III. The Postclassical Period, 500–1500 > F. Europe, 461–1500 > 4. Eastern Europe, 1000–1300 > g. The Second Bulgarian Empire
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
(See 1016–18)
g. The Second Bulgarian Empire
Following the collapse of the First Bulgarian Empire in 1018, Bulgaria was, for 168 years, an integral part of the Byzantine Empire. The replacement of taxation in kind with taxation in cash, and other grievances, led to a serious revolt in 1040, led by Peter Delyan, a son of Gabriel Radomir, that was confined to the northwest and western parts of the former empire. Delyan had himself proclaimed tsar, but the movement suffered from his rivalry with Alusian, son of John Vladislav. In 1041 Delyan was defeated and captured by the imperial troops. Another uprising, led by George Voitech in 1072–73, was suppressed without much difficulty. During the Byzantine period, the country was constantly exposed to raids by the Patzinaks (1048–54), many of whom settled in northeastern Bulgaria. The Bogomil heresy (a dualistic sect) continued to spread, despite persecution by the government (1110 ff.).  1
Rising of Asen and Peter, two Bulgarian lords from the vicinity of Tirnovo. Defeated by the Emperor Isaac II Angelus (1186), they fled to the Cumans and returned with an army. After raiding into Thrace, they accepted a truce that left them in possession of Bulgaria north of the Balkan Mountains.  2
Asen attempted to effect an alliance with Frederick Barbarossa and the leaders of the Third Crusade, against the Greeks. This came to nothing, but the Bulgarians resumed their raids into Thrace and Macedonia. An imperial army under Isaac Angelus was completely defeated in a battle near Berrhoe.  3
Peter succeeded to leadership of the movement after the murder of Asen by boyar (i.e., noble) conspirators.  4
Peter himself fell a victim to his boyar rivals.  5
KALOJAN, the younger brother of Asen and Peter. He made peace with the Greeks (1201) and then engaged (1202) in campaigns against the Serbs (taking of Nish) and the Hungarians, whom he drove back over the Danube.  6
The collapse of the Byzantine Empire gave Kalojan an excellent opportunity to reaffirm his dominion. By recognizing the primacy of the pope, he succeeded in securing the appointment of a primate for Bulgaria and in getting himself crowned king by the papal legate. At the same time, he took over the whole of western Macedonia.  7
Supported by the Cumans and the local Greeks, Kalojan completely defeated the Frankish crusaders near Adrianople and captured the Emperor Baldwin I.  8
Kalojan was murdered while besieging Salonika (Thessalonica).  9
Boril, the nephew of Kalojan. By this time the Bulgars had adopted the Byzantine social structures, including the appanage system: the tsar was considered supreme owner of the state, the land, and even the official and Church language; only members of the tsar's family had the privilege of possessing large estates as appanage, where the same system of ownership was reproduced on a local level. Hence, unlike in the West, separatism did not lead to the emergence of self-governing cities, but resulted only in an overall weakening of the state. Boril's position was not recognized by most of the other members of Asens family, some of whom attempted to set up independent principalities.  10
Boril was completely defeated by the Franks and ultimately (1213) was obliged to make peace.  11
Ivan (John) Asen, son of Asen, supported by Galicia, began a revolt in northern Bulgaria. He besieged and took Tirnovo.  12
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.