Basil II (aka Basilius II) was the emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 976 to 1025 CE. This is done by assesssing whether the blinding of all the soldiers of a captured Bulgarian army by Byzantine emperor Basil II in 1014 was historical fact or a later fiction. This chapter concludes that some sort of mass blinding did occur, even if the immense numbers of victims as well as the decisiveness of this Byzantine victory over the Bulgarians can be questioned. God will know whose are ... Justinian of Byzantium. If you believe the chroniclers, Vasily II (or Basil II) was under the patronage of higher powers from the early days. How Byzantine Art and Architecture Captivated the Known World 2. The emperor took his revenge by blinding ninety-nine men out of a hundred soldiers. DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693627.003.0007, Part I No Quarter? Died 1025. Basil II, byname Basil Bulgaroctonus (Greek: Basil, Slayer of the Bulgars), (born 957/958—died Dec. 15, 1025), Byzantine emperor (976–1025), who extended imperial rule in the Balkans (notably Bulgaria), Mesopotamia, Georgia, and Armenia and increased his domestic authority by attacking the powerful landed interests of the military aristocracy and of the church. Emperor Samuilo was lucky at first to escape until he saw the remaining of his army. If not, kindly advise and I shall remove them.. Powered by. Tales of Byzantium: Basil II Blinds 15,000 Bulgarian Soldiers His constant military campaigns led to the zenith of Byzantine power in the Middle Ages. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. His paternal ancestry is of uncertain origins, his putative ancestor Basil I, the founder of the dynasty, being variously attributed as Armenian, Slavic, or Greek. (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. On one hand these people would not suffer as eyeless survivors, on the other the sheer number of Bulgarians would have diminished by 15 000, which is something very useful." : todayilearned 230 [1] According to some accounts of the story, Tsar Samuel of Bulgaria died from a heart attack upon seeing the returning blind soldiers. Basil II. Imperial expansion was a crucial context to the mutilation of prisoners of war in the Middle Ages. The Beginnings of Surrender, Part II Learning to Surrender? Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. R uler of the Byzantine Empire from 976 to 1025, a time when the power of the Muslim caliphate had faded and the Seljuk Turks had not yet made their impact, Basil II brought his realm to its greatest height since the time of Justinian (see entry). It is the walls of Constantinople, which humbled the most powerful people in the world for a thousand years.   He urges Greeks to follow the example of Basil II: "(...)Instead of blinding so many people, Basil should have better killed them instead. Basil crushed the Bulgars in 1014 AD in the Battle of Kleidion. Entry for 'Blind' - Nave's Topical Bible - One of 6 Bible concordances freely, this concordance, by Orville Nave, details his years of 'delightful and untiring study of God's Word' Why the Eastern Roman Empire lasted for so long is a huge question, and the implications... One of the Most Savage Reprisals in History Emperor Symeon I of Bulgaria (Sofia Cathedral). Blinding is a type of physical punishment which results in complete or nearly complete loss of vision. Byzantine emperor and conqueror. How Fighting Ends: A History of Surrender, 1 Surrender and Prisoners in Prehistoric and Tribal Societies, 4 Surrender in Medieval Europe—An Indirect Approach*, 5 Surrender and Capitulation in the Middle East in the Age of the Crusades, 6 Basil II the Bulgar-slayer and the Blinding of 15,000 Bulgarians in 1014: Mutilation and Prisoners of War in the Middle Ages, 8 Surrender in the Northeastern Borderlands of Native America, 10 Surrender and the Laws of War in Western Europe, c. 1660–1783, 11 Ritual Performance: Surrender during the American War of Independence, 13 ‘Civilized, Rational Behaviour’? But Basil II wasnt evil he was ruthless to his enemies like any medieval leader had to be, the blinding of the Bulgars is an extreme in a world where looted cities, massacred populations and enslaved civilians was both commonplace and expected. Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. All pictures are assumed to be in the public domain. This earned Emperor Basil II the nickname of 'the Bulgar Slayer'. The problem wasn’t that … Basil was the son of Emperor Romanos II and Empress Theophano, whose maternal family was of Laconian Greek origin from the Peloponnesian region of Laconia, possibly from the city of Sparta. American Institute of Archaeology, Gainesville chapter Center for Greek Studies Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere, Yavitz Fund College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Department of History Florida Museum of Natural History International Center Smathers Library present Mitko B. Panov (Euro-Balkan in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia) The legendary struggle between Basil II and Samuel: blinding the … He killed many en route, but many more were trapped and surrendered. Leo Phokas: 919 Blinded Rose up against the assumption of power by Romanos Lekapenos but was captured and blinded With all of his conquests, in Greece, the Balkans, Syria, Mesopotamia, Italy, and Bulgaria, he doubled the size of the Byzantine Empire. 1Samuel 11 mentioned the king of Ammon threatening to pluck out the eyes of the inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead. The things of God are perceived not by observation and inquiry, but by revelation and illumination (Matthew 11:25-27; 1 Corinthians 1:21; According to legend, at the time of his birth, the Moscow priest heard the voice of heaven, which announced to him: “Go and give name to Grand Duke Vasily!” Commanders Surrendering in World War I, 1 Surrender and Prisoners in Prehistoric and Tribal Societies, 4 Surrender in Medieval Europe—An Indirect Approach, 5 Surrender and Capitulation in the Middle East in the Age of the Crusades, 6 Basil II the Bulgar-slayer and the Blinding of 15,000 Bulgarians in 1014: Mutilation and Prisoners of War in the Middle Ages, 7 How Fighting Ended in the Aztec Empire and its Surrender to the Europeans, 8 Surrender in the Northeastern Borderlands of Native America. Basil IIs Decision of Blinding the Bulgars to End Resistance Basil II was called (Boulgaroktonos) Bulgar Slayer after blinding 99% of the 15000 men of captured from war and returned them home. The Varangian Guard: Berserkers of the Byzantine Empire 3. The real star of our story is not Emperor Basil II, Symeon, nor Samuel. Another example is after Battle of Belasica where Emperor Basil II got his name the Bulgarslayer. The Concept and Practice of Surrender in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, 1792–1815, 14 Robert E. Lee, the Army of Northern Virginia, and Confederate Surrender, 15 Surrender in Britain’s Small Colonial Wars of the Nineteenth Century, 17 By the book? Byzantine history is full of memorable mo... Michael VIII Gave the Empire One Last, Glorious Moment Michael VIII Palaiologos (Unknown artist, miniature from the manuscript of Pachy... Tough, Hard Warriors Victorious Byzantine archers. This is done by assesssing whether the blinding of all the soldiers of a captured Bulgarian army by Byzantine emperor Basil II … Wild Success and Deplorable Failure: The Cursed … This article has taken out Basil II's Armenian roots. Basil II, who ruled four generations after the first Basil (the Macedonian), is commemorated on many streets in Greek cities as ‘Voulgaroktonos’ (Bulgar-slayer). This chapter concludes that some sort of mass blinding did occur, even if the immense numbers of victims as well as the decisiveness of this Byzantine victory over the Bulgarians can be questioned. 1. Constantine , Basil, Gregory and Theodosios 820 Castrated The sons of Leo V the Armenian, who was deposed on Christmas Day, 820, by Michael II the Amorian. Bulgarian Emperor Symeon I (Madrid collection via, Map of the Bulgarian Empire under Symeon at its greatest extent (credit to, Facial reconstruction of Emperor Samuel of Bulgaria based on his remains (courtesy. TIL, after invading Bulgaria and capturing 15,000 prisoners, Basil II, blinded 99 of every 100 men, leaving one one-eyed man in each group to lead the rest back to their ruler. "Kill them all. Basil II is also responsible for the blinding 15 … World War II, Part VI b Germany and Japan in World War II. Commanders Surrendering in World War I, 19 French Surrender in 1940: Soldiers, Commanders, Civilians, 20 The Issue of Surrender in the Malayan Campaign, 1941–2, 21 ‘Neither Defeat nor Surrender’: Italy’s Change of Alliances in 1943, 23 Kamikaze Warfare in Imperial Japan’s Existential Crisis, 1944–5, 25 Kosovo, the Serbian Surrender, and the Western Dilemma: Achieving Victories with Low Casualties, 26 How Fighting Ends: Asymmetric Wars, Terrorism, and Suicide Bombing. THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. In the 11th century, William the Conqueror used blinding as a punishment for rebellion to replace the death penalty in his laws for England. He also bears the Bulgar Slayer title after managing to destroy Tzar Samuel’s Kingdom during the Middle Ages and retake control of the Balkans. Images on this blog are copyright to their respective owners. mutilation, prisoner of war, Basil II, Bulgaria, Byzantium. If you aren’t familiar with history, Basil II ruled Byzantium 976 AD – 1025 AD. This chapter analyses a very important aspect of the history of surrender: the question of the mass mutilation of prisoners of war. The restoration of the Danubian frontier helped establish a more stable and secure border for the empire in Europe, maintaining a stronger barrier against Hungarian and Pecheneg raiders. Born 957. One of the most p... Why Byzantium Prospered with its Capital on the Bosphorus The fishing was easy near Constantinople. date: 15 January 2021. Basil II (Greek: Βασίλειος Β΄, Basileios II; 958 – December 15, 1025) was a Byzantine Emperor from the Macedonian dynasty who reigned from January 10, 976 to December 15, 1025. 6 Basil II the Bulgar-slayer and the Blinding of 15,000 Bulgarians in 1014: Mutilation and Prisoners of War in the Middle Ages; Introduction; 8 Surrender in the Northeastern Borderlands of Native America; 9 Surrender in the Thirty Years War; 10 Surrender and the Laws of … Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter. ... After the Battle of Kleidion of 1014, the Byzantine Emperor Basil II had captured several thousand soldiers from the Bulgarian Empire. He ascended the throne when he was 18-years-old and died 49 years later. contact us 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. ;Scripture often employs the imagery of blindness to describe the spiritual condition of persons who are either unable or unwilling to perceive divine revelation. This chapter analyses a very important aspect of the history of surrender: the question of the mass mutilation of prisoners of war. Basil II was one of the greatest Emperors of Byzantium. To troubleshoot, please check our Prelude to the Downfall of Byzantium The soldiers of the Second Crusade besiege Damascus ca. The conquest of Bulgaria and the submission of the South Slavscreated relative peace for the empire's Balkan lands, keeping larger cities – including Constantinople – safe fro… Part VII Our Times: Asymmetric Wars—Endless Wars and No Surrender? If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian. 10 Surrender and the Laws of War in Western Europe, 11 Ritual Performance: Surrender during the American War of Independence, 13 ‘Civilized, Rational Behaviour’? Basil the Porphyrogenitus and Basil the Young to distinguish him from his ancestor Basil I the Macedonian, was a Byzantine emperor from the Macedonian dynasty who reigned from 10 January 976 to 15 December 1025. Basil II reigned for a long time, from 976 to 1025. The Middle Ages, Part III The Development of Rules and Regulations: Surrender in Early Modern Times, Part III a Surrender in Intercultural Wars, Part III b Surrender in Early Modern Europe, Part IV A Question of Honour: Surrender in Sea Warfare, Part V The Times of International Law: Surrender in Modern Wars, Part VI Unconditional Surrender? He urges Greeks to follow the example of Basil II: "Instead of blinding so many people, Basil should have better killed them instead. Indeed the biological father of Leo VI the Wise (Basil IIs great-grandfather) was possibly not Basil I, but Michael III. Keywords: It goes to ask whether the mutilation of prisoners of war was common in other medieval contexts beyond Byzantium. The family of Michael III were Anatolians fro… This chapter suggests that among medieval polities, it was great empires, including the Byzantines and the Carolingians, that were the more frequent perpetrators of mass cruelties rather than other more supposedly violent groups such as the Vikings. There are all sorts of misconceptions about the Byzantine state. Everybody who is familiar with... We're From France and We're Here to Help Alexius I Comnenus. Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012, DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693627.001.0001, PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). Please, subscribe or login to access full text content. ... after the death of Samuel’s successor, John Vladislav at Dyrrachion, and the capture and blinding of prisoners, the Bulgars realized that to continue their hostility was useless. He was known in his time as Basil the Porphyrogenitus and Basil the Young to distinguish him from his ancestor Basil I the Macedonian,. FAQs The blinding of Samuel's army and their return to Prilep. 1148 (William of Tyre, Histoire d'Outremer,... Map of Constantinople during the Middle Ages. On one hand these people would not suffer as eyeless survivors, on the other the sheer number of Bulgarians would have diminished by 15 000, which is something very useful." They were exiled to Prote, castrated and confined to a monastery as monks. You could not be signed in, please check and try again. The Byzantine captured as much as fifteen thousand Bulgar soldiers after the war. He left the hundredth soldier’s one eye intact, so … If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and you do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail us identifying the image with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed. . This was a decisive defeat for Bulgaria, and the Empire collapsed not long after. 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 Battle of Kleidion (or Clidium, after the medieval name of the village of Klyuch, "(the) key"; also known as the Battle of Belasitsa) took place on July 29, 1014, between the Byzantine Empire and the Bulgarian Empire.It was the culmination of the nearly half-century struggle between the Byzantine Emperor Basil II and the Bulgarian Emperor Samuel in the late 10th and early 11th centuries. , and if you can't find the answer there, please Basil II's reign is one of the most significant in Byzantine history. There Was More to Byzantium Than Constantinople The White Tower in Thessaloniki (Felix J. Koch, 1905). The Great Betrayal The Capture of Constantinople in 1204 (Domenico Tintoretto, 16th Century). What Byzantine Cities Were Important Besides Const... Emperor Symeon I of Bulgaria (Sofia Cathedral). He was a strong (even autocratic) ruler with an iron will. Context: After the Battle of Kleidionbetween the First Bulgarian Empire and the Byzantine Empire, the Byzantines captured 15,000 Bulgarian soldiers, divided them into groups of 100, and blinded 99 people in each group and left the last person with one eye. 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.. How Did the Byzantine Empire Last So Long? Welcome! 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. The Concept and Practice of Surrender in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, 1792–1815, 14 Robert E. Lee, the Army of Northern Virginia, and Confederate Surrender, 15 Surrender in Britain’s Small Colonial Wars of the Nineteenth Century, 17 By the book? This is done by assesssing whether the blinding of all the soldiers of a captured Bulgarian army by Byzantine emperor Basil II in 1014 was historical fact or a later fiction. All Rights Reserved. Basil II Blinds 15,000 Bulgarian Soldiers, The Last Great Byzantine Emperor: Michael VIII, Why Constantinople Became the Second Rome, What Byzantine Cities Were Important Besides Constantinople, The Fourth Crusade Captures Constantinople. Important Besides Const... Emperor Symeon I of Bulgaria ( Sofia Cathedral ) his name the Bulgarslayer the. William of Tyre, Histoire d'Outremer,... Map of Constantinople during Middle. View the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter We 're Here to Alexius! Basil II reigned for a long time, from 976 to 1025 Bulgar Slayer ' medieval contexts Byzantium..., Byzantium power in the Middle Ages 976 AD – 1025 AD Prospered with its Capital the! N'T find the answer there, please check our FAQs, and if you think should... 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