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The Legend of Basil the Bulgar-Slayer
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  • Page extent: 182 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.446 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 949.5/02/092 B
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: DF595 .S74 2003
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Basil--II,--Emperor of the East,--approximately 958-1025
    • Emperors--Byzantine Empire--Biography
    • Byzantine Empire--History--Basil II Bulgaroctonus, 976-1025

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521815307 | ISBN-10: 0521815304)

  • Also available in Paperback
  • Published September 2003

Replaced by 9780521158831

$113.00 (C)

The long reign of the Byzantine emperor Basil II (976-1025) has been considered a "golden age", in which his greatest achievement was the annexation of Bulgaria after a long and bloody war. Paul Stephenson reveals that the legend of the "Bulgar-slayer" was actually created long after his death. His reputation was exploited by contemporary scholars and politicians to help galvanize support for the Greek wars against Bulgarians in Macedonia during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.


List of illustrations; Preface; Annotated and translation; List of abbreviations; 1. Basil the Bulgar-slayer: an introduction; 2. Basil and Samuel; 3. Basil annexes Bulgaria; 4. Victory and its representations; 5. Basil the younger, porphyrogennetos; 6. The origins of a legend; 7. Basile apr├Ęs Byzance; 8. Basil and the 'Macedonian question'; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.


"The book serves as an excellent model of exploring one under-documented event and discarding the traditionally accepted decree that it is fiction; and instead explores how the decree became "given."" Comitatus

"In bridging the divide between the popular and the historical, Paul Stephenson has furnished an excellent account of myth writing and how over the course of time a questionable historical event received added attention to satisfy the needs of the moment." - Walter K. Hanak, Shepherd University

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