In 973, the Cometopuli sent envoys to the Holy Roman Emperor Otto I in Quedlinburg in an attempt to secure the protection of their lands. The brothers ruled together in a tetrarchy. David ruled the southernmost regions and led the defense of one of the most dangerous border areas, around Thessaloniki and Thessaly; the centres of his possessions were Kastoria. Moses ruled from Strumitsa, which would be an outpost for attacks on Serres. Aaron ruled from Sredets, was to defend the main road from Adrianople to Belgrade, to attack Thrace. Samuel ruled northwestern Bulgaria from the strong fortress of Vidin, he was to organize the liberation of the conquered areas to the east, including the old capital Preslav. Some records suggest. After John I Tzimiskes died on 11 January 976, the Cometopuli launched an assault along the whole border. Within a few weeks, David was killed by Vlach vagrants and Moses was fatally injured by a stone during the siege of Serres; the brothers' actions to the south detained many Byzantine troops