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heathen envoys were invited to pollute by their touch a copy of the Holy Gospels; and to these impicties earthquukes and plagues, which happened subsequentl;; wore . attributed
This peace, which the Bulgarians considered satisfactory for many years to come," enabled Omurtag to throw his energy into the defence of his western dominions against the greit German Empire, which had begun to threaten his intluence even in regions south of the Danube. The Slavonic peoples were l'estless under the severe yoke of the sublime Khan, and they were tempted by the proximity of the Franks, whose power had extended into Croatia, to turn to the Emperor Lewis for protection. The Slavs of the river Timok, on the borders of Servia, who were under Bulgarian lordship, had recently left their abodes and sought a refuge within the dominion of Lewis." Their ambassadors presented themselves at his court in A.D. 818, but nothing came of the embassy, for the Timocians were induced * to throw in their lot with Liudewit, the Croatian župan, who had defied the Franks and was endeavouring to establish Croatian independence. It seemed for a moment that the Croatian leader
. might succeed in creating a Slavonic realm corresponding to the old Diocese of Illyricum, and threateniny Italy and Bavaria; but the star of Liudewit rose and declined rapidly; he was unable to cope with the superior forces of Lewis, and his flight was soon followed by his death (A.D. 823).' The Franks established their ascendency in Croatia, and soon afterwards Bulgarian ambussadors appeared in Giermany and sought in audience of the Emperor (A.1. 8 24)." It was the first time that a Frank monarch had received an embassy from a Bulgarian khan. The ambassadors bore a letter from Omurtag, who seems to have proposed a pacific regulation of 1 Gen. 28.
mised that he would fix his sword eis :: It was doubtless renewed at the την χαλκήν άλωνα της αυλής αιτών --expirntion of the decennial and even if it had any value-obvious'y vicennial periods. Michael Syr. 50 (cp. refers to the situation before the peace 73) silys thu Bulgarians sulmitted in (Egrist. Synol, and Theoph. 308). Thcophilus. This, if it means any.
: Ann. r. Fr. 818, p. 119. thing, probably nieans thint on the accession of Thcophilus the peace was
+ 1b. 819, p. 150. confirmed. Ay to hostile designs of
16. p. 161. L.co ngitinst Bulgaria after the treaty,
Ib. | 101. The embassy arrived there is no evidence. The anaciloto at the beginning of the year, and rethat Sabbitios (ser above, p. 69) poro. turned at Christmas (p. 105).
the boundaries between the German and Bulgarian dominions.' Their empires touched at Singidunum, which was now a : Croatian town,' under its new Slavonic name of Belgrade, the “white city," and the Bulgarian ruler probably clained that his lordship extended, northward from Belgrade, as far perhaps as Pest, to the banks of the Danube.
The Emperor Lewis cautiously determined to learn more of Bulgaria and its king before he committed himself to an answer, and he sent the embassy back along with an envoy of his own. They returned to Bavaria at the end of the year. In the meantime an embassy arrived from a Slavonic people, whose denomination the German chroniclers disguisel under the Name Praedenecenti.' They were also known, or were a branch of a people known, as the Abodrites, and must be carefully distinguished from the northern Abourites, whose homes were on the Lower Elbe, This tribe, who seem to have lived on the northern bank of the Danube, to the east of Belgrade, suffered, like the Timocians, under the oppressive exictions of the Bulgarians, and, like them, looked to the advance of the Franks as an opportunity for deliverance. Lewis, whom they haul approached on previous occasions, received their envoys in audience, and kept the Bulgarians waiting for nearly six months. Finally he received them itt Anchen, and dismissed thern with an ambiguous letter to their master.
It is clear that Lewis dermed it premature to coinmit his policy to a definite regulation of the boundaries of the southmastern mark, or to give any formal nicknowleilyment to the Bulgarian claims on the contines of Pannonin and Croutin; but he hesitated to decline definitely the proposals of the
" Ib. "velut pacis faciendo"; 187, "de terminis ac finibus inter Bulgaros ile francos constituendis."
• Constantine, leo alm. imp. 151, enumeratos To Belcoypador among the Croatian towns. C. 153.
sinn. r. I'r. p. 101, "and explo. randam iligalitinis insolitae et nun. quam prius in Franciam venientis legationis cialism."
16. 165, “Aboritorum qui vulgo l'racenecenti vocantur et contermini Bulgaris Daciam Danubio iacentem incolunt." It is supposed that I'rae.
deneceuti is a corruption of a no connected with Brunitschuvo, which luy on the Danubo, where the Mlava llows in, and corresponded to the ancient Viminacium. The site is marked by the ruins of Branitschovats and Kostolats. See Schafarik, ii. 209; Diininıler, Slawen in Dalm, 376; Sim. son, Luliriy der Fr. i. 139.
. In A.n. 818 (Ann. r. Fr. 149) and A.1). 822 (ib. 159). Cp. Diimuler, Silöstl. Marlon, 28.
16. 107. Astronomus, Vila IIlulu. rici, c. 39 (11.11.11., Ser. ii.).
Khan. Omurtag, impatient of a delay which encouraged the rebellious spirit of his Slavonic dependencies, indited another letter, which he dispatched by the same officer who had been the bearer of his first missive (A.D. 826). He requested the
' Emperor to consent to an immediate regulation of the frontier ; and if this proposal were not acceptable, he asked that, without any formal treaty, each power should keep within his own borders. The terms of this inessage show that the principal object of Omurtag was an agreement which should restrain the Franks from intervening in his relations to his Slavonic subjects. Lewis found a pretext for il new postponement. A report reached him that the Khan had been slain or dethroned by one of his nobles, and he sent an emissary to the Eastern Mark to discover if the news were true. As no certain information could be gained,” he dismissed the envoy without a letter.
The sublime Khan would wait no longer on the Emperor's pleasure. Policy as well as resentment urged him to take the offensive, for, if he displayed a timid respect towards the Franks, his prestige among the Slavs beyond the Danube wils endangered. The power of Bulgaria was asserted by an invasion of Pannonia (A.1). 827). A fleet of boats sailed from the Danube up the Drave, carrying a host of Bulgarians who devastated with fire and sword the Slave and Avars of Eastern l'annonin. The chiefs of the Slavonic tribes were expelled and Bulgarian governor's were set over them." Throughout tho ninth century the Bulgarians wero neighbours of the Franks in these regions, and seem to have held both Sirmium and Singidunum." We may be sure that Omurtay did not fail to lny a heavy hand on the disloyal Slavs of Dacia.
The operations of Omurtay in this quarter of his empire are slightly illustrated by an incidental memorial, in a stono recording the death of Onegavon. This officer, who was one of the king's “men" und held the post of turkan, was on his 1 lb. 108.
parently in summer. • This was carly in the year. As • Cp. Dümmler, Sülöstl. Jurken, lato as Juno nothing certain could be 23-29, and Sluwoon in Dalm. 46 sqq. ; ascertained (ib. 170). This illustrates Schafarik, ii. 176. For Singidunum the lack of communications between (Belgrade) cps
. l'ope John Vill. Letter Bulgaria and the Wost.
to Boris, Mansi, xvii. 64 ; Vita Clemente : 76. 173. The expedition was apa tis, ed. Miklosich, c. 16, p. 22.
way to the Bulgarian camp and was drowned in crossing the river Theiss."
A similar memoriul, in honour of Okorsès, who in proceeding to a scene of war was drowned in the Dnieper, shows that the arms of 'Omurtag were also active in the East. The situation in the Pontic regions, where the dominion of the Bulgarians confronted the einpire of the Khazars, is at this time veiled in obscurity. The tents of the Magyars' extended over the region between the Don and the Dnieper. The country to the west was exposed to their raids, and not many years later we shall find their bands in the neighbourhood of the Danube. The eflict of the Magyar movement would ultimately be to press back the frontier of Great Bulgaria to the Danube, but they were already pressing the Inner Bulgarians into a small territory north of the Sea of Azov, and thus dividing by an alien and hostile wedye the continuous Bulgarian fringe which had extended along the northern coast of the Euxine, Although the process of the Magyar advance is buried in oblivion, it is not likely that it was not opposed by the resistance of the lords of Pliska, and it is tempting to surmise that the military camp to which the unlucky Okolises Wils bound when the waters of the Dnieper overwhelmed him was connected with operations against the Magyars.
From the seanty and incidental notices of Omurtay which occur in the Greek and Latin chronicles, we should not have been able to guess the position which his reign takes in the internal history of Bulgaria. But the accidents of time and devastation have spared some of his own records, which reveal him as a great builder. He constructed two new pilaces, or palatial fortresses, one on the bank of the Danube, the other at the gates of the Balkans, and both possessed strategic significance. Tutrakan, the ancient Transmarisca (to the cast of Rustehuk), marks a point where the Danube, divided here by in island amid-strenin, offers a conspicuously convenient passage for an army. Here the Emperor Valens built it bridge of boats, and in the past century the Russians have frequently chosen this place to throw their armies across
| Abuba, 191 'Nveya sov...(de Nowe [είς) το φουσάτον έπνίγην εις τη[v] Τήσαν τον ποταμόν.
s for the Hungarians see below, p. 123 and Appendix XII.
the river. The remains of a Bulgarian fortress of stone and earth, at tho neighbouring Kadykei, probably represent the stronghold which Omurtay built to commund the passage of Transmarisca. On an inscribed column," which we may still read in one of the churches of Tyrnovo, whither the pagan monument was transported to serve an architectural use, it is recorded that “the sublime Khan Omurtay, living in his old house (ut Pliska), made a house of high renown on the Danube.” But the purpose of this inscription is not to celebrate the building of this residence, but to chronicle the construction of a sepulchre which Omurtag raised half-way between his “two glorious houses" and probably destined for his own resting-place. The measurements, which are carefully
. noted in the inscription, have enabled modern investigators to identify Omurtay's tomb with a large conical mound or kurgan close to the village of Mumdzhilar.” The memorial concludes with a moralising reflexion : "Man dies, even if he live well, and another is born, and let the latest born, considering this writing, remember him who made it.
The name of the ruler is Omurtny, Kanus Ubêge. God grant that he may live a hundred years."
If the glorious house on the Danube was a defence, iu the event of an attack of Slavs or other enemies coming from the north, Omurtny, although he lived at peace with the Roman Empire, thought it well to strengthen himself against his southern neighbours also, in view of future contingencies. The assassination of Leo and the elevation of Michael II., whose policy he could not foresee, may have been a determining motive, At all events it was in the year following this change of dynasty that Omurtag built a new royal residence and fortress in the mountains, on the river Tutsa," command
discovery of an official inscription there (Abuba, 228) justify the identification of Uspenski. Sou ib. 519, 551.552.
l'rinted by Jireček, Geschichte, 148 ; by Uspenski, with improved text, in o drevn. gor. Turnorr, 5. Jireček's translation is in several points incorrect. Mbobu, 653,
821.822. See inscription translated below.
7 Now called the Great Kamchiia. It is mentioned by Thcophanes (436,),