Slike stranica

was possibly before the end of the year (A.D. 814) that he was slain, and succeeded by Omurtag, the son of Krum.1


The first important act of the sublime Khan Omurtag 2 was to conclude a formal treaty of peace with the Roman Empire (A.D. 815-816). It is probable that a truce or preliminary agreement had been arranged immediately after Krum's death,3 but when Krum's son ascended the throne negotiations were opened which led to a permanent peace. The contracting parties agreed that the treaty should continue in force for thirty years, with a qualification perhaps that it should be confirmed anew at the expiration of each decennium.5 A fortunate chance has preserved a portion of what appears to be an official abstract of the instrument, inscribed on a marble column and set up in the precincts of his residence at Pliska by order of the Bulgarian king. Provision was made for the interchange and ransom of captives, and the question of the surrender of deserters, on which the negotiations between Krum and Michael I. had fallen through, was settled in a manner satisfactory to Omurtag. All the Slavs who had been undoubtedly subject to the Bulgarians in the period. before the war, and had deserted to the Empire, were to be sent back to their various districts. The most important articles concerned the delimitation of the frontier which

1 That Omurtag was son of Krum is directly affirmed by Theophylactus (loc. cit.); and would be probable from the fact that Omurtag's son Malamir calls Krum "my grandfather" (inscription in Aboba, 233)-the alternative being that Omurtag was Krum's son-inlaw.

2 The true form of the name, attested by his inscriptions ('Quovpтáy), is preserved in Latin sources (Omortag). Theophylactus (Hist.xv.mart. 192) calls him 'Oußpirayos, the Greek chronicles have Μορτάγων or Μουτράγων.

3 I have conjectured (Bulgarian Treaty of A.D. 814, pp. 286-287) that a fragment of such an agreement may be preserved in the inscription of Eski-Juma (Aboba, 226).

4 Cont. Th. expressly ascribes the treaty to Omurtag (658 πpòs aŮTÓν), Genesios (41 πpòs auroús) leaves it open. For the further evidence of the inscription of Malamir see my article on the treaty (op. cit.). In 823 the first decennium of the thirty years was near

expiration (συνεπλήρουν σχεδόν, Gen. loc. cit.). Jireček dates the treaty A.D. 815, Loparev and Zlatarski 816. I am inclined to believe that 815-816 is right (not 814, as I argued op. cit.). We must not press too far the axedov of Genesios; and other evidence makes it likely that the twentieth year of the period determined c. 836, and the thirtieth c. 846.

5 This seems to be implied in the passage of Genesios.

The inscription of Suleiman-keui (Aboba, 220 sqq.). Uspenski proposed to refer it to the beginning of the reign of Michael II. I have shown (op. cit.) that it contains a text or abstract of the Thirty Years' Treaty. 7 The common people (private soldiers) were to be interchanged, man for man. A ransom of so much a head was to be paid for Roman officers. A special arrangement was made for the redemption of Greeks who had been found in forts which the commanders had deserted.

divided Thrace between the two sovrans.1 The new boundary ran westward from Develtos to Makrolivada, a fortress situated between Hadrianople and Philippopolis, close to the junction of the Hebrus with its tributary the Arzus. At Makrolivada the frontier-line turned northward and proceeded to Mt. Haemus. The Bulgarians, who put their faith in earthworks and circumvallations, proposed to protect the boundary, and give it a visible form, by a rampart and trench. The Imperial government, without whose consent the execution of such a work would have been impossible, agreed to withdraw the garrisons from the forts in the neighbourhood of the frontier during the construction of the fortification, in order to avoid the possibility of hostile collisions.


The remains of the Great Fence, which marked the southern boundary of the Bulgarian kingdom in the ninth and tenth centuries, can be traced across Thrace, and are locally known as the Erkesiia.3 Some parts of it are visible to the eye of the inexperienced traveller, while in others the line has disappeared or has to be investigated by the diligent attention of the antiquarian. Its eastern extremity is near the ruins of Develtos, on that inlet of the Black Sea whose horns were guarded by the cities of Anchialus and Apollonia. It can be followed easily in its westward course, past Rusokastro, as far as the river Tundzha, for about forty miles; beyond that river it is more difficult to trace, but its western extremity seems to have been discovered at Makrolivada, near the modern village of Trnovo-Seimen." The line roughly

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orders, by men and women, and so pressing was the work that only one woman was left at home to take care of nine children. The same story is told elsewhere among the Slavs, of the erection of great buildings.

4 Colonia Flavia Pacis Deultensium, or Deultum, founded by Vespasian, was called in Byzantine times Δεβελτός. The traces of the "wall" begin at the west end of the lagoon of Mandra.

5 The length of the western section from the Tundzha is 64 kils., a little less than the eastern.

6 Near the junction of R. Hebrus and R. Arzus, now called Sazly-dere. The Roman station Arzus is doubtless to be identified with the ruins at TekeMusachevo, and here the rampart was

corresponds to the modern boundary between Turkey and Bulgaria. The rampart was on the north, the ditch on the south, showing that it was designed as a security against the Empire; the rampart was probably surmounted, like the wall of Pliska, by timber palisades,1 and the Bulgarians maintained a constant watch and ward along their boundary fences.2 In the eastern section, near the heights of Meleona, the line of defence was strengthened by a second entrenchment to the south, extending for about half a mile in the form of a bow, and locally known as the Gipsy Erkesiia, but we do not know the origin or date of this fortification.3 It would seem that the Bulgarians contented themselves with this fence, for no signs have been discovered of a similar construction on the western frontier, between Makrolivada and the mountains.

Sanctity was imparted to the contract by the solemn rites of superstition. Omurtag consented to pledge his faith according to the Christian formalities, while Leo, on his part, showing a religious toleration only worthy of a pagan, did not scruple to conform to the heathen customs of the barbarians. Great was the scandal caused to pious members of the Church when the Roman Emperor, "peer of the Apostles," poured on the earth a libation of water, swore upon a sword, sacrificed dogs, and performed other unholy rites.4 Greater, if possible, was their indignation, when the


cut by the great military road from Hadrianople to Philippopolis. western section was cut by another road which branched off from the military road at Lefke and led over the Balkans to Nicopolis on the Jantra; and also by the road from Hadrianople to Kabyle (Sliven), which followed the right bank of the Tundzha (Aboba, 539-540). Shkorpil thinks that the frontier continued westward (no traces of the wall are found beyond Teke - Musachevo) to Constantia (S. Kostenets) in the northern foothills of Rhodope, and thence northward to the pass of Succi (Βουλγαρική κλείσις) near Ichtiman; whence beyond the mountains it followed the line of the middle entrenchment of West Bulgaria (from Khairedin to Kiler-bair-kale on the Danube). But Constantia, which is mentioned in the inscriptions as on the frontier, was probably a different place.

1 Cp. Theoph. 490, the use of ξύλινα οχυρώματα.

2 Nicolaus, Responsa, 25.

3 Aboba, 542-543. Tradition says

that the Tsar's soldiers were called away before they had completed the chief entrenchment, and ordered the gipsies to finish it. The gipsies deflected the line to the south, and the soldiers when they returned continued their entrenchment in its previous direction.

Ignatius, Vit. Nic. p. 206. This passage is ignored by Bulgarian historians, though it points to some curious and obscure customs. ἐν αἷς (συμβάσεσι) ἦν ὁρᾶν τὸν βασιλέα Ῥωμαίων ἐκ κύλικος ὕδωρ κατὰ γῆς ἐπιλείβοντα, ἐπισάγματα ἵππων αὐτουργῶς ἀναστρέφοντα, ἱμάντων ἐντρίτων ἁπτόμενον, καὶ χόρτον εἰς ὕψος αἴροντα καὶ διὰ πάντων τούτων ἑαυτὸν ἐπαρώμενον. For the sacrifice of dogs see Cont. Th. p. 31; Jireček, Geschichte, p. 132.

heathen envoys were invited to pollute by their touch a copy of the Holy Gospels; and to these impieties earthquakes and plagues, which happened subsequently, were attributed.1


This peace, which the Bulgarians considered satisfactory for many years to come,2 enabled Omurtag to throw his energy into the defence of his western dominions against the great German Empire, which had begun to threaten his influence even in regions south of the Danube. The Slavonic peoples were restless 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.3 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 threatening 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).5 The Franks established their ascendency in Croatia, and soon afterwards Bulgarian ambassadors appeared in Germany and sought an audience of the Emperor (A.D. 824). 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.

2 It was doubtless renewed at the expiration of the decennial and vicennial periods. Michael Syr. 50 (cp. 73) says the Bulgarians submitted to Theophilus. This, if it means anything, probably means that on the accession of Theophilus the peace was confirmed. As to hostile designs of Leo against Bulgaria after the treaty, there is no evidence. The anecdote that Sabbatios (see above, p. 59) pro

mised that he would fix his sword eis
τὴν χαλκὴν ἅλωνα τῆς αὐλῆς αὐτῶν
even if it had any value-obviously
refers to the situation before the peace
(Epist. Synod. ad Theoph. 368).

3 Ann. r. Fr. 818, p. 149.
4 Ib. 819, p. 150.

5 lb. p. 161.

6 Ib. p. 164. The embassy arrived at the beginning of the year, and returned at Christmas (p. 165).


the boundaries between the German and Bulgarian dominions.1 Their empires touched at Singidunum, which was now Croatian town,2 under its new Slavonic name of Belgrade, the "white city," and the Bulgarian ruler probably claimed 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.3 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 disguised under the name Praedenecenti.1 They were also known, or were a branch of a people known, as the Abodrites, and must be carefully distinguished from the northern Abodrites, 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 exactions of the Bulgarians, and, like them, looked to the advance of the Franks as an opportunity for deliverance. Lewis, whom they had approached on previous occasions, received their envoys in audience, and kept the Bulgarians waiting for nearly six months. Finally he received them at Aachen, and dismissed them with an ambiguous letter to their master.6

It is clear that Lewis deemed it premature to commit his policy to a definite regulation of the boundaries of the southeastern mark, or to give any formal acknowledgment to the Bulgarian claims on the confines of Pannonia and Croatia ; but he hesitated to decline definitely the proposals of the

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denecenti is a corruption of a name connected with Branitschevo, which lay on the Danube, where the Mlava flows in, and corresponded to the ancient Viminacium. The site is marked by the ruins of Branitschevats and Kostolats. See Schafarik, ii. 209; Dümmler, Slawen in Dalm. 376; Simson, Ludwig der Fr. i. 139.

5 In A.D. 818 (Ann. r. Fr. 149) and A.D. 822 (ib. 159). Cp. Dümmler, Südöstl. Marken, 28.

Ib. 167. Astronomus, Vita Hludovici, c. 39 (M.G. H., Scr. ii.).

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