Slike stranica

years, while he destroyed their children by dashing them against stones.

Henceforward the hill on which Leo had lain in ambush "was named the hill of Leo,' and the Bulgarians, whenever they pass that way, shake the head and point with the finger, unable to forget that great disaster."

The ensuing winter was so mild, and the rivers so low, that an army of 30,000 Bulgarians crossed the frontier and advanced to Arcadiopolis. They passed the river Erginus and made many captives. But when they returned to the river, they found that a week's rain had rendered it impassable, and they were obliged to wait for two weeks on the banks. The waters gradually subsided, a bridge was made, and 50,000 captives were led back to Bulgaria, while the plunder was carried in waggons, loaded with rich Armenian carpets, blankets and coverlets, raiment of all kinds, and bronze utensils. His censorious critics alleged that the Emperor was remiss in not seizing the opportunity to attack the invaders during the enforced delay.

Shortly after this incursion, tidings reached Constantinople that it was destined soon to be the object of a grand Bulgarian expedition. Krum was himself engaged in collecting a great host; "all the Slavonias" were contributing soldiers; and, from his Empire beyond the Danube, Avars as well as Slavs were summoned to take part in despoiling the greatest city in the world. Poliorcetic machines of all the various kinds which New Rome herself could dispose of were being prepared for the service of Bulgaria. The varieties of these engines, of which a list is recorded, must be left to curious students of the poliorcetic art to investigate. There were "three-throwers and "four-throwers," tortoises, fire-hurlers and stone-hurlers, rams, little scorpions, and "dart-stands," besides a large supply of balls, slings, long ladders, levers, and ropes (öpvas), and the inevitable "city-takers" (Éλeπóλeis). In the stables of the king fed a thousand oxen destined to draw the engines, and five thousand iron-bound cars were prepared. The attempt which had been made on his life still rankled in Krum's



1 ὁ βουνὸς Λέοντος.

2 Scriptor Incertus, p. 347 'Apμeviaτικὰ στραγλομαλωτάρια καὶ νακοτάπητα ἀνώτερα καὶ ἱματισμὸν πολὺν καὶ

χαλκώματα ἐφόρτωσαν πάντα εἰς ἀμάξας.
He calls the Erginos the 'Pnyiva.
3 Ib.

memory, and he determined to direct his chief efforts against Blachernae, the quarter where the arrow had wounded him.

Leo had taken measures for the defence of the city. He employed a large number of workmen to build a new wall1 outside that of Heraclius, and he caused a wide moat to be dug. But, as it turned out, these precautions proved unnecessary; and, indeed, the work was not completed when the death of Krum changed the situation. The most formidable of the Bulgarian monarchs with whom the Empire had yet to deal died suddenly through the bursting of a bloodvessel on the 14th of April 814,2 and his plan perished with him.

§ 5. The Reign of Omurtag


After the death of Krum, Bulgaria was engaged and distracted by a struggle for the throne. Of this political crisis we have no clear knowledge, but it appears that it ended by the triumph of a certain Tsok over one, if not two, rivals. The rule of Tsok is described as inhumane. He is said to have required all the Christian captives, both clerical and lay, to renounce their religion, and when they refused, to have put them to death. But his reign was brief. It


1 See above, p. 94.

2 ἀοράτως σφαγιασθείς, streams of blood issuing from mouth, nose, and ears (Scr. Incert. 348). The cause of Attila's death was similar. The date, according to Roman captives who returned from Bulgaria, was "the great Fifth of Paschal," that is Holy Thursday= April 14, 814 (Krug, Kritischer Versuch, 156; Loparev, Dvie Zamietki, 348). The date 815 maintained by Schafarik and Jireček cannot be accepted in view of the data in Scr. Inc. (see above, p. 357, n. 8).

3 In the Slavonic Prologue (ed. Moscow, 1877, under Jan. 2, p. 42) it is stated that after Krum's death Dukum seized the throne, but died and was succeeded by the cruel Ditseng, who mutilated the hands of Archbishop Manuel (see above, p. 356), and was succeeded by Omurtag. In the Menologion of Basil II., TSÓKOS ὁ ἀθεώτατος is named as the successor

of Krum, and his persecution of the Christian captives noticed (Pars ii., Jan. 22, in Migne, P.G. 117, 276-277). Loparev (op. cit. 348-349) thinks that Dukum, Ditseng, and Tsok were only military leaders who played an important rôle. I am disposed to conjecture that Ditseng (who is described as cruel and was slain) and Tsok were one and the same. These intermediate reigns are not mentioned in the Greek chronicles, and Theophylactus (as well as Cont. Th. 217) represents Omurtag as Krum's successor (Hist. xv. mart. 192). The name Tsok occurs in the form Tukos in an inscription found north of Aboba, and dated to the year A. M. 6328=A.D. 819820, but so mutilated that little can be made of it (Aboba, 226-227). According to the Menol. Bas. it was Krum who mutilated Archbishop Manuel, who (acc. to Cont. Th. 217) was put to death by Omurtag.

was possibly before the end of the year (A.D. 814) that he was slain, and succeeded by Omurtag, the son of Krum.1

The first important act of the sublime Khan Omurtag 2 was to conclude a formal treaty of peace with the Roman Empire (A.D. 815-816). It is probable that a truce or preliminary agreement had been arranged immediately after Krum's death,3 but when Krum's son ascended the throne negotiations were opened which led to a permanent peace. The contracting parties agreed that the treaty should continue in force for thirty years, with a qualification perhaps that it should be confirmed anew at the expiration of each decennium.5 A fortunate chance has preserved a portion of what appears to be an official abstract of the instrument, inscribed on a marble column and set up in the precincts of his residence at Pliska by order of the Bulgarian king. Provision was made for the interchange and ransom of captives, and the question of the surrender of deserters, on which the negotiations between Krum and Michael I. had fallen through, was settled in a manner satisfactory to Omurtag. All the Slavs who had been undoubtedly subject to the Bulgarians in the period before the war, and had deserted to the Empire, were to be sent back to their various districts. The most important articles concerned the delimitation of the frontier which

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expiration (συνεπλήρουν σχεδόν, Gen. loc. cit.). Jireček dates the treaty A.D. 815, Loparev and Zlatarski 816. I am inclined to believe that 815-816 is right (not 814, as I argued op. cit.). We must not press too far the σxedóv of Genesios; and other evidence makes it likely that the twentieth year of the period determined c. 836, and the thirtieth c. 846.

5 This seems to be implied in the passage of Genesios.

6 The inscription of Suleiman-keui (Aboba, 220 sqq.). Uspenski proposed to refer it to the beginning of the reign of Michael II. I have shown (op. cit.) that it contains a text or abstract of the Thirty Years' Treaty.

7 The common people (private soldiers) were to be interchanged, man for man. A ransom of so much a head was to be paid for Roman officers. A special arrangement was made for the redemption of Greeks who had been found in forts which the commanders had deserted.

divided Thrace between the two sovrans.1 The new boundary ran westward from Develtos to Makrolivada, a fortress situated between Hadrianople and Philippopolis, close to the junction of the Hebrus with its tributary the Arzus. At Makrolivada the frontier-line turned northward and proceeded to Mt. Haemus. The Bulgarians, who put their faith in earthworks and circumvallations, proposed to protect the boundary, and give it a visible form, by a rampart and trench. The Imperial government, without whose consent the execution of such a work would have been impossible, agreed to withdraw the garrisons from the forts in the neighbourhood of the frontier during the construction of the fortification, in order to avoid the possibility of hostile collisions.

The remains of the Great Fence,2 which marked the southern boundary of the Bulgarian kingdom in the ninth and tenth centuries, can be traced across Thrace, and are locally known as the Erkesiia.3 Some parts of it are visible to the eye of the inexperienced traveller, while in others the line has disappeared or has to be investigated by the diligent attention of the antiquarian. Its eastern extremity is near the ruins of Develtos, on that inlet of the Black Sea whose horns were guarded by the cities of Anchialus and Apollonia: It can be followed easily in its westward course, past Rusokastro, as far as the river Tundzha, for about forty miles; beyond that river it is more difficult to trace, but its western extremity seems to have been discovered at Makrolivada, near the modern village of Trnovo-Seimen. The line roughly





1 It is possible that some small district was conceded to the Bulgarians. Michael Syr. 26 states that Leo made peace with them, surrendering to them the marsh for which they fought.

2 μεγάλη σούδα, Cedrenus, ii. 372. 3 So called from the Turkish jerkesen, a cutting in the earth. The eastern part of its course is described by Jireček, Fürstenthum, 505 sq. Surviving legends as to the origin of the structure are mentioned by Jireček (Arch.-ep. Mitth. x. 137) and Shkorpil (Aboba, 542). Jireček heard at Rusokastro the tradition that the rampart was sinor (ovvopov)—a boundary (between the dominions of two brothers : Shkorpil); it was wrought, by a tsar's

orders, by men and women, and so pressing was the work that only one woman was left at home to take care of nine children. The same story is told elsewhere among the Slavs, of the erection of great buildings.

4 Colonia Flavia Pacis Deultensium, or Deultum, founded by Vespasian, was called in Byzantine times Δεβελτός. The traces of the "wall" begin at the west end of the lagoon of Mandra.

5 The length of the western section from the Tundzha is 64 kils., a little less than the eastern.

6 Near the junction of R. Hebrus and R. Arzus, now called Sazly-dere. The Roman station Arzus is doubtless to be identified with the ruins at TekeMusachevo, and here the rampart was

corresponds to the modern boundary between Turkey and Bulgaria. The rampart was on the north, the ditch on the south, showing that it was designed as a security against the Empire; the rampart was probably surmounted, like the wall of Pliska, by timber palisades,1 and the Bulgarians maintained a constant watch and ward along their boundary fences.2 In the eastern section, near the heights of Meleona, the line of defence was strengthened by a second entrenchment to the south, extending for about half a mile in the form of a bow, and locally known as the Gipsy Erkesiia, but we do not know the origin or date of this fortification.3 It would seem that the Bulgarians contented themselves with this fence, for no signs have been discovered of a similar construction on the western frontier, between Makrolivada and the mountains.

Sanctity was imparted to the contract by the solemn rites of superstition. Omurtag consented to pledge his faith according to the Christian formalities, while Leo, on his part, showing a religious toleration only worthy of a pagan, did not scruple to conform to the heathen customs of the barbarians. Great was the scandal caused to pious members of the Church when the Roman Emperor, "peer of the Apostles," poured on the earth a libation of water, swore upon a sword, sacrificed dogs, and performed other unholy rites.4 Greater, if possible, was their indignation, when the

cut by the great military road from Hadrianople to Philippopolis. The western section was cut by another road which branched off from the military road at Lefke and led over the Balkans to Nicopolis on the Jantra; and also by the road from Hadrianople to Kabyle (Sliven), which followed the right bank of the Tundzha (Aboba, 539-540). Shkorpil thinks that the frontier continued westward (no traces of the wall are found beyond Teke - Musachevo) to Constantia (S. Kostenets) in the northern foothills of Rhodope, and thence northward to the pass of Succi (Βουλγαρικὴ κλεῖσις) near Ichtiman; whence beyond the mountains it followed the line of the middle entrenchment of West Bulgaria (from Khairedin to Kiler-bair-kale on the Danube). But Constantia, which is mentioned in the inscriptions as on the frontier, was probably a different place.

1 Cp. Theoph. 490, the use of ξύλινα ὀχυρώματα.

2 Nicolaus, Responsa, 25. 3 Aboba, 542-543. Tradition says that the Tsar's soldiers were called away before they had completed the chief entrenchment, and ordered the gipsies to finish it. The gipsies deflected the line to the south, and the soldiers when they returned continued their entrenchment in its previous direction.


Ignatius, Vit. Nic. p. 206. This passage is ignored by Bulgarian historians, though it points to some curious and obscure customs. ἐν αἷς (συμβάσεσι) ἣν ὁρᾶν τὸν βασιλέα Ῥωμαίων ἐκ κύλικος ὕδωρ κατὰ γῆς ἐπιλείβοντα, ἐπισάγματα ἵππων αὐτουργῶς ἀναστρέφοντα, ἱμάντων ἐντρίτων ἁπτόμενον, καὶ χόρτον εἰς ὕψος αἴροντα καὶ διὰ πάντων τούτων ἑαυτὸν ἐπαρώμενον. For the sacrifice of dogs see Cont. Th. p. 31; Jireček, Geschichte, p. 132.

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