History of Bulgaria
The history of Bulgaria can be traced from the first settlements on the lands of modern Bulgaria to its formation as a nation-state and includes the history of the Bulgarian people and their origin. The earliest evidence of hominid occupation discovered on what is today Bulgaria date from at least 1.4 million years ago. Around 5000 BC, a sophisticated civilization existed and produced some of the first pottery and jewelry in the world. After 3000 BC, the Thracians appeared on the Balkan peninsula. In the late 6th century BC, most of what is nowadays Bulgaria came under the Persian Empire. In the 470s BC, the Thracians formed the powerful Odrysian Kingdom after the Persian defeat in Greece, which subsequently declined and Thracian tribes fell under Macedonian and Roman domination; this mixture of ancient peoples was assimilated by the Slavs, who permanently settled on the peninsula after 500 AD. Meanwhile, in 632 the Bulgars formed an independent state north of the Black sea that became known as Great Bulgaria under the leadership of Kubrat.
Pressure from the Khazars led to the disintegration of Great Bulgaria in the second half of the 7th century. One of the Kubrat's successors, migrated with some of the Bulgar tribes to the area around the Danube delta, subsequently conquered Scythia Minor and Moesia Inferior from the Byzantine Empire, expanding his new kingdom further into the Balkan Peninsula. A peace treaty with Byzantium in 681 and the establishment of a permanent Bulgarian capital at Pliska south of the Danube mark the beginning of the First Bulgarian Empire; the new state brought together Thracian remnants and Slavs under Bulgar rule, a slow process of mutual assimilation began. In the following centuries Bulgaria established itself as a powerful empire, dominating the Balkans through its aggressive military traditions, which led to development of distinct ethnic identity, its ethnically and culturally diverse people united under a common religion and alphabet which formed and preserved the Bulgarian national consciousness despite foreign invasions and influences.
In the 11th century, the First Bulgarian Empire collapsed under Rus' and Byzantine attacks, became part of the Byzantine Empire until 1185. A major uprising led by two brothers - Asen and Peter of the Asen dynasty, restored the Bulgarian state to form the Second Bulgarian Empire. After reaching its apogee in the 1230s, Bulgaria started to decline due to a number of factors, most notably its geographic position which rendered it vulnerable to simultaneous attacks and invasions from many sides. A peasant rebellion, one of the few successful such in history, established the swineherd Ivaylo as a Tsar, his short reign was essential in recovering - at least - the integrity of the Bulgarian state. A thriving period followed after 1300, but ended in 1371, when factional divisions caused Bulgaria to split into three small Tsardoms. By 1396, they were subjugated by the Ottoman Empire; the Turks eliminated the Bulgarian system of nobility and ruling clergy, Bulgaria remained an integral Turkish territory for the next 500 years.
With the decline of the Ottoman Empire after 1700, signs of revival started to emerge. The Bulgarian nobility had vanished, leaving an egalitarian peasant society with a small but growing urban middle class. By the 19th century, the Bulgarian National Revival became a key component of the struggle for independence, which would culminate in the failed April uprising in 1876, which prompted the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78 and the subsequent Liberation of Bulgaria; the initial Treaty of San Stefano was rejected by the Western Great Powers, the following Treaty of Berlin limited Bulgaria's territories to Moesia and the region of Sofia. This left many ethnic Bulgarians out of the borders of the new state, which defined Bulgaria's militaristic approach to regional affairs and its allegiance to Germany in both World Wars. After World War II, Bulgaria became a Communist state, dominated by Todor Zhivkov for a period of 35 years. Bulgaria's economic advancement during the era came to an end in the 1980s, the collapse of the Communist system in Eastern Europe marked a turning point for the country's development.
A series of crises in the 1990s left much of Bulgaria's industry and agriculture in shambles, although a period of relative stabilization began with the election of Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha as prime minister in 2001. Bulgaria joined NATO in 2004 and the European Union in 2007; the earliest human remains found in Bulgaria have been excavated in the Kozarnika cave, with an approximate age of 1,6 million BP. This cave keeps the earliest evidence of human symbolic behaviour found. Human remains found in Bacho Kiro cave that are 44,000 years old consist of a pair of fragmented human jaws, but it is disputed whether these early humans were in fact Homo Sapiens or Neanderthals; the earliest dwellings in Bulgaria - the Stara Zagora Neolithic dwellings - date from 6,000 BC and are amongst the oldest man-made structures yet discovered. By the end of the neolithic, the Hamangia and Vinča culture developed on what is today Bulgaria, southern Romania and eastern Serbia; the earliest known town in Europe, was located in present-day Bulgaria.
The Durankulak lake settlement in Bulgaria commenced on a small island 7000 BC and around 4700/4600 BC the stone architecture was in general use and became a characteristic phenomenon, unique in Europe. The eneolithic Varna culture represents the first civilization with a sophisticated social hierarchy in Europe; the centerpiece of this culture is the Varna Necropolis, discovered in the early 1970s. It serves as a tool in understanding how the earliest European societies functioned, principally through well-preserved ritual
The Dardanelles known from Classical Antiquity as the Hellespont, is a narrow, natural strait and internationally significant waterway in northwestern Turkey that forms part of the continental boundary between Europe and Asia, separates Asian Turkey from European Turkey. One of the world's narrowest straits used for international navigation, the Dardanelles connects the Sea of Marmara with the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, while allowing passage to the Black Sea by extension via the Bosphorus; the Dardanelles is 61 kilometres long, 1.2 to 6 kilometres wide, averaging 55 metres deep with a maximum depth of 103 metres at its narrowest point abreast the city of Çanakkale. Most of the northern shores of the strait along the Gallipoli Peninsula are sparsely settled, while the southern shores along the Troad Peninsula are inhabited by the city of Çanakkale's urban population of 110,000. Together with the Bosphorus, the Dardanelles forms the Turkish Straits; the contemporary Turkish name Çanakkale Boğazı, meaning "Çanakkale Strait", is derived from the eponymous midsize city that adjoins the strait, itself meaning "Pottery Fort"—from Çanak + Kale —in reference to the area's famous pottery and ceramic wares, the landmark Ottoman fortress of Sultaniye.
The English name Dardanelles is an abbreviation of Strait of the Dardanelles. During Ottoman times there was a castle on each side of the strait; these castles together were called the Dardanelles named after Dardanus, an ancient city on the Asian shore of the strait which in turn was said to take its name from Dardanus, the mythical son of Zeus and Electra. The ancient Greek name Ἑλλήσποντος means "Sea of Helle", was the ancient name of the narrow strait, it was variously named in classical literature Hellespontium Pelagus, Rectum Hellesponticum, Fretum Hellesponticum. It was so called from Helle, the daughter of Athamas, drowned here in the mythology of the Golden Fleece; as a maritime waterway, the Dardanelles connects various seas along the Eastern Mediterranean, the Balkans, the Near East, Western Eurasia, connects the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara. The Marmara further connects to the Black Sea via the Bosphorus, while the Aegean further links to the Mediterranean. Thus, the Dardanelles allows maritime connections from the Black Sea all the way to the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean via Gibraltar, the Indian Ocean through the Suez Canal, making it a crucial international waterway, in particular for the passage of goods coming in from Russia.
The strait is located at 40°13′N 26°26′E. The strait is 61 kilometres long, 1.2 to 6 kilometres wide, averaging 55 metres deep with a maximum depth of 103 metres at its narrowest point at Nara Burnu, abreast Çanakkale. There are two major currents through the strait: a surface current flows from the Black Sea towards the Aegean Sea, a more saline undercurrent flows in the opposite direction; the Dardanelles is unique in many respects. The narrow and winding shape of the strait is more akin to that of a river, it is considered one of the most hazardous, crowded and dangerous waterways in the world. The currents produced by the tidal action in the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara are such that ships under sail must await at anchorage for the right conditions before entering the Dardanelles; as part of the only passage between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, the Dardanelles has always been of great importance from a commercial and military point of view, remains strategically important today.
It is a major sea access route including Russia and Ukraine. Control over it has been an objective of a number of hostilities in modern history, notably the attack of the Allied Powers on the Dardanelles during the 1915 Battle of Gallipoli in the course of World War I; the ancient city of Troy was located near the western entrance of the strait, the strait's Asiatic shore was the focus of the Trojan War. Troy was able to control the marine traffic entering this vital waterway; the Persian army of Xerxes I of Persia and the Macedonian army of Alexander the Great crossed the Dardanelles in opposite directions to invade each other's lands, in 480 BC and 334 BC respectively. Herodotus says that, circa 482 BC, Xerxes I had two pontoon bridges built across the width of the Hellespont at Abydos, in order that his huge army could cross from Persia into Greece; this crossing was named by Aeschylus in his tragedy The Persians as the cause of divine intervention against Xerxes. According to Herodotus, both bridges were destroyed by a storm and Xerxes had those responsible for building the bridges beheaded and the strait itself whipped.
The Histories of Herodotus vii.33–37 and vii.54–58 give details of building and crossing of Xerxes' Pontoon Bridges. Xerxes is said to have thrown fetters into the strait, given it three hundred lashes and branded it with red-hot irons as the soldiers shouted at the water. Herodotus commented that this was a "highly presumptuous way to address the Hellespont" but in no way atypical of Xerxes. Harpalus the engineer helped the invading armies to cross by lashing the ships together with their bows facing the current and, so it is said, two additional anchors. From the perspective of ancient Greek mythology, it was said that Helle, the daughter of Athamas, was drowned at the Dardanelles in the legend of the Golden Fleece; the strait was the scene of the legend of Hero and Leande
Constantinople was the capital city of the Roman Empire, of the Byzantine Empire, of the brief Crusader state known as the Latin Empire, until falling to the Ottoman Empire. It was reinaugurated in 324 from ancient Byzantium as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Emperor Constantine the Great, after whom it was named, dedicated on 11 May 330; the city was located in what is now the core of modern Istanbul. From the mid-5th century to the early 13th century, Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest city in Europe; the city was famed for its architectural masterpieces, such as the Greek Orthodox cathedral of Hagia Sophia, which served as the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the sacred Imperial Palace where the Emperors lived, the Galata Tower, the Hippodrome, the Golden Gate of the Land Walls, the opulent aristocratic palaces lining the arcaded avenues and squares. The University of Constantinople was founded in the fifth century and contained numerous artistic and literary treasures before it was sacked in 1204 and 1453, including its vast Imperial Library which contained the remnants of the Library of Alexandria and had over 100,000 volumes of ancient texts.
It was instrumental in the advancement of Christianity during Roman and Byzantine times as the home of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and as the guardian of Christendom's holiest relics such as the Crown of Thorns and the True Cross. Constantinople was famed for its complex defences; the first wall of the city was erected by Constantine I, surrounded the city on both land and sea fronts. In the 5th century, the Praetorian Prefect Anthemius under the child emperor Theodosius II undertook the construction of the Theodosian Walls, which consisted of a double wall lying about 2 kilometres to the west of the first wall and a moat with palisades in front; this formidable complex of defences was one of the most sophisticated of Antiquity. The city was built intentionally to rival Rome, it was claimed that several elevations within its walls matched the'seven hills' of Rome; because it was located between the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara the land area that needed defensive walls was reduced, this helped it to present an impregnable fortress enclosing magnificent palaces and towers, the result of the prosperity it achieved from being the gateway between two continents and two seas.
Although besieged on numerous occasions by various armies, the defences of Constantinople proved impregnable for nearly nine hundred years. In 1204, the armies of the Fourth Crusade took and devastated the city, its inhabitants lived several decades under Latin misrule. In 1261 the Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos liberated the city, after the restoration under the Palaiologos dynasty, enjoyed a partial recovery. With the advent of the Ottoman Empire in 1299, the Byzantine Empire began to lose territories and the city began to lose population. By the early 15th century, the Byzantine Empire was reduced to just Constantinople and its environs, along with Morea in Greece, making it an enclave inside the Ottoman Empire. According to Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, the first known name of a settlement on the site of Constantinople was Lygos, a settlement of Thracian origin founded between the 13th and 11th centuries BC; the site, according to the founding myth of the city, was abandoned by the time Greek settlers from the city-state of Megara founded Byzantium in around 657 BC, across from the town of Chalcedon on the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus.
The origins of the name of Byzantion, more known by the Latin Byzantium, are not clear, though some suggest it is of Thraco-Illyrian origin. The founding myth of the city has it told that the settlement was named after the leader of the Megarian colonists, Byzas; the Byzantines of Constantinople themselves would maintain that the city was named in honour of two men and Antes, though this was more just a play on the word Byzantion. The city was renamed Augusta Antonina in the early 3rd century AD by the Emperor Septimius Severus, who razed the city to the ground in 196 for supporting a rival contender in the civil war and had it rebuilt in honour of his son Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, popularly known as Caracalla; the name appears to have been forgotten and abandoned, the city reverted to Byzantium/Byzantion after either the assassination of Caracalla in 217 or, at the latest, the fall of the Severan dynasty in 235. Byzantium took on the name of Kōnstantinoupolis after its refoundation under Roman emperor Constantine I, who transferred the capital of the Roman Empire to Byzantium in 330 and designated his new capital as Nova Roma'New Rome'.
During this time, the city was called'Second Rome','Eastern Rome', Roma Constantinopolitana. As the city became the sole remaining capital of the Roman Empire after the fall of the West, its wealth and influence grew, the city came to have a multitude of nicknames; as the largest and wealthiest city in Europe during the 4th–13th centuries and a centre of culture and education of the Mediterranean basin, Constantinople came to be known by prestigious titles such as Basileuousa and Megalopol
Walls of Constantinople
The Walls of Constantinople are a series of defensive stone walls that have surrounded and protected the city of Constantinople since its founding as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Constantine the Great. With numerous additions and modifications during their history, they were the last great fortification system of antiquity, one of the most complex and elaborate systems built. Built by Constantine the Great, the walls surrounded the new city on all sides, protecting it against attack from both sea and land; as the city grew, the famous double line of the Theodosian Walls was built in the 5th century. Although the other sections of the walls were less elaborate, they were, when well-manned impregnable for any medieval besieger, saving the city, the Byzantine Empire with it, during sieges from the Avar-Sasanian coalition, Rus', Bulgars, among others; the advent of gunpowder siege cannons rendered the fortifications vulnerable, but cannon technology was not sufficiently advanced to capture the city on its own, the walls could be repaired between reloading.
The city fell from the sheer weight of numbers of the Ottoman forces on 29 May 1453 after a six-week siege. The walls were maintained intact during most of the Ottoman period, until sections began to be dismantled in the 19th century, as the city outgrew its medieval boundaries. Despite the subsequent lack of maintenance, many parts of the walls survived and are still standing today. A large-scale restoration program has been under way since the 1980s. According to tradition, the city was founded as Byzantium by Greek colonists from Megara, led by the eponymous Byzas, around 658 BC. At the time the city consisted of a small region around an acropolis, located on the easternmost hill. According to the late Byzantine Patria of Constantinople, ancient Byzantium was enclosed by a small wall, which began on the northern edge of the acropolis, extended west to the Tower of Eugenios went south and west towards the Strategion and the Baths of Achilles, continued south to the area known in Byzantine times as Chalkoprateia, turned, in the area of the Hagia Sophia, in a loop towards the northeast, crossed the regions known as Topoi and Arcadianae and reached the sea at the quarter of Mangana.
This wall was protected by 27 towers, had at least two landward gates, one which survived to become known as the Arch of Urbicius, one where the Milion monument was located. On the seaward side, the wall was much lower. Although the author of the Patria asserts that this wall dated to the time of Byzas, the French researcher Raymond Janin thinks it more that it reflects the situation after the city was rebuilt by the Spartan general Pausanias, who conquered the city in 479 BC; this wall is known to have been repaired, utilising tomb stones, under the leadership of a certain Leo in 340 BC, against an attack by Philip II of Macedon. Byzantium was unimportant during the early Roman period. Contemporaries described it as wealthy, well peopled and well fortified, but this affluence came to an end due to its support for Pescennius Niger in his war against Septimius Severus. According to the account of Cassius Dio, the city held out against Severan forces for three years, until 196, with its inhabitants resorting to throwing bronze statues at the besiegers when they ran out of other projectiles.
Severus punished the city harshly: the strong walls were demolished and the city was deprived of its civic status, being reduced to a mere village dependent on Heraclea Perinthus. However, appreciating the city's strategic importance, Severus rebuilt it and endowed it with many monuments, including a Hippodrome and the Baths of Zeuxippus, as well as a new set of walls, located some 300–400 m to the west of the old ones. Little is known of the Severan Wall save for a short description of its course by Zosimus and that its main gate was located at the end of a porticoed avenue and shortly before the entrance of the Forum of Constantine; the wall seems to have extended from near the modern Galata Bridge in the Eminönü quarter south through the vicinity of the Nuruosmaniye Mosque to curve around the southern wall of the Hippodrome, going northeast to meet the old walls near the Bosporus. The Patria mention the existence of another wall during the siege of Byzantium by Constantine the Great during the latter's conflict with Licinius, in 324.
The text mentions that a fore-wall was running near the Philadephion, located at about the middle of the Constantinian city, suggesting the expansion of the city beyond the Severan Wall by this time. Like Severus before him, Constantine began to punish the city for siding with his defeated rival, but soon he too realized the advantages of Byzantium's location. During 324–336 the city was rebuilt and inaugurated on 11 May 330 under the name of "Second Rome"; the name that prevailed in common usage however was Constantinople, the "City of Constantine". The city of Constantine was protected by a new wall about 2.8 km west of the Severan wall. Constantine's fortification consisted of a single wall, reinforced with towers at regular distances, which began to be constructed in 324 and was completed under his son Constantius II. Only the approximate course of the wall is known: it began at the Church of St. Anthony at the Golden Horn, near the modern Atatürk Bridge, ran southwest and southwards, passed east of the great open cisterns of Mocius and of Aspar, a
Caesar is a title of imperial character. It derives from the cognomen of the Roman dictator; the change from being a familial name to a title adopted by the Roman Emperors can be dated to about AD 68/69, the so-called "Year of the Four Emperors". For political and personal reasons, Octavian chose to emphasize his relationship with Julius Caesar by styling himself "Imperator Caesar", without any of the other elements of his full name, his successor as emperor, his stepson Tiberius bore the name as a matter of course. The precedent was set: the Emperor designated his successor by adopting him and giving him the name "Caesar"; the fourth Emperor, was the first to assume the name "Caesar" upon accession, without having been adopted by the previous emperor. Claudius in turn adopted his stepson and grand-nephew Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, giving him the name "Caesar" in the traditional way; the first emperor to assume the position and the name without any real claim to either was the usurper Servius Sulpicius Galba, who took the imperial throne under the name "Servius Galba Imperator Caesar" following the death of the last of the Julio-Claudians, Nero, in 68.
Galba helped solidify "Caesar" as the title of the designated heir by giving it to his own adopted heir, Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi Licinianus. Galba's reign did not last long and he was soon deposed by Marcus Otho. Otho did not at first use the title "Caesar" and used the title "Nero" as emperor, but adopted the title "Caesar" as well. Otho was defeated by Aulus Vitellius, who acceded with the name "Aulus Vitellius Germanicus Imperator Augustus". Vitellius did not adopt the cognomen "Caesar" as part of his name and may have intended to replace it with "Germanicus". Caesar had become such an integral part of the imperial dignity that its place was restored by Titus Flavius Vespasianus, whose defeat of Vitellius in 69 put an end to the period of instability and began the Flavian dynasty. Vespasian's son, Titus Flavius Vespasianus became "Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus". By this point the status of "Caesar" had been regularised into that of a title given to the Emperor-designate and retained by him upon accession to the throne.
After some variation among the earliest emperors, the style of the Emperor-designate on coins was Nobilissimus Caesar "Most Noble Caesar", though Caesar on its own was used. The popularity of using the title Caesar to designate heirs-apparent increased throughout the third century. Many of the soldier emperors during the Crisis of the Third Century attempted to strengthen their legitimacy by naming heirs, including Maximinus Thrax, Philip the Arab, Trebonianus Gallus and Gallienus; some of these were promoted to the rank of Augustus within their father's lifetime, for example Philippus II. The same title would be used in the Gallic Empire, which operated autonomously from the rest of the Roman Empire from 260 to 274, with the final Gallic emperor Tetricus I appointing his heir Tetricus II Caesar and his consular colleague for 274. Despite the best efforts of these emperors, the granting of this title does not seem to have made succession in this chaotic period any more stable. All Caesars would be killed before or alongside their fathers, or at best outlive them for a matter of months, as in the case of Hostilian.
The sole Caesar to obtain the rank of Augustus and rule for some time in his own right was Gordian III, he was controlled by his court. On 1 March 293, Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus established the Tetrarchy, a system of rule by two senior Emperors and two junior sub-Emperors; the two coequal senior emperors were styled identically to previous Emperors, as Imperator Caesar NN. Pius Felix Invictus Augustus and were called the Augusti, while the two junior sub-Emperors were styled identically to previous Emperors-designate, as Nobilissimus Caesar; the junior sub-Emperors retained the title "Caesar" upon accession to the senior position. The Tetrarchy was abandoned as a system in favour of two equal, territorial emperors, the previous system of Emperors and Emperors-designate was restored, both in the Latin-speaking West and the Greek-speaking East; the title of Caesar remained in use throughout the Constantinian period, with both Constantine I and his co-emperor and rival Licinius utilising it to mark their heirs.
In the case of Constantine, this meant that by the time he died, he had four Caesars: Constantius II, Constantine II, Constans and his nephew Dalmatius, with his eldest son Crispus having been executed in mysterious circumstances earlier in his reign. In the event, Constantine would be su
Leontios or Leontius was Byzantine emperor from 695 to 698. Little is known of his early life, other than, he was given the title of patrikios, made Strategos of the Anatolic Theme under Emperor Justinian II. He led forces against the Umayyads during the early years of Justinian's reign, securing victory and forcing the Umayyad caliph, Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, to sue for peace. In 692, Justinian declared war upon the Umayyads again, sent Leontios to campaign against them. However, he was defeated decisively after the Battle of Sebastopolis, imprisoned for his failure by Justinian, he was released in 695, given the title of Strategos of Hellas. After being released, he led a rebellion against Justinian, seized power, becoming emperor in the same year, he ruled until 697, when he was overthrown by Apsimar, a Droungarios who had taken part in a failed expedition, launched by Leontios, to recover Carthage. After seizing Constantinople, Apsimar took the royal name Tiberius III, had Leontios' nose and tongue cut off.
He was sent to the Monastery of Dalmatou, where he remained until February 706. By this time Justinian had retaken the throne. Both Leontios and Tiberius were executed. Before the reign of Justinian II, Leontios' life is somewhat obscure, it is known that he was from Isauria. During the reign of Justinian II, Leontios was a patrikios, strategos of the Anatolic Theme. Leontios led forces against the Umayyads, who were distracted by a war with the Zubayrids, at some point during the early reign of Justinian; the Umayyad caliph, Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, sued for peace in 688, agreeing to increase the tribute payments from the Umayyad Caliphate to the Byzantine Empire, which had started under Emperor Constantine IV, to a weekly tribute of 1,000 pieces of gold, one horse, one slave. Justinian invaded again around 692; the Umayyads invaded North Africa and Anatolia. After the decisive defeat of the Byzantines by the Umayyads at the Battle of Sebastopolis, Justinian blamed Leontios, had him imprisoned in 692.
Leontios was released in 695, in order to lead troops against the Umayyads, because Justinian feared losing the city of Carthage in the Exarchate of Africa. Leontios was made Strategos of Hellas upon his release. Upon his release, Leontios launched a revolt. Justinian was vastly unpopular amongst the population, with the aristocracy opposed to his land policies, the peasantry to his tax policies. Leontios led a march on the guards barracks, freeing those who were imprisoned by Justinian for opposing him, his force was joined by a host of Blues supporters, marched to the Hagia Sophia. He was met by Patriarch Kallinikos. Leontios led his forces to the Great Palace of Constantinople, captured Justinian and his ministers, they were brought to the Hippodrome, where Justinian's nose was cut off, a common practice in Byzantine culture, in order to remove threats to the throne. After Justinian's nose was cut off, Leontios exiled him to Cherson, his ministers were dragged by their feet from wagons, burned alive.
In 698, the Umayyads, led by Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, invaded the Exarchate of Africa, seized Carthage. Leontios sent a fleet to retake the Exarchate; the forces were able to retake Carthage. Carthage was swiftly retaken by the Umayyads after the Byzantine fleet was decisively defeated just outside the harbor of the city. One of the commanders of this expedition, Apsimar, a Droungarios of German origins, started a revolt against Leontios, taking the regnal name Tiberius III. Apsimar led his men back to Constantinople, allied himself with the Greens. Apsimar's force seized Leontios, cut off his nose and tongue, before sending Leontios to live in the Monastery of Dalmatou. Leontios stayed at the monastery under guard until Justinian II retook the throne with the assistance of the Bulgar king Tervel; the restored Justinian had both Tiberius III dragged to the Hippodrome. There they were publicly humiliated taken away and beheaded; the exact date of this is unknown: it may have occurred from August 705 to February 706, with the latter date favoured by most modern scholars.
Brubaker, Leslie. Byzantium in the Iconoclast Era, C. 680-850: A History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521430937. Carr, John. Fighting Emperors of Byzantium. Pen and Sword. ISBN 9781783831166. Garland, Lynda. Byzantine Women: Varieties of Experience 800-1200. Routledge. ISBN 9781351953719. Kazhdan, Alexander, ed. Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-504652-6 Konstam, Angus. Byzantine Warship vs Arab Warship: 7th–11th Centuries. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 9781472807588. Lilie, Ralph-Johannes. Prosopographie der mittelbyzantinischen Zeit Online. Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften. Nach Vorarbeiten F. Winkelmanns erstellt. Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter. Melton, J. Gordon. Faiths Across Time: 5,000 Years of Religious History. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781610690263. Necipoğlu, Gülru. Muqarnas. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 9789004185111. Ostrogorsky, George. History of the Byzantine State. Rutgers University Press. ISBN 978-0813511986. Rosser, John H.. Historical Dictionary of Byzantium.
Lanham: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 9780810866218. Saxby, Michael. Power and Subversion in Byzantium: Papers from the 43rd Spring Symposiu
First Bulgarian Empire
The First Bulgarian Empire was a medieval Bulgarian state that existed in Southeastern Europe between the 7th and 11th centuries AD. It was founded in 681. There they secured Byzantine recognition of their right to settle south of the Danube by defeating – with the help of local South Slavic tribes – the Byzantine army led by Constantine IV. At the height of its power, Bulgaria spread from the Danube Bend to the Black Sea and from the Dnieper River to the Adriatic Sea; as the state solidified its position in the Balkans, it entered into a centuries-long interaction, sometimes friendly and sometimes hostile, with the Byzantine Empire. Bulgaria emerged as Byzantium's chief antagonist to its north; the two powers enjoyed periods of peace and alliance, most notably during the Second Arab siege of Constantinople, where the Bulgarian army broke the siege and destroyed the Arab army, thus preventing an Arab invasion of Southeastern Europe. Byzantium had a strong cultural influence on Bulgaria, which led to the eventual adoption of Christianity in 864.
After the disintegration of the Avar Khaganate, the country expanded its territory northwest to the Pannonian Plain. The Bulgarians confronted the advance of the Pechenegs and Cumans, achieved a decisive victory over the Magyars, forcing them to establish themselves permanently in Pannonia. During the late 9th and early 10th centuries, Simeon I achieved a string of victories over the Byzantines. Thereafter, he was recognized with the title of Emperor, proceeded to expand the state to its greatest extent. After the annihilation of the Byzantine army in the battle of Anchialus in 917, the Bulgarians laid siege to Constantinople in 923 and 924; the Byzantines, however recovered, in 1014, under Basil II, inflicted a crushing defeat on the Bulgarians at the Battle of Kleidion. By 1018, the last Bulgarian strongholds had surrendered to the Byzantine Empire, the First Bulgarian Empire had ceased to exist, it was succeeded by the Second Bulgarian Empire in 1185. After the adoption of Christianity, Bulgaria became the cultural center of Slavic Europe.
Its leading cultural position was further consolidated with the invention of the Glagolitic and Early Cyrillic alphabets shortly after in the capital Preslav, literature produced in Old Bulgarian soon began spreading north. Old Bulgarian became the lingua franca of much of Eastern Europe and it came to be known as Old Church Slavonic. In 927, the independent Bulgarian Patriarchate was recognized; the ruling Bulgars and other non-Slavic tribes in the empire mixed and adopted the prevailing Slavic language, thus forming the Bulgarian nation from the 7th century to the 9th century. Since the late 9th century, the names Bulgarians and Bulgarian gained prevalence and became permanent designations for the local population, both in literature and in common parlance; the development of Old Church Slavonic literacy had the effect of preventing the assimilation of the South Slavs into neighbouring cultures, while stimulating the formation of a distinct Bulgarian identity. The First Bulgarian Empire became known as Bulgaria since its recognition by the Byzantine Empire in 681.
Some historians use the terms First Bulgarian State, or First Bulgarian Tsardom. Between 681 and 864 the country was known as the Bulgarian Khanate, Danube Bulgarian Khanate, or Danube Bulgar Khanate in order to differentiate it from Volga Bulgaria, which emerged from another Bulgar group. During its early existence, the country was called the Bulgar state or Bulgar Khaghanate. Between 864 and 917/927, the country was known as the Principality of Bulgaria or Knyazhestvo Bulgaria. In English language sources, the country is known as the Bulgarian Empire. Parts of the eastern Balkan Peninsula were in antiquity inhabited by the Thracians who were a group of Indo-European tribes; the whole region as far north as the Danube River was incorporated into the Roman Empire by the 1st century AD. The decline of the Roman Empire after the 3rd century AD and the continuous invasions of Goths and Huns left much of the region devastated, depopulated and in economic decline by the 5th century; the surviving eastern half of the Roman Empire, called by historians the Byzantine Empire, could not exercise effective control in these territories other than in the coastal areas and certain cities in the interior.
Nonetheless, it never relinquished the claim to the whole region up to the Danube. A series of administrative, legislative and economic reforms somewhat improved the situation but despite these reforms disorder continued in much of the Balkans; the reign of Emperor Justinian I saw temporary recovery of control and reconstruction of a number of fortresses but after his death the empire was unable to face the threat of the Slavs due to the significant reduction of revenue and manpower. The Slavs, of Indo-European origin, were first mentioned in written sources to inhabit the territories to the north of the Danube in the 5th century AD but most historians agree that they had arrived earlier; the group of Slavs that came to be known as the South Slavs was divided into Antes and Sclaveni who spoke the same language. The Slavic incursions in the Balkans increased during the second half of Justinian I's reign and while these were pillaging raids, large-scale settlement began in the 570s and 580s; this migration is associated with the arrival of the Avars who settled in the plains of Pannonia between the rivers Danube and Tisza in the 560s subjugating various Bulgar and Slavic tribes in the process.
Consumed in bitter wars with th