Basil II

Basil II (Greek: Βασίλειος Β΄, Basileios II; 958 – 15 December 1025) was a Byzantine Emperor from the Macedonian dynasty who reigned from 10 January 976 to 15 December 1025. He was known in his time as Basil the Porphyrogenitus and Basil the Young to distinguish him from his supposed ancestor Basil I the Macedonian,

The first part of his long reign was dominated by civil war against powerful generals from the Anatolian aristocracy. Following their submission, Basil oversaw the stabilization and expansion of the Byzantine Empire's eastern frontier, and above all, the final and complete subjugation of Bulgaria, the Empire's foremost European foe, after a prolonged struggle. For this he was nicknamed by later authors as "the Bulgar-slayer" (Greek: Βουλγαροκτόνος, Boulgaroktonos), by which he is popularly known. At his death, the Empire stretched from Southern Italy to the Caucasus and from the Danube to the borders of Palestine, its greatest territorial extent since the Muslim conquests, four centuries earlier.

Despite near-constant warfare, Basil also showed himself a capable administrator, reducing the power of the great land-owning families who dominated the Empire's administration and military, and filling the Empire's treasury. Of far-reaching importance was Basil's decision to offer the hand of his sister Anna to Vladimir I of Kiev in exchange for military support, which led to the Christianization of the Kievan Rus', and the incorporation of Russia within the Byzantine cultural sphere.

Read more about Basil II:  Birth and Childhood, Asian Rebellions and Alliance With Rus', Campaigns Against The Arabs, Byzantine Conquest of Bulgaria, Khazar Campaign, Later Years, Assessment, In Literature

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... Emperor Basil II's numerous victories against the Arabs and internal Arab struggles helped clear a path towards the Caucasus ... In 1016, Senekerim-Hovhannes thus offered Basil II the lands of Vaspurakan, including 72 fortresses and 3000-4000 villages, in exchange for a vast domain farther west on the Byzantine ... Basil II had meanwhile already sent an army from the Balkans to Vaspurakan (which they also called Basprakania, Asprakania, or Media) even before Senekerim-Hovhannes' offer and reduced it to ...
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... In 1017 Basil II invaded Bulgaria with a large army including Rus' mercenaries ... Basil II himself managed to capture several minor Bulgarian castles but all attempts to seize Kastoria remained futile ... Upon the new of that negotiations, Basil II retreated from Kastoria ...
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... In 1001 the Byzantines led by Basil II besieged the city and after a long siege they managed to break through despite the garrison's desperate defence ... Basil II reacted quickly, heading to the town with an army and repulsing the Bulgarians ... was pointless and surrendered to Basil II with the rest of his troops ...
Basil II - In Literature
... Arguably the most popular is Basil Bulgaroktonus (1964) by historical fiction writer Kostas Kyriazis (b ... work Theophano (1963), focusing on Basil's mother, it examines Basil's life from childhood till his death at an advanced age, through the eyes of three fictional narrators ... neighbour (...) The Byzantine emperor Basil the Murderer (sic) of Bulgarians, a crucial figure in the Greek pantheon of heroes, is no less important as a subject of hatred for our national ...
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... Emperor Samuil resisted the Byzantine army, which reached its zenith under Basil II, for nearly half a century ... of the Gates of Trajan in 986 in which Basil II himself barely escaped ... From 1001 onwards, Basil II launched yearly campaigns into Bulgarian territory, methodically taking important cities such as Preslav, Pliska and Vidin, and inflicting several ...