Slike stranica


and river by elaborate systems of fortification and entrenchment. Their kingdom, almost girt about by an artificial circumvallation, might be compared to an entrenched camp, and the stages in its territorial expansion are marked by successive ramparts. Beyond the Danube, a ditch and earthen wall connected the Pruth with the Dniester in northern Bessarabia, and a similar fence protected the angle between the mouths of the Sereth, the Danube, and the Pruth.? The early settlement of Isperikh at Little Preslav, near the mouth of the Danube, was fortified by a rampart across the Dobrudzha, following the line of older Roman walls of earth and stone, but turned to confront a foe advancing from the south, while the Roman defences had been designed against barbarians descending from the north. When the royal residence was moved to Pliska, a line of fortifications was constructed along the heights of Haemus; and a trench and rampart from the mountains to the Danube marked the western frontier. When their successes at the expense of the Empire enabled the conquerors to bestride the mountains, a new fence, traversing Thrace, marked the third position in their southward advance. The westward expansion is similarly separated by two more entrenchments connecting the Haemus with the Danube, while the right bank of that river was defended by a series of fortresses and entrenchments from Little Preslav to the neighbourhood of Nicopolis.

The main road from Constantinople to...the-capital of the Bulgarian kings crossed the frontier, east of the Tundzha, near the conspicuous heights of Meleona, which, still covered with

1 The following brief description is in Southern Bessarabia between the based on Shkorpil's, in Aboba, c. xx. Pruth and Lake Kunduk ; ib. 524. 503 sqq. ; cp. also Prilozh. ii. 566-569. See Schuchhardt, Arch. - ep. MittheiMasudi describes the “ dominion lungen, ix. 216 sqq. (1885). of the Bulgarians as surrounded by Schuchhardt, ib.87 sqq. ; Tocilesco, a thorn fence, with openings like Fouilles et recherches archéologiques en wooden windows, and resembling a Roumanie, 1900 (Bucharest). wall and canal (Harkavi, Skazaniia, + See below, p. 361. 126). Uspenski (Aboba, 15) takes 5 Aboba, 564-565, 514, the heights of « dominion” to mean the royal aula, Bakadzhik. Shkorpil remarks that and relates the description to Aboba. they

natural This is a strained interpretation ; but boundary, before the construction of possibly Masudi's source mentioned the Erkesiia.” It is certain that both the circumvallation of the king- the middle of the eighth century at dom and the fortifications of Pliska, latest the Bulgarian frontier had and Masudi confused them.

moved south of Mount Haemus. The 2 There was also an entrenchmeni; text bearing on this question is Theoph.

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the remains of Bulgarian fortifications, marked an important station on the frontier, since they commanded the road. To the north-west of Meleona, the Bulgarians held Diampolis, which preserves its old name as Jambol, situated on the Tundzha. The direct road to Pliska did not go by Diampolis, but fan northward in a direct course to the fortress of Marcellae, which is the modern Karnobad. This stronghold possessed a high strategic importance in the early period of Bulgarian history, guarding the southern end of the pass of Veregava, which led to the gates of the Bulgarian king. Not far to the west of Veregava is the pass of Verbits, through which the road lay from Pliska to Diampolis. The whole route from Marcellae to Pliska was flanked by a succession of fortresses of earth and stone.


§ 2. Krum and Nicephorus I. In the wars during the reign of Irene and Constantine

2 VI., the Bulgarians had the upper hand; king Kardam repeatedly routed Roman armies, and in the end the Empress submitted to the humiliation of paying an annual tribute to the lord of Pliska. A period of peace, ensued, lasting for about ten years (A.D. 797-807). We may surmise that the

1 497, who relates that Krum sought to Kormisos, Jireček in the ninth century renew with Michael I. (see below) (cp. Aboba, 568). See below p. 361. the treaty concluded “in the reign Aboba, 564, cp. 562. Jireček (Arch.of Theodosius of Adramyttion and ep. Mitth. X. 158) wished to place the patriarchate of Germanus ” with Marcellae at Kaiabash. His identificaKormisos, then ruler of Bulgaria.' tion is based on Anna Comnena, i. 244 There is an error here, as Tervel was and ii. 71 (ed. Reiflerscheid), and the Bulgarian king in the reign of he places Lardeas at Karnobad. But Theodosius III., and Constantine V. Shkorpil finds Lardeas at the pass of was Emperor in the reign of Kormisos Marash (565). Both place Goloe (also (743-760). If we accept Theodosius, mentioned by Anna) near Kadirfakli. the treaty was in A.D. 716 ; if we Kadirfakli, Kaia bash, and the Marash accept Kormisos, it was a generation defile lie in this order on the southlater. My view is that the treaty on ward road from the Verbits pass to which Krum based his negotiations Jambol. was between Kormisos and Constantine 2 The identification of the Klelo pa V., but that in the text of that treaty Βερεγάβων with the Rish Pass is unan older treaty between Theodosius questionably right. Cp. Aboba, 564 ; and Tervel was referred to. The Jireček, Heeresstrasse, 149-150. Jireček decision of this question does not, of also identifies Veregava with the múlat course, decide the date of the Erkesiia, σιδηραϊ or Σιδηρά of Greek historians, as Meleona (τους όρους από Μηλεώνων but Shkorpil (Aboba, 565) takes Econpa tñs Opørns, ib.) may have been the to be the Verbits pass. I am inclined boundary many years before its con- to agree with Jireček. The two struction. Zlatarski dates it in the neighbouring passes

together reign of Tervel, Shkorpil in that of known as the Gyrlorski Pass (ib. 548).




attention of the Bulgarian king was at this time preoccupied by the political situation which had arisen in the regions adjacent to the Middle Danube by the advance...of the Frank power and the overthrow of the Avars. On the other hand, Nicephorus who, soon after his accession, was embroiled in war with the Saracens, may have taken some pains to avoid hostilities on his northern frontier. It is at all events significant that he did not become involved in...war with Bulgaria until the tide of the eastern war had abated. We do not know what cause of provocation was given, but so far as our record goes, it was the Roman Emperor who began hostilities. Kardam had in the meantime been succeeded by Krum, a strong, crafty, and ambitious barbarian, whose short reign is memorable in the annals of his country.

It was in A.D. 80.7 that Nicephorus set forth at the head of an army to invade Bulgaria.? But when he reached Hadrianople a mutiny broke out, and he was compelled to abandon his expedition. The next hostile movement of which we hear-we cannot say which occurred—was the appearance of a Bulgarian army in Macedonia, in the regions of the Strymon, towards the close of the following year. Many regiments of the garrison of the province, with the stratêgos himself and the officers, were cut to pieces, and the treasury of the khan was enriched by the capture of 1100 lbs. of gold (£47,520) which had been destined to pay the soldiers. It would seem that the Romans had not expected an attack so

1 We are quite ignorant of the that the statements of Theophanes internal history of Bulgaria from 797 more naturally point to the last months to 807, and know neither in what year of 808 (A. M. 6301=September 608– Krum acceded nor whether he was August 609). For after describing the immediate successor of Kardam. the affair of the Strymon the chronicler Jireček places his accession in 802-807 proceeds τω δ' αυτώ έτει προ της εορτής (Geschichte, 143). For the various του Πάσχα Κρουμμος κτλ. Now if the forms of Krum's name, in Greek, Latin, Bulgarians had immediately proceeded and Slavonic sources, cp. Loparev, against Sardica, Theophanes would Dvie Zamietki, 341, n. 1. That Krum hardly have written τώ δ' αυτώ έτει, is the right form is shown by the which implies that two events Shumla inscription (K poĝuos : Aboba, independent or separated in time 233 ; cp. Shkorpil, Arch.-ep. Mitth. and it is clear that as the capture of xix. 243). On the alleged legislation Sardica took place before Easter 809, of Krum (Suidas, s.v. Boúlya pol) see

it must have been immediately preG. Kazarow, B.Z. xvi. 254-257 (1907). ceded by the victory on the Strymon, 2 Theoph., A.M. 6299 = 806-807.

in case that victory was won in the

same spring. I therefore conclude 3 Theoph., A.M. 6301. This event is that 808 is the right date ; and it placed by all historians in 809 (Jireček, seems more natural that the soldiers Geschichte, 144). But it seems to me should have been paid before winter.

are a

late in the year; but the presence of a considerable force in the Strymon regions points to the fact that the Bulgarians had already betrayed their designs against Macedonia. In the ensuing spring (819) Krum followed up his success on the Strymon by an attack on the town of Sardica, which seems at this time to have been the most northerly outpost of the Empire towards the Danube. He captured it not by violence, but by wily words, and put to death a garrison of six thousand soldiers and (it is said) the population of the place. It does not appear that he had conceived the idea of annexing the plain of Sardica to his realm. He dismantled the fortifications and perhaps burned the town, which was one day to be the capital of the Bulgarian name. When the tidings of the calamity arrived, Nicephorus left Constantinople in haste on the Tuesday before Easter (April 3). Although the monk, who has related 569 these events, says nothing of his route, we can have no doubt that he marched straight to the mountains by Meleona and Marcellae, and descended on Pliska from the Veregava Pass. For he dispatched to the city an Imperial letter in which he mentioned that he spent Easter day in the palace of the Bulgarian king. The plunder of Pliska was a reprisal for the sack of Sardica, to which Nicephorus then proceeded for the purpose of rebuilding it. We are not told what road he took, but he avoided meeting the victorious army of the enemy. It is said that some officers who had escaped the massacre asked Nicephorus in vain for a promise that he would not punish them, and were forced to desert to the Bulgarians.

The Emperor desired to rebuild Sardica as speedily and as cheaply as possible, and, fearing that the soldiers would be unwilling to submit to a labour which they might say was not a soldier's business, he prompted the generals and officers to induce the soldiers to address a spontaneous request to the Emperor that the city might be rebuilt. But the men saw through this stratagem, and were filled with indignation. They tore down the tents of their superiors, and, standing in front of the Emperor's pavilion, cried that they would endure


1 Theophanes malevolently insinuates a doubt of the truth of the Emperor's statement: oákpacs évbpkous

την βασιλίδα πόλιν πείθειν εσπούδαζενότι κτλ. (48514).


his rapacity no more. It was the hour of noon and Nicephorus was dining. He directed two patricians to attempt to tranquillise the army; the noise abated; the soldiers formed a company on a hillock hard by, “and, forgetting the matter in hand, kept crying, 'Lord, have mercy!'” This unorganized mutiny was soon quelled by Imperial promises, and the officers were all on the Emperor's side. Punishment, however, was afterwards inflicted on the ringleaders.

Nicephorus viewed with anxiety the western provinces of his Empire in Macedonia and Thessaly. The Slavs, on whose fidelity no reliance could be placed, were predominant there, and it was the aim of the Bulgarians to bring the Macedonian Slavs under their dominion. To meet the dangers in this quarter the Emperor determined to translate a large number of his subjects from other parts of the Empire and establish them as Roman colonists in what was virtually a Slavonic land. They could keep the Slavs in check and help in repulsing Bulgarian aggression. The transmigration began in September 809 and continued until Easter 810. It seems to have been an unpopular measure.

Men did not like to leave the homes to which they were attached, to sell their property, and say farewell to the tombs of their fathers. The poor cling far more to places than the rich and educated, and it was to the poor agriculturists that this measure exclusively applied. Some, we are told, were driven to desperation and committed suicide rather than go into a strange and distant land; and their richer brethren sympathized with_thern; in fact, the act was described as nothing short of “a captivity.” But though it may have been hard on individuals, it was a measure of sound policy; and those who on other grounds were ill-disposed to the government exaggerated the odium which it aroused. Nicephorus, who, as we are told, prided himself greatly on this act, seems to have realised the danger that the Slavonic settlements in Macedonia and Greece might eventually be gathered into a Bulgarian empire; and these new colonies were designed to obviate such a possibility. 1 On the next day Nicephorus made

says most”

were punished by a speech full of asseverations of his stripes, banishment, or compulsory goodwill to the soldiers and their tonsure, and the rest were sent to children. He then returned to Cple., Chrysopolis (486). leaving Theodosius Salibaras

2 Theoph. 496. discover the ringleaders. Theophanes

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