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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 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
The following brief description is based on Shkorpil's, in Aboba, c: xx. 503 sqq.; ep. also Prilozk, ii. 566-569. Masudi describes the "dominion' of the Bulgarians as surrounded by a thorn fence, with openings like wooden windows, and resembling a wall and canal (Harkavi, Skazanija, 126). Uspenski (Abob, 15) takes "dominion" to mean the royal aula, and relates the description to Aboba. This is a strained interpretation; but possibly Masudi's source mentioned both the circumvallation of the king dom and the fortifications of Pliska, and Masudi confused them.
There was also an entrenchment
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 ran 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 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).
497, who relates that Krum sought to renew with Michael I. (see below) the treaty concluded "in the reign of Theodosius of Adramyttion and the patriarchate of Germanus with
Kormisos, "then ruler of Bulgaria.' There is an error here, as Tervel was the Bulgarian king in the reign of Theodosius III., and Constantine V. was Emperor in the reign of Kormisos (743-760). If we accept Theodosius, the treaty was in A.D. 716; if we accept Kormisos, it was a generation later. My view is that the treaty on which Krum based his negotiations was between Kormisos and Constantine V., but that in the text of that treaty an older treaty between Theodosius and Torvel was referred to. decision of this question does not, of course, decide the date of the Erkesiia, as Melona (τοὺς ὅρους ἀπὸ Μηλεώνων τῆς Θράκης, ib.) may have been the boundary many years before its construction. Zlatarski dates it in the reign of Tervel, Shkorpil in that of
We may surmise that the
Kormisos, Jireček in the ninth century (ep. Aboba, 568). See below p. 361.
Aboba, 581, ep. 562. Jireček (Arch,ep. Mitth. x. 158) wished to place Marcellae at Kaiabash. His identification is based on Anna Comnena, i. 244 and ii. 71 (ed. Reifferscheid), and he places Lardeas at Karnobad. But Shkorpil finds Lardeas at the pass of Marash (565). Both place Goloe (also mentioned by Anna) near Kadirfakli. Kadirfakli, Kalabash, and the Marash defile lie in this order on the southward road from the Verbits pass to Jambol.
2 The identification of the kλeiσоûра Bepeɣáßwr with the Rish Pass is unquestionably right. Op. Aboba, 564 ; Jireček, Heeresstrasse, 149-150. Jireček also identifies Veregava with the Texas σιδηραΐ οι Σιδηρᾶ of Greek historians, but Shkorpil (Aboba, 565) takes Zionpa to be the Verbits pass. I am inclined to agree with Jireček. The two neighbouring passes are together known as the Gyrlørski 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. 807 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 strategos 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
We are quite ignorant of the internal history of Bulgaria from 797 to 807, and know neither in what year Krum acceded nor whether he was the immediate successor of Kardam. Jireček places his accession in 802-807, (Geschichte, 143). For the various forms of Krum's name, in Greek, Latin, and Slavonic sources, ep. Loparev, Deie Zamietki, 341, n. 1. That Krum is the right form is shown by the Shumla inscription (Kpouuos: boba, 233; ep. Shkorpil, Arch.-cp. Mitth. xix. 213). On the alleged legislation of Krum (Suidas, s. v. Bouλyapo) see G. Kazarow, B.Z. xvi. 254-257 (1907).
Theoph., A.M. 6299806-807.
Theoph., A. M. 6301. This event is placed by all historians in 809 (Jireček, Geschichte, 144). But it seems to me
that the statements of Theophanes more naturally point to the last months of 808 (A.M. 6301 September 608August 609). For after describing the affair of the Strymon the chronicler proceeds τῷ δ ̓ αὐτῷ ἔτει πρὸ τῆς ἑορτῆς τοῦ Πάσχα Κροῦμμος κτλ. Now if the Bulgarians had immediately proceeded against Sardica, Theophanes would hardly have written τῷ δ' αὐτῷ ἔτει, which implies that two events are independent or separated in time; and it is clear that as the capture of Sardica took place before Easter 809, it must have been immediately preceded by the victory on the Strymon, in case that victory was won in the same spring. I therefore conclude that 808 is the right date; and it seems more natural that the soldiers should have been paid before winter.
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 (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 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 these events, says nothing of his route, we can have no doubt that he marched straight to the mountains by Meleona and Marcellac, 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
Theophanes ralevolently insinu
ates a doubt of the truth of the Emperor's statement: σákpais évópkois
τὴν βασιλίδα πόλιν πείθειν ἐσπούδαζεν ὅτι 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 co 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 them; 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.
On the next day Nicephorus made a speech full of asseverations of his goodwill to the soldiers and their children. He then returned to Cple., leaving Theodosius Salibaras to discover the ringleaders. Theophanes
says "most" were punished by stripes, banishment, or compulsory tonsure, and the rest were sent to Chrysopolis (486).
2 Theoph. 496.