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of his father. We have a memorial column of Tsepa, a boilad and king's liegeman who died of illness.1 From another stone we learn that Isbules, the kaukhan, who was one of the king's old boilads, built an aqueduct for Malamir at his own expense. This aqueduct was probably to supply one of the royal palaces. Malamir celebrated the occasion by giving a feast to the Bulgarians, and bestowing many gifts upon the boilads and bagains.2
There was some risk that the treaty with the Empire might be denounced during the reign of Theophilus.
The Thracian and Macedonian captives who had been transported by Krum to regions beyond the Danube formed a plan to return to their homes. This colony of exiles, who are said to have numbered 12,000 not counting females, were permitted to choose one of their own number as a governor, and Kordyles, who exercised this function, contrived to make his way secretly to Constantinople and persuaded Theophilus to send ships to rescue the exiles and bring them home. This act was evidently a violation of the Thirty Years' Peace, and at the same moment the Bulgarian ruler was engaged in a
and Zlatarski suggests that the narrative was derived by Simeon from a hagiographical work (where such a confusion would not be surprising). But it may be suggested that Simeon or his source Maλuép; the form of μ in tenth-cent. MSS. was liable to confusion with ß, and if the word was read Baλiμép the further corruption was almost inevitable. In any case the identification is certain. Simeon states that "Baldimer' was grandson of Krum, and Malamir was Omurtag's son. In the inscriptions his name is written Μαλαμηρ and Μαλαμιρ. Zlatarski (who distinguishes Presiam from M.) thinks that M. reigned from 831/2 to 836/7; cp. Appendix X.
return of the captives in this chronicle
hostile action against the Empire by advancing to Thessalonica. It can hardly be an accident that the date to which our evidence for their transaction points (c. A.D. 836) coincides with the termination of the second decad of the Peace, and if it was a condition that the Treaty should be renewed at the end of each decad, it was a natural moment for either ruler to choose for attempting to compass an end to which the other would not agree. We cannot determine precisely the order of events, or understand the particular circumstances in which the captives effected their escape. We are told that the whole
population began to cross over a river,1 in order to reach the place where the Imperial ships awaited them. The Bulgarian Count of the district 2 crossed over to their side to prevent them, and being defeated with great loss, sought the help of the Magyars, who were now masters of the north coast of the Euxine as far as the Bulgarian frontier. Meanwhile the Greeks crossed, and were about to embark when a host of Magyars appeared and commanded them to surrender all their property. The Greeks defied the predatory foe, defeated them in two engagements, and sailed to Constantinople, where they were welcomed by the Emperor and dismissed to their various homes.3
We have no evidence as to the object of the expedition to Thessalonica, but it has been conjectured that the Macedonian Slavs, infected by rebellious movements of the Slavs in Greece, were in a disturbed state, and that the Bulgarian monarch seized the opportunity to annex to his own kingdom by peaceful means these subjects of the Empire. In support of this guess it may be pointed out that not many years later his power seems to have extended as far west as Ochrida, and there is no record of a conquest of these regions by arms. And a movement in this direction might also explain the war
1 diaπeрâv, Simeon (Leo Gr. 232). The chronicler probably meant the Danube (the only river mentioned in the narrative), and if this is right, the captives crossed from the left to the right bank.
2 Perhaps the officer who was called the Count of Durostorum (Aρσтρov). Cp. Uspenski, Starobolg. nadp. 230.
3 The approximate date can be inferred from data as to the age of Basil I., who was one of the captives.
The year of his birth is fixed to A.D.
6 Cp. Zlatarski, 40, and below, p. 384.
which broke out between Bulgaria and Servia in the last years of Theophilus.
About this time the Servians, who had hitherto lived in a loose group of independent tribes, acknowledging the nominal lordship of the Emperor, were united under the rule of Vlastimir into the semblance of a state. If it is true that the extension of Bulgarian authority over the Slavs to the south of Servia was effected at this epoch, we can understand the union of the Servian tribes as due to the instinct of selfdefence. Hitherto they had always lived as good neighbours of the Bulgarians, but the annexation of western Macedonia changed the political situation. Vlastimir's policy of consolidating Servia may have been a sufficient motive with Malamir to lose no time in crushing a power which might become a formidable rival, and he determined to subjugate it. But it is not unlikely that the Emperor also played a hand in the game. Disabled from interfering actively by the necessities of the war against the Moslems, he may have reverted to diplomacy and stirred up the Servians, who were nominally his clients, to avert a peril which menaced themselves, by driving the Bulgarians from western Macedonia. The prospect of common action between the Empire and the Servians would explain satisfactorily Malamir's aggression against Servia.1 The war lasted three years, and ended in failure and disaster for the Bulgarians.2
These speculations concerning the political situation in the Balkan peninsula in the last years of Theophilus depend on the hypothesis, which cannot be proved, that the Bulgarians had succeeded in annexing the Slavonic tribes to the west of Thessalonica. In any case, whatever may have occurred, the Thirty Years' Peace had been confirmed, and remained inviolate till its due termination in A.D. 845-846. It was not renewed, and soon afterwards a Bulgarian army under the general Isbules seems to have invaded Macedonia and operated in the regions of the Strymon and the Nestos; while the Imperial
1 For these conjectures, see Jireček, Archiv für slavische Philologie, xxi. 609 sq.; Zlatarski, op. cit. 40 sqq. Z. supposes that Theophilus offered the Servians an acknowledgment of their complete independence.
2 The source for the war is Con
stantine, De adm. imp. 154; he calls the Bulgarian ruler IIpeoidu, the only evidence we have for the name. Vlastimir's date is given by Schafarik as A.D. 836-843 (ii. 250).
3 I adopt Zlatarski's interpretation (49 sq.) of the Villoison inscrip
government retaliated by reinforcing the garrisons of the frontier forts of Thrace in order to carry out a systematic devastation of Thracian Bulgaria.1 This plan released Macedonia from the enemy; Isbules was recalled to defend his country. The absence of the Thracian and Macedonian troops, which these events imply, is explained, if they were at this time engaged in reducing the Slavs of the Peloponnesus.2
These hostilities seem to have been followed by a truce,3 and soon afterwards Malamir was succeeded by his nephew Boris (c. A.D. 852). This king, whose reign marks an important epoch in the development of Bulgaria, was soon involved in war with the Servians and with the Croatians. He hoped to avenge the defeats which his uncle had suffered in Servia.5 But the Servians again proved themselves superior and captured Vladimir, the son of Boris, along with the twelve great boliads. The Bulgarian king was compelled to submit to terms of peace in order to save the prisoners, and fearing that he might be waylaid on his homeward march he asked for a safe-conduct. He was conducted by two Servian
tion (C.I.G. iv. 8691b) found near Philippi. Its obvious meaning is that the Bulgarian king sent Isbules with an army and that he operated in the district of the Smoleanoi, who, we know, lived on the middle course of the Nestos. Cp. Appendix X.
1 Simeon (Cont. Georg. 821). This notice comes immediately after that of the death of Methodius, which occurred in June 847. Zlatarski, 43 sq., has made it quite clear that Simeon refers here to different events from those recorded by Genesios, 85 sq. (see below). He is almost certainly right in referring the important inscription of Shumla (Aboba, 233) to operations at this period in Thrace (51 sq.), though otherwise I cannot accept his interpretation (see Appendix X.). The forts of Probaton and Burdizos which are mentioned in it would be two of the κáσтpа referred to by Simeon, with whose notice the words υ γρυκυ ερημοσᾶ (οἱ Γραικοὶ ἐρήμωσαν) are obviously in accordance.
2 There is no independent evidence as to the date of the Peloponnesian war (see below, p. 379).
3 Zlatarski, 53.
4 The date of the accession of Boris is determined by Zlatarski, 46-47. He reigned thirty-six years (Theophylactus, Mart. 201), his successor Vladimir four years (ib. 213). Vladimir was still alive in 892 (Ann. Fuld., s.a.), but was succeeded by Simeon not later than 893. This gives 852853 for accession of Boris (Golubinski and Jireček had already dated it to 852-856). 852 is rendered probable by the Bulgarian embassy sent to Lewis the German in that year (Ann. Fuld., s.a.), which was probably to announce the accession and confirm the treaty of 845 (ib., s.a.).
5 Constantine, De adm. imp. 154155 (Servian war), 150 (Croatian war: unsuccessful and followed by peace). Zlatarski dates these wars to 854-860 (55). Dümmler (Slawen in Dalm. 397) conjectures that the Croatian war was successful, and that the Croatians ceded Bosnia to Boris. bases this guess on the apparent fact that about this time the Croatian power seriously declined. He supposes that soon after the conquest, Boris was defeated in his war with the Servians and compelled to surrender Bosnia to them.
princes to the frontier at Rasa, where he repaid their services by ample gifts, and received from them, as a pledge of friendship, two slaves, two falcons, two hounds, and ninety skins.1 This friendship bore political fruits. The two princes were sons of Muntimir, one of three brothers, who, soon after the Bulgarian invasion, engaged in a struggle for supreme power, and when Muntimir gained the upper hand he sent his rivals to Bulgaria to be detained in the custody of Boris.
During the reign of Boris peace was maintained, notwithstanding occasional menaces,2 between Bulgaria and the Empire; and before the end of the reign of Michael III. the two powers were drawn into a new relation, when the king accepted Christian baptism. But the circumstances of this event, which is closely connected with larger issues of European politics, must be reserved for another chapter.
2 Genesios, 85-86, says that the Bulgarian ruler (unnamed) threatened to invade Roman territory, but Theodora declared that she would lead an army in person against him. will be no glory to you to defeat a woman; if she defeats you, you will be ridiculous." The Bulgarian thought better of his purpose, and remained quiet in his own country. Cont. Th. 162 says (1) that the king was Boris (Bwywpis), and (2) that he purposed to break the treaty, but renewed it; (3) brings the incident into connexion
with the conversion of the Bulgarians. Zlatarski (54 sq.) accepts the king's name from Cont. Th. and gives reasons for dating the incident to A.D. 852. He thinks that this writer has combined the passage in Genesios with another source-the same from which he drew the stories about Theodore Kupharas, the sister of Boris, and the painter Methodios. I doubt whether the anecdote has any value; but it may be based on the circumstance that Boris on his accession renewed the truce with Byzantium.