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"The Third Battle of Anchialus " Topic

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328 hits since 10 Jan 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2019 9:37 p.m. PST

"For close to 500 years the Byzantine Empire conducted relations, sometimes as allies, sometimes at war, with the Bulgars. The Bulgars were originally a Turkic people who, like other Central Asian peoples, had a reputation as military horsemen, and they had developed a strong political organization based on the Khan as leader. The Khans came from the aristocratic class of Boyars, and were augmented by senior military commanders called Tarkhans. In the second century, the Bulgars migrated to an area between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, and sometime between 351 and 377, a group of them crossed the Caucasus to settle in Armenia.

Fleeing from the Huns at the beginning of the fifth century, a large number of Bulgars reached an area of fertile land between the Donets and Don valleys and the Sea of Azov. Some settled in this area, founding the state of Black Bulgaria, which became known as Great Bulgaria, and which flourished until destroyed by the Mongols in the thirteenth century. Others moved towards central Europe, settling in the Roman province of Pannonia, and accompanying the Huns in their raids into Europe between 377 and 453, dispersing into southeastern Europe in 453 with the death of Attila. Towards the end of the fifth century, these Bulgars fought the Ostrogoths as Byzantine allies, but from 493 they carried out raids on the western Byzantine outposts. These raids became so serious that they forced Byzantine emperor Anastasius to begin construction of the so-called "long wall" and to undertake the strengthening of the Danubian defensive perimeter. At the end of the sixth century, however, there was civil strife among the Bulgars, as the Kutrigur tribal faction united with the Avars to defeat the Utigurs. At this time Byzantine emperor Maurice incorporated some of the Bulgars as foederati into the Byzantine army, using them for duty in North Africa.

The eastern Bulgars were subjugated by the Gōktűrk Khanate in 568. The Utigur and Kutrigur Bulgars, as well as the Onogurs, a non-Bulgar Turkic tribe, broke loose from Gōktűrk control in 634 under khan Kubrat and formed an independent state known as the Onogundur-Bulgar Empire, situated between the lower course of the Danube in the west, the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov in the south, the Kuban river in the east and the Donets in the north. After the death of Kubrat in 665, this state was broken up by the Kazzars, and one group of Bulgars under Kubrat's son Batbayan returned to their traditional homelands to the north of the Black Sea. Another group led by his brother Korbus migrated to the Volga and Kama basins in Russia, becoming known as Volga Bulgars. A third group led by Asparukh, a third son of Kubrat, crossed the Danube and occupied southern Bessarabia (modern Moldova), becoming known as Danube Bulgars. After a successful war with the Byzantine Empire, highlighted by the Battle of Ongal in 680, the Danube Bulgar khanate was recognized as a separate state under a treaty with emperor Constantine IV the following year. The Bulgars had captured the Byzantine province of Moesia, which formed the basis for the modern state of Bulgaria, and which at the time was known as White Bulgaria. The treaty recognized Pliska as the capital. This area had a large pre-existing Slavic population, which exerted cultural influence on the Bulgars…."
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