Vasil II



The Bulgar Slayer

 

 

Basil II the Bulgar slayer was Born in 958 and died in 15 December 1025. He was the Predecessor of John I Tzimiskes and he was successed by Constantine VIII.
His father was Romanos II and his mother Theophano. He was a member of the famous Macedonian dynasty. Emperor Basill II is one of the most important men of the Hellenic Nation. He is the one that saved Macedonia and the rest of Greece from the Bulgarian threat that after the creation of the Bulgaric state in the lands of Ano Mysia became very dangerous for all European lands of the Empire. Basill became an Emperor in the age of 18 and he managed to win the battle against the rebels great landowners of Asia Minor, Bardas Skleros and Bardas Phokas which he was stricktly punished.

After that, he turned his attention to the Bulgarians that have occupied Macedonia except Salonica and have moved to southern Greece.
He was heavily defited at first in the battle of Larisa in 987 and that incident gave the Bulgarians the change to begin an orgy of killings, burning, pillage and all kinds off atrocities against the native Hellenic population of Macedonia and Southern Greece.
Vasill managed to stop them with his general Nikiphoros Ouranos, Nikiforos Ksifias, Eustathos Dafnomilis and in the end in the battle of KLEIDION he destroyed them uterly!

In that battle he destroyed the army of Samuel of Bulgaria and he arrested 14.000 as prisoners. Bulgarians were stricktly punished for the crimes of rebellion, killings, burning and destrucion. Basill blinded 99 to every 100 men.In very 100 men he left 1 with one eye to guide the others back to Bulgaria. When Samuel sow that, he died. After his victory Basill visited southern Greece and he went to the church of Holy Mary of Parthenon in Athens to thank the Lord for his success in the Bulgarian war.

His Imperial Magesty also launched a campaign against Muslim Arabs that besieged Antioch and Aleppo. In 995 with 40,000 men and 80,000 mules he attacked and won many battles he relieved Aleppo, took over Orontes valley all north Syria and moved south.Moving to lands that were lost for the Empire since the Arab expantion, he sacked all cities between Emessa and Tripoli. This lands would remain in Greek hand for 75 years.

Vasil managed to stabilize the Byzantine rull in Crimea in the north of the Black Sea by making alliance with the Russians from which he had millitary help which later transformed in to the IMPERIAL VARANGIAN GUARD. He also gave his younger sister Anna as a wife to the Russian Ruller. He win over the Khazar turks with jewish relligion, beat the Persians that invaded Armenia, united Armenia with the Empire after the Armenian King has died, took back important lands in South Italy known till today by his name (Basillikata). Death caught him before he set free the island of Sisely, giving an end to that plan of the Glorious King.

He was buried in the Church of St. John the Theologian the Evangelist at the Hebdomon Palace outside the Theodosian walls of Constantinople. Unfortunatelly the barbarians of the 4th (1204) crusade vandalised, and ravaged his grave. Michael Paleologos set free Constantinople in 1261 and the religious Greek soldiers were socked in the site of the grave being ravaged.
But thats another story...