The First Bulgarian Empireball was a Balkan empireball. he conquered a great piece of the Byzantineball and killed his emperor, but he was killed by him in 1018.

History

First Bulgarian Empireball was born as a 2ball, was adopted by the Bulgarsball, and migrated to modern day Bulgaria. Constantine IV, the current emperor at the time, mustered a large force and met the invaders after defeating the Arabs besieging the capital, Constantinople in 678. However, by the time he got there, he fell ill and was forced to return the capital. Now that the Romans were leaderless, Asparuh Khan led his troops and defeated the Byzantines at Ongal River in 680 and the Byzantines signed a humiliating peace treaty which saw the official establishment of the First Bulgarian Empire.

In 705, the deposed Byzantine Emperor, Justinian II personally appealed to the Khan, Tervel and Tervel gave him a combined force of Slavic and Bulgar horsemen. Utilizing this recruited troops, Justinian marched onto the capital, totally unopposed and defeated his usurpers, Leontius and Tiberius. For his help, Justinian rewarded the Khan the title of Caesar, the first foreign person to acquire the title. At the same time, Tervel received the Zagore region in Thrace. However, Justinian himself violated the treaty to recover the lost lands but was defeated.

In 717, the Bulgars sent a military expedition to help the Byzantines defend their capital against the besieging Arabs. The Byzantines and Bulgars managed to repulse the invasion.

When Khan Sevar died, the state fell into turmoil. Constantine V then used this to the advantage of the Byzantines, however, he didn't manage to fully anschlussed the Bulgar state and when he died, Byzantine hold on the Balkans further stagnated. The Bulgars finally defeated the Byzantines at Marcellae(792) and forced them to pay tribute.

In 811, the Byzantines, under Nikephoros I, invaded Bulgaria again and devastated the countryside. They soon reached Pliska and sacked it. However, Khan Krum mustered a large force, trapped the Byzantines in the Varbitsa Pass which served as the exit to Bulgaria and ambushed the Byzantines, killing Nikephoros, wounding the heir apparent, Staurakios and the Byzantine force were destroyed. According to legend, the Bulgars recovered the body of Nikephoros, acquired the skull, lined it with silver and Krum used it as a drinking cup, earning him the nickname "the Fearsome". In 813, Krum won another decisive battle against the Byzantines, this time at Versinikia(813). When Krum died the next year, his successor, Omurtag, signed a peace treaty with the Byzantines for both of them to recover economically.

The reign of Boris I saw the rise of Christianity within the empire. Since the Bulgars were heavily influenced by the Byzantines, they adopted Orthodox Christianity and also adopted the script developed by the Byzantines for the Kievan' Rus. Despite not an able military leader, Boris was an able diplomat and good at politics, thus keeping his realm intact. He was also the first ruler to assume the title "Knyaz" meaning prince.

Boris' son, Simeon I, succeeded to the throne and inflicted several crushing defeats to the Byzantines, especially at Anchialus where the Bulgars destroyed almost whole of the Byzantine Army. Simeon then later beat up the empire's other enemies like the Magyars, Pechenegs, Cumans and of course, the Byzantines. He was also the first ruler in the Slavic world to use the title "Tsar", the Slavicized version of Caesar but now means Emperor, swiftly replacing the knyaz as the official title.

Bulgaria's golden age quickly ended after the great Tsar's death in 927. Simeon's conquests took a heavy toll on both the Bulgarian and Byzantine economy and Bulgaria never recovered their golden age. Bulgaria's position was very dangerous because in the south, the Romans were still dreaming to reconquer and restore Roman hegemony in the Balkans while in the north, the Magyars pillaged Bulgarian settlements. In 965, Eastern Rome recovered and played an Uno Reverse Card against the weakened and severely decentralized Abbasids, with this battle-seasoned army in his side, John Tzimiskes incited the Rus to invade Bulgaria, ransacking cities including the twin capitals, Preslav and Pliska. However, John became sus with the Rus and expelled them out of the Balkans. John then later restored Byzantine rule in Central Greece and the region surrounding Adrianople. Boris II was captured after their battle with the Rus and Svyatoslav(the leader of the Rus) presented him to John, who forced him to ritually abdicate the throne. Bulgaria briefly recovered under the rule of Cometopuli Dynasty headed by 4 brothers, David, Moses, Aron and Samuil(Samuel). However, the 2 elder brothers were killed in battle and the last 2 brothers fought because Aron was getting more pro-Byzantine. At this, Samuil executed Aron and Boris' brother, Roman escaped captivity and became tsar.

Samuil defeated the Byzantines and recaptured the gains of John. He also defeated the newly-ascended emperor, Basil II at the Gates of Trajan in 986, Basil himself was nearly killed in the battle. For the Hungarians not to intervene, Samuil married his son(Gavril Randomir) off to the King of Hungary's daughter. However, with the Byzantine resurgence and Gavril expelling his wife, Hungary joined in the gruesome "Threesome". Basil then inflicted crushing defeats to the Bulgarians especially at Kleidon(1014). With this, the Bulgarian resistance collapsed and in 1018, mopped the last embers of resistance and Basil developed new themes in the former state and once again, the Byzantines were able to restore Roman dominance within the Balkans. The former Bulgar state was managed by the Byzantines for almost 2 centuries until 2 nobles, Peter and Asen liberated the country from Byzantine rule.

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Gallery


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