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armed ambush rushed out from the place of hiding. The attendants of Krum pressed on either side of him as he rode away, trying to defend him or escape with him; but, as they were on foot, the Greeks were able to capture them. Those who watched the scene from the walls, and saw, as they thought, the discomfiture of the pagan imminent, cried out, "The cross has conquered "; the darts of the armed soldiers were discharged after the retreating horseman; but though they hit him he received no mortal wound,' and escaped, now more formidable than ever, as his ferocity was quickened by the thirst of vengeance. His treasurer was slain; his brotherin-law and nephew were taken alive.
On the next day the wrath of the deceived Bulgarian blazed forth in literal fire. The inhabitants of the city, looking across the Golden Horn, witnessed the conflagration of the opposite suburbs, churches, convents, and palaces, which the enemy plundered and destroyed.2 They did not stay their course of destruction at the mouth of the Golden Horn. They burned the Imperial Palace of St. Mamas, which was situated opposite to Scutari, at the modern Beshik-tash, to the south of Orta Keui. They pulled down the ornamental columns, and carried away, to deck the residence of their king, the sculptured images of animals which they found in the hippodrome of the palace and packed in waggons.* All living things were butchered. Their ravages were extended northwards along the shores of the Bosphorus, and in the inland region behind.5 But this was only the beginning of the terrible vengeance. The suburbs outside the Golden Gate, straggling as far as Rhegion, were consigned to the flames, and we cannot suppose that their energy of destruction spared the palace of Hebdomon.
1 Ann. r. F., A.D. 813 "graviter vulneratum." The notice in these annals of the Bulgarian War and the accession of Leo was derived from the Greek ambassadors who visited the court of Lewis in A.D. 814. Cp. Neues Archiv, 21, 55.
2 Scr. Inc. 344, clearly designates the locality by ἀντιπέραν τῆς πόλεως. Some of the larger churches here had been recently restored by Irene, Nicephorus, and Michael.
3 The position of the palace, as to which totally false ideas were current
(some placing it near Blachernae), has been demonstrated by Pargoire, S. Mamas.
4 Scr. Inc. ib. Tà (wdla. Theophanes, 503, gives details: a bronze lion, a bear, and a serpent, and other μápμapo ἐπίλεκτοι. Shkorpil asserts (Aboba, 116), that according to our sources Krum also carried away some marble columns. He may have done so, but our sources do not say so. Scr. Inc. says that the Bulgarians τοὺς κίονας κατέκλασαν.
5 Scr. Inc. ib. κal Tǹv ävw.
The fort of Athyras and a bridge of remarkable size and strength1 over the river of the same name, which flows into the Propontis, were destroyed. Along the western highroad the avenger advanced till he reached Selymbria, where he destroyed the churches and rased the citadel. The fort of Daónin 2 was levelled, and the first obstacle in the path of destruction was the strong wall of Heraclea which had once defied Philip of Macedon. Unable to enter it the Bulgarians Continu
houses of the harbour.
burned the suburbs and the ing their course, they rased the fort of Rhaedestos 3 and the castle of Apros. Having spent ten days there, they marched southward to the hills of Ganos, whither men and beasts had fled for concealment. The fugitives were easily dislodged from their hiding-places by the practised mountaineers; the men were slain; the women, children, and animals were sent to Bulgaria. After a visit of depredation to the shore of the Hellespont, the desolater returned slowly, capturing forts as he went, to Hadrianople, which his brother had not yet succeeded in reducing by blockade. Poliorcetic engines were now applied; hunger was already doing its work; no relief was forthcoming; and the city perforce surrendered. All the inhabitants, including the archbishop Manuel, were transported to "Bulgaria" beyond the Danube," where they were permitted to live in a settlement, governed by one of themselves and known as Macedonia."
It was now the turn of the Imperial government to make overtures for peace, and of the victorious and offended Bulgarian to reject them. Leo then took the field himself?
1 παράξενον οὖσαν καὶ πάνυ ὀχυρωTáτηV. For the locality see above, p. 102.
2 The old Daunion teichos on the road from Selymbria to Heraclea.
3 At this point the road left the coast and reached the fort of Apros, more than twenty Roman miles W. of Rhaedestos (Bisanthe). See Kiepert's Map of Illyricum and Thrace.
4 On the coast of the Propontis, over against Proconnesus.
5 Scr. Inc. 345 εἰς Βουλγαρίαν ἐκεῖθεν τοῦ Ἴστρου ποταμοῦ. Simeon (Cont. Georg. 765), καὶ μετὰ λαοῦ πλείστου διαπεράσας τῶν τε εὐγενῶν Μακεδόνων, κατεσκήνωσεν ἐν τῷ Δανουβίῳ ποταμῷ.
Simeon (ib. 817) numbers the captives as 10,000 men, as well as women. The Chronography of Theophanes ends with the capture of Hadrianople —καὶ ταύτην ἑλών. The capture of the Archbishop Manuel we learn from the history of Basil I. by Constantine Porphyrogennetos, forming the 5th Book of the Continuatio Theophanis, 216. The parents of Basil lived in Hadrianople and were on this occasion carried into captivity.
6 See below, p. 370.
7 This campaign is not noticed by George or by the Scriptor Incertus. Our authority is the combined testimony of Cont. Th. (24-25) and Genesios
and by a stratagem, successfully executed, he inflicted an overwhelming defeat on the army of the enemy, or a portion of it which was still active in the neighbourhood of Mesembria. Entrenching himself near that city and not far from the Bulgarian camp, he waited for some days. The Roman troops had command of abundant supplies, but he soon heard that the Bulgarians were hard pressed for food. Confiding his plan only to one officer, Leo left the camp by night with a company of experienced warriors, and lay in ambush on an adjacent hill. Day dawned, and the Romans, discovering that the Emperor was not in the camp, imagined that he had fled. The tidings reached the camp of the enemy before evening, and the barbarians thought that their adversaries were now delivered an easy prey into their hands. Intending to attack the Roman camp on the morrow, and meanwhile secure, they left aside the burden of their arms and yielded to the ease of sleep. Then Leo and his men descended in the darkness of the night and wrought great slaughter. The Roman camp had been advised of the stratagem just in time to admit of their cooperation, and not soon enough to give a deserter the opportunity of perfidy. The Bulgarians were annihilated; not a firebearer, to use the Persian proverb, escaped. This success was followed up by an incursion into Bulgaria; and Leo's policy was to spare those who were of riper
(12-13), who drew here from a common source which is most fully reproduced in Cont. Th. The campaign must be placed in the late autumn of A.D. 813, after the capture of Hadrianople, which probably determined Leo to sue for peace. Jireček assigns it to A.D. 814 (Geschichte, 146), placing Krum's death in A.D. 815. But it is clear from the narrative of the Script. Inc. that only one winter passed between Leo's accession and Krum's death (346 sq.). Hirsch (125-126) regards this episode as a legend, suggesting that it was invented to explain the name βουνὸς Λέοντος. His grounds seem to be the silence of Theophanes and Simeon, a statement of the Scr. Inc. "über den ungünstigen Verlauf des Feldzuges," and the charge of inactivity brought against Leo in Ignatius, Vit. Niceph. c. 34. But these arguments have no weight. The silence of Theophanes has no
bearing on the question, as his chronicle ends with the capture of Hadrianople, and Leo's expedition was certainly later. George's notices of military events are so scrappy and meagre that his silence proves nothing. The Scr. Inc. says that during the Bulgarian ravages which he has described Leo did not leave the city (346 kaì TOÚTWV γενομένων ὁ Λέων τῆς πόλεως οὐκ ἐξῆλθεν). This was literally true, but the author, bitterly hostile to Leo, cannot be considered incapable of having deliberately suppressed a subsequent success, and his silence is not a convincing argument. The imputation of Ignatius came similarly from the hostile camp, which employed every weapon_of calumny against the iconoclast. details in Cont. Th. do not suggest a legend, and the account has been accepted by all historians (including Finlay, Hopf, and Hertzberg).
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.2 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 (opvas), and the inevitable "city-takers" (éλeπóλeis).3 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
χαλκώματα ἐφόρτωσαν πάντα εἰς ἀμάξας.
memory, and he determined to direct his chief efforts against Blachernae, the quarter where the arrow had wounded
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,3 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.
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
But his reign was brief. It
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.