Slike stranica

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 is our recorul gues, it was the Roman Emperor who began hostilities. Kardam had in the meantime been succeeded by Kruin,' a strong, crafty, and ambitious barbarian, whose short reign is memorable in the annals of his country.

It was in A.D. 807 that Nicephorus set forth at the head of illi army to invade Bulgaria.“ But when he reached Hadrianople at 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 strategos himself and the officers, were cut to pieces, and the treasury of the khan was enriched by the capture of 1100 llis, of gold (£47,520) which has been destined to pay the soldiers. It would seem that the Romans had not expected an attack so

"We are quite ignorant of the that the state'cuts of Theopolianos interna! liistory of Bulgaria fromn. 7:7 more naturally point to the last on this to 807, and know neither in what year of sos 1. M. 0:301 = Sopotromber 608 -hirum vcrrlcd nor whether lor was Angrist 1009). for altogo describing the immiciliatr xuccessor of kareni. the air of the Stry!!! Ilie chroniolos Jirebok pacem inis acersion in 802.807 prwις τω δ' αυτώ έτει προ της εορτής (Coachinlito, 14:). foor the various του Πάσχα Κρομμος κτλ. Now if forules of kirum'u 11:29:06, in Circeh, Latin, Bulgarians hier immediately poruncaclor? and Slavonir sources, Op. Longorres, ayrilist Sarilion. Theogebanes would locir lluiriki, :11, 11. 1. 'That kruni drilly have writton Tý ' aitų (Tel, in the riglet furm in mliow's loy the whirli im poliross that two rivolit itf'n Shimula ilixcription (ki pornos : olbalı, imagsuloint or propose rater ini tim : 2:33 : "", Slakorpil, prekrp. Hillli. 011111 'it is closer tini ils tloo cnpituirr uit xix. 213). On the alleged legislation Baridiont touk pulanco loforro Bormioon 800, of hirin (Suislam, *.x. Bornou poi) *I's ir 1001140 havro' bweni i1111010..lindrly fire. G. kamrow, 11.%. xvi. 251-257 (1907). corded log tlır visory on ilu Sirynion, Theopili., A.M. (3299 -: 800.807.

in case that rjocory was while in the

n'lmma Aforing I ihn.goofoore conclude: Theophi., 1.1. 6:301. This event is that 808 is the right dute; and it placed by all historians in 809 (Jire4irk, seems more miltural that the soldiers Geschichic, 144). But it seems to me should have been paid before winter.


[ocr errors]

late in the year; but the presence of a considerable force in the Strymon regions points to the fact that the Bulgarians had illready betrayed their desigus against Macedonia. In the ensuing spring (809) 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 ident of annexing the plain of Sarlica to his realm. He dismantled the fortifications and perhaps burneil the town, which was one day to be the capitiil 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 these events, silys nothing of his route, we can have no doubt that he marchied straight to the mountains by Meleona and Marcellac, and descended on Pliska from the Veregava l'ass. For he dispatched to the city an Imperial letter in which he mentioned that he spent Easter day in the palace of the Bulyarian king.' The plunder of Pliska was a reprisal for the sack oł Sardicn, to which Nicephorus then proceeded for the purpose of rebuilding it. We are not told what rould he took, but he avoided meeting the victorious ariny of the enemy. It is said that some oflicers 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 Surdicil is speedily and its cheaply ils possibile, and, fearing that the soldiers would be unwilling to wulomit to a labour which they might say wils not il sollier's business, he prompted the generals and oflicers to induce the soldiers to address a spontaneous request to the Emperor that the city might be rebuilt. But the men HILW throngh this strutnyen, and were filled with indignation. They tore down the tents of their superiors, unul, standing in front of the Emperor's puuvilion, cried thunt they would endure

I Theopolitics Philo. volently insinu. intes a doubt of the truth of the Emperor's statement : páxpais évbpkous

την βασιλίδα πόλιν πείθειν εσπούδαζεν. ότι κτλ. (1854).

[ocr errors]

his rapacity no niore. 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 oflicers were all on the Emperor's side. l'unishment, however, was afterwards inflicted on the ringleaders.

Nicephorus viewed with anxiety the western provinces of liiso Empire in Macedonia and Thessaly. The Slavs, ose whose li«lelity no reliance coull be place, were prelominant there, and it was the aim of the Bulgarians to bring the Murodlonian 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 thein 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 dill 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 wils to the poor agriculturists that this measure exclusively applied. Some, we are told, were driven to desperation and committed suicide rather than yo into a strange and distant land ; and their richer brethren sympathized with them; in fact, the act was described as nothing short of “a captivity.” But though it may have been haril on individuals, it was ir measure of sound policy; and those who on other grounds were ill-llisposed to the government exaggerated the odium which it aroused. Nicephorus, who, as we are tolil, pridel himself greatly on this act," seems to have realised the danger that the Slavonic settlements in Macedonia and Greece might eventually le gathered into a Bulgarian empire; and these new colonies were designed to obviate such a possibility. 1 On the next day Nicephorus marle


were punished by a sfrecch full of asseverations of his stripes, banishment, or compulsory gooil will to the soldiers and their tonsure, and the rest were sent to children. lle then returned to Cple., Chrynopólis (486). leaving Throdosius Saliharas

? Theophı. 496. discover the ringleaders. Theophanes

[ocr errors]



Meanwhile the Emperor Wills preparing a formidable expedition against Bulgaria, to requite Krum for his cruelties and successes. In May 811 the preparations were complete, and Nicephorus marched through Thrace at the head of a large army. The troops of the Asiatic Theines had been transported from beyond the Bosphorus ; Romanus, general of the Anatolies, and Leo, yeneral of the Armeniacs, were summoned to attack the Bulgarians, as their presence was no longer required in Asia to repel the Saracen. When he reachel Marcellones, at the foot of the mountains, where he united the various contingents of his host, imbassadors arrived from Krum, who wils daunted by the numbers of the Romans.' But the Augustus at the head of his legions had no thought of abandoning his.enterprise, and he rejected all pleadings for peace. He knew well that a humiliating treaty woulil be violated by the enemy as soon as his own army had been disbanded; yet nothing less than a signal humiliation could atone for the massacres of Sardica and the Strymon. The inarch, difficult for a great army, through the pass of Veregava, occupied some time, and on the 20th of July the Romans approached the capital of Krum. Some temporary consternation was caused loy the disappearance of a trusted servant of the Emperor, who deserted to the enemy with the Imperial apparel and 100 lbs. of gold.

No opposition was offered to the invaders, and the Roman swords did not spare the inhabitants. Arriving at l’liska, Vicephorus found that the king hau lled; he set under lock and key, and sealed with the Imperial seal, the royal treasures, ils his own spoil; and burned the place. Then Krum said, "Lo, thou hast conquerel; take all thou plerisest, and go in




' It is supposed by Uspenski that certainly more probable that Nicepolio the Kady-keni insiription (utbola, orus is the Emperor, than, for instance, 228) may relato the


Nicephorus, an engineer, who took Vicephorus with kirum, on ilrcount service under the Bulgarian king (see of the words kal cio nadev ó Vannplúpos Theophi. 198). If the Emperor is meant, (l. 3). In l. 2 we have tous l'pkous I conjecture that the events described εις Μαρκ[έλλας add 11. (6-10 may be connected with his abortive concerned with the actions of it expedition in A.1), 807 and the certain Ekusoos, whom " the Grecks military mutiny. This is suggested met and who “ went to Hadrian. by 11. 5, 6, ex mexpias aitou (apparently ople." It is impossible to restore referring to Vicephorus-"in lis a connected sense, without some ex. Anger") μη σωρεύ (σωσιν δυνάμεις ?)... ternal clew, in the supplements of οι Γραικοί και πάλιν εσώρευσαν. Uspenski are quite in the air. It is

[ocr errors]

peace." But the victor disdained to listen. Perhaps it was his hope to recover Moesia and completely to subdue the Bulgarian power. But if this was his design it was not to bu realised; Vicephorus was not to do the work which was reserved for Tziuriskes and Basil Bulgaroktunos. He allowed himself to be drawn back into the mountain where Krum and his army awaited him. It is generally supposed that all obvious firecrution fraud been higlected and that the Romans hiul not taken care lo guard their retrunt lry lonving soldiers to protect the mountain press behind them. But it seems probable that the pass of Veregava was not the scene of the disaster which followed, and; the imprudence of Nicephorus did not consist in neglecting to secure the road of return.

Su far as we can divine, le permitted the enemy to lure liim into the contiguous pilss of Verbits, where it marrow defile was Llocked by wooden fortifications which small garrisons could defend against multitudes. Here, perhaps, in what is called 20-day the Greek Hollow,' where tradition declares that many Greeks once met their death, the army found itself enclosed as in a trap, and the Emperor exclaimed, “Our destruction is

, certain ; if we had wings, we could not escape.” The Bulgarians could conceal themselves in the mountains and abide their time until their enemies were pressed by want of supplies ; and its the numbers of the Roman army were so great, they would not have to wait long. But the critastrophe was accelerated by a successful night attack. The defiles had been fortified on Thursday and Friday, and on Sunday morning just before dawn the tent in which Nicephorus and the chief patricians were reposing was assailed loy the heathen. The details of the attack are not recorded; perhaps they were nerer clearly known; but we must suppose that there was some extraorulinary carelessness in the arrangements of the Roman camp. The Roman soldiers, taken unawares, seem to have been paralysed and to have allowed themselves to be massacred without resistance. Nicephorus himself was slain, and almost all the generals and great officers who were with him, among the rest the general of Thrace and the general of the anatolies,"

I Giroshiki.Dol, between the heights is to the scene of the bottle I have of lig's tegue and Razboina : Shkorpil adopted. obrobine, it, and 530), wliose view • The others specially mentioned

« PrethodnaNastavi »