The reign of Basil II (976–1025), the longest of any Byzantine emperor, has long been considered as a 'golden age', in which his greatest achievement was the annexation of Bulgaria. This, we have been told, was achieved through a long and bloody war of attrition which won Basil the grisly epithet Voulgartoktonos, 'the Bulgar-slayer'. In this 2003 study Paul Stephenson argues that neither of these beliefs is true. Instead, Basil fought far more sporadically in the Balkans and his reputation as 'Bulgar-slayer' was created only a century and a half later. Thereafter the 'Bulgar-slayer' was periodically to play a galvanizing role for the Byzantines, returning to centre-stage as Greeks struggled to establish a modern nation state. As Byzantium was embraced as the Greek past by scholars and politicians, the 'Bulgar-slayer' became an icon in the struggle for Macedonia (1904–1908) and the Balkan Wars (1912–1913).Read more
- A broadly based, accessible book which spans history, art history and literature in both the medieval and modern periods
- Addresses major issues in national history and nationalism in Byzantium and Greece through the ages
- Illustrated in colour and black-and-white with rare and unusual images
Reviews & endorsements
Review of the hardback: 'It is well written and has that strong sense of Byzantium's place in the Hellenic tradition.' Journal of Ecclesiastical History
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- Date Published: November 2010
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521158831
- length: 190 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 11 mm
- weight: 0.29kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
List of illustrations
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 après Byzance
8. Basil and the 'Macedonian question'
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