Slike stranica

ing the pass of Veregava, by which Roman armies had been wont to descend upon Pliska, as well as the adjacent pass of Verbits. We do not know how the new town which the King erected in front of the mountain defiles was called in his own tongue, but the Slavs called it Preslav, "the glorious,” a name which seems originally to have been applied to all the palaces of the Bulgarian kings. It is not probable that Omurtag intended to transfer his principal residence from the plain to the hills, but his new foundation was destined, as Great Preslav, to become within a hundred years the capital of Bulgaria.


The foundation of the city is recorded on a large limestone column which was dug out of the earth a few years ago at Chatalar, about four miles from the ruins of Preslav. 66 The sublime Khan Omurtag is divine ruler in the land where he was born. Abiding in the Plain of Pliska, he made a palace (aulê) on the Tutsa and displayed his power to the Greeks and Slavs.5 And he constructed with skill a bridge over the Tutsa. And he set up in his fortress four columns, and between the columns he set two bronze lions." May God grant that the divine ruler may press down the Emperor with his foot so long as the Tutsa flows, that he may procure

where the texts give εἰσῆλθεν (sc.
Constantine V.) εἰς Βουλγαρίαν ἕως τοῦ
Tikas, but one MS. has Toúvšas. In
Anna Comnena (7. 3) it is called
BITSiva. See Aboba, 547.

1 Preslav corresponds to πάνφημος, the adjective applied to the house on the Danube and to Pliska in the Tyrnovo inscription (τον δυο υκο τον πανφημον, a genitive plural wrongly taken for olkov Tòv T. by Jireček; see Bury, App. 10 to Gibbon, vi.). The palace on the Danube is also called υπέρφημος (ib.). Cp. τὸ ἀρχαιότατον ὑπέρφημον and [ὑπὲρ] ἅπασαν φήμην in an inscription of Malamir (Aboba, 233). This word, like preslav, evidently translated a Bulgarian appellative.

2 Uspenski thinks that the use of avλń in the inscription implies the "transference of the capital" (Aboba, 547). But why should not the Khan have two αὐλαί ?

3 See Aboba, 546 sqq., for the inscription and the circumstance of its discovery. Chatalar is close to the railway station of Preslav-Krumovo.



ις τις Πλσκας τον κα(μ)πον. Doubtless káμπos designates not the whole Tedíov of Aboba, but the fortified enclosure of Pliska. 5 καὶ [. .] τὴν δύναμίν του [ἰς] Γραικοὺς καὶ Σκλάβους. Uspenski supplies eye. But Omurtag lived at peace with the Greeks. I would supply ἔδειξε (ἔδιξε) or some equivalent, and restore iseis (Uspenski éπi).

6 μετ[ήνεγκεν] καὶ ἔστη[σεν] εἰς αὐτὸ τ[ὸ κάστ]ρον (Uspenski). κάστρον, 1 think, is right, but μerηveykev very doubtful.

7 I read καὶ [μέσ]α [τῶ]ν στύλων. The four columns marked a space in the centre of which were the two lions, or else two columns were on either side of a gateway and the lions between them. Uspenski restores kaì [eis ëv]a ("and placed two lions on one of the columns"), an arrangement which sounds too inartistic to be credible.

8 μὲ τὸν πό[δα] αὐτοῦ τὸν βασιλέα κάμψειν ἕως τρέ]χ[?] ἡ Τοῦτζα. I read κáu (the future is required); Uspenski gives κάμπτειν. καταβαλεῖν might also be thought of.


many captives for the Bulgarians, and that subduing his foes he may, in joy and happiness, live for a hundred years. The date of the foundation was the Bulgarian year shegor alem, or the fifteenth indiction of the Greeks" (A.D. 821-822). In this valuable record of the foundation of Preslav, we may note with interest the hostile reference to the Roman Emperor as the chief and permanent enemy of Bulgaria, although at this time Bulgaria and the Empire were at peace. It was probably a standing formula which had originally been adopted in the reign of some former king, when the two powers were at war.

It has been already related how Omurtag intervened in the civil war between Michael and Thomas, how he defeated the rebel on the field of Kêduktos, and returned laden with spoils (A.D. 823). This was his only expedition into Roman territory; the Thirty Years' Peace was preserved inviolate throughout his reign. The date of his death is uncertain.2

6. The Reigns of Malamir and Boris

Omurtag was succeeded by his youngest son Presiam,3 though one at least of his elder sons was still living. Presiam is generally known as Malamir, a Slavonic name which he assumed, perhaps toward the end of his reign. The adoption of this name is a landmark in the gradual process of the assertion of Slavonic influence in the Bulgarian realm. We may surmise that it corresponds to a political situation in which the Khan was driven to rely on the support of his Slavonic subjects against the Bulgarian nobles.

We have some official records of the sublime Khan Malamir, though not so many or so important as the records

1 καὶ [δ]όσ[ῃ αἰχμαλώ]τους πολλοὺς Boulyá[p]s. I translate this extremely uncertain restoration of Uspenski, only substituting δόσιν, i.ε. δώσειν, for his δώσῃ.

2 Later than A.D. 827. See above, p. 365. Zlatarski dates the reign as

814-831/2 (see Aboba, 236).

3 The evidence, as I hold, points to the identity of Presiam with Malamir; see Appendix X. Enravotas, also called Bolvos (is this Bulgarian Baian or Slavonic "warrior"?), was the

eldest son and survived Omurtag, according to the story told by Theophylactus, op. cit. 192. See below, p. 382.

4 We know that Malamir was ruler of Bulgaria in the reign of Theophilus from Simeon (Cont. Georg. 818). The vers. Slav. 101 calls him Vladimir, and so the Cod. Par. 854 and Vatic. 1807; the printed texts of Cont. Georg., Leo Gr., and Theod. Mel. have Βαλδίμερ. The error may have arisen from confusion with a later Khan Vladimir, who succeeded Boris,

of his father. We have a memorial column of Tsepa, a boilad and king's liegeman who died of illness.1 From another stone we learn that Isbules, the kaukhan, who was one of the king's old boilads, built an aqueduct for Malamir at his own expense. This aqueduct was probably to supply one of the royal palaces. Malamir celebrated the occasion by giving a feast to the Bulgarians, and bestowing many gifts upon the boilads and bagains.2

There was some risk that the treaty with the Empire might be denounced during the reign of Theophilus.


The Thracian and Macedonian captives who had been transported by Krum to regions beyond the Danube formed a plan to return to their homes. This colony of exiles, who are said to have numbered 12,000 not counting females, were permitted to choose one of their own number as a governor, and Kordyles, who exercised this function, contrived to make his way secretly to Constantinople and persuaded Theophilus to send ships to rescue the exiles and bring them home. This act was evidently a violation of the Thirty Years' Peace, and at the same moment the Bulgarian ruler was engaged in a


and Zlatarski suggests that the
narrative was derived by Simeon
from a hagiographical work (where
such a confusion would not be sur-
prising). But it may be suggested
that Simeon or his source
Maλuép; the form of μ in tenth-cent.
MSS. was liable to confusion with ß,
and if the word was read Baλuép the
further corruption was almost inevit-
able. In any case the identification
is certain. Simeon states that
"Baldimer " was grandson of Krum,
and Malamir was Omurtag's son.
the inscriptions his name is written
Μαλαμηρ and Μαλαμιρ. Zlatarski
(who distinguishes Presiam from M.)
thinks that M. reigned from 831/2 to
836/7; cp. Appendix X.

1 Aboba, 191.


2 Ib. 230-231. ȧváßpuтov is the word which I follow Zlatarski and Uspenski in interpreting "aqueduct.' The inscription concludes with the prayer that " 'the divine ruler may live a hundred years along with Isbulês the kaukhan.'

3 Simeon (Cont. Georg. 818; vers. Slav. 101-102). The account of the

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return of the captives in this chronicle is confused, but has no legendary details and is evidently based upon genuine facts. One difficulty lies in the position of Kordyles. He is described as στρατηλάτης ἐν Μακεδονίᾳ, and he left his son "to govern the Macedonians beyond the Danube" instead of himself. Then, after their failure to escape across Bulgaria, the captives, who are throughout called "the Macedonians," make Kordyles and Tzantzes their leaders. It seems clear that there is a confusion between Macedonia and the " Macedonian settlement in Bulgaria, and that Kordyles was not stratêgos of Macedonia, but governor of the Macedonian exiles. This is confirmed by the statement that Kordyles had to use a device (μετὰ μηχανῆς τινός) to reach Theophilus; if he had been strat. of Macedonia, this would be inexplicable. We can infer the interesting fact that the captives were established as a colony with a governor of their own, and that as a large number of these were Macedonians, the region which they inhabited was known as


hostile action against the Empire by advancing to Thessalonica. It can hardly be an accident that the date to which our evidence for their transaction points (c. A.D. 836) coincides with the termination of the second decad of the Peace, and if it was a condition that the Treaty should be renewed at the end of each decad, it was a natural moment for either ruler to choose for attempting to compass an end to which the other would not agree. We cannot determine precisely the order of events, or understand the particular circumstances in which the captives effected their escape. We are told that the whole

population began to cross over a river, in order to reach the place where the Imperial ships awaited them. The Bulgarian Count of the district 2 crossed over to their side to prevent them, and being defeated with great loss, sought the help of the Magyars, who were now masters of the north coast of the Euxine as far as the Bulgarian frontier. Meanwhile the Greeks crossed, and were about to embark when a host of Magyars appeared and commanded them to surrender all their property. The Greeks defied the predatory foe, defeated them in two engagements, and sailed to Constantinople, where they were welcomed by the Emperor and dismissed to their various homes.3


We have no evidence as to the object of the expedition to Thessalonica, but it has been conjectured that the Macedonian Slavs, infected by rebellious movements of the Slavs in Greece, were in a disturbed state, and that the Bulgarian monarch seized the opportunity to annex to his own kingdom by peaceful means these subjects of the Empire. In support of this guess it may be pointed out that not many years later his power seems to have extended as far west as Ochrida, and there is no record of a conquest of these regions by arms. And a movement in this direction might also explain the war

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The year of his birth is fixed to A.D.
812/3, as he was born in the reign of
Michael I. (Cont. Georg. 817) and was
in swaddling-clothes when his parents
were carried off from Hadrianople in
A.D. 813 (Cont. Th. 216). He was
25 years old when the captives re-
turned (Cont. Georg. 819). This gives
A.D. 837/8 as the year of escape.
4 Zlatarski, op. cit. 38.

5 See below, p. 379.

6 Cp. Zlatarski, 40, and below, p. 384.

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which broke out between Bulgaria and Servia in the last years of Theophilus.

About this time the Servians, who had hitherto lived in a loose group of independent tribes, acknowledging the nominal lordship of the Emperor, were united under the rule of Vlastimir into the semblance of a state. If it is true that the extension of Bulgarian authority over the Slavs to the south of Servia was effected at this epoch, we can understand the union of the Servian tribes as due to the instinct of selfdefence. Hitherto they had always lived as good neighbours of the Bulgarians, but the annexation of western Macedonia changed the political situation. Vlastimir's policy of consolidating Servia may have been a sufficient motive with Malamir to lose no time in crushing a power which might become a formidable rival, and he determined to subjugate it. But it is not unlikely that the Emperor also played a hand in the game. Disabled from interfering actively by the necessities of the war against the Moslems, he may have reverted to diplomacy and stirred up the Servians, who were nominally his clients, to avert a peril which menaced themselves, by driving the Bulgarians from western Macedonia. The prospect of common action between the Empire and the Servians would explain satisfactorily Malamir's aggression against Servia.1 The war lasted three years, and ended in failure and disaster for the Bulgarians.2

These speculations concerning the political situation in the Balkan peninsula in the last years of Theophilus depend on the hypothesis, which cannot be proved, that the Bulgarians had succeeded in annexing the Slavonic tribes to the west of Thessalonica. In any case, whatever may have occurred, the Thirty Years' Peace had been confirmed, and remained inviolate till its due termination in A.D. 845-846. It was not renewed, and soon afterwards a Bulgarian army under the general Isbules seems to have invaded Macedonia and operated in the regions of the Strymon and the Nestos; while the Imperial

1 For these conjectures, see Jireček, Archiv für slavische Philologie, xxi. 609 sq.; Zlatarski, op. cit. 40 sqq. Z. supposes that Theophilus offered the Servians an acknowledgment of their complete independence.

2 The source for the war is Con


stantine, De adm. imp. 154; he calls the Bulgarian ruler IIpeoiáu, the only evidence we have for the name. Vlastimir's date is given by Schafarik as A.D. 836-843 (ii. 250).

3 I adopt Zlatarski's interpretation (49 sq.) of the Villoison inscrip

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