- Presian I of Bulgaria
Presian Ruler of Bulgaria
Presian Inscription, first plate, Archeological Museum, Philippi, Greece.
Reign 836–852 Died 852 Predecessor Malamir Successor Boris I Consort Unknown Offspring Boris I Royal House Krum's dynasty
possibly Dulo clan
The composite picture of the Byzantine sources indicates that Presian I was the son of Zvinica (Zbēnitzēs), who was a son of Omurtag. In several older studies Presian is identified with his short-lived predecessor Malamir and it is assumed that this single character survived until the 850s as the direct predecessor of Boris I. This is very unlikely, as Malamir is attested as having been succeeded by his nephew (the son of his brother Zvinica), while Boris I was preceded by his father Presian. Zlatarski resolved the problems in the fragmentary sources by determining that Malamir's unnamed nephew and successor was in fact Presian, and Boris I was the latter's son.
The 17th century Volga Bulgar compilation Ja'far Tarikh, a work of disputed authenticity, represents Birdžihan (i.e., Presian) as the son of Sabanša (i.e., Zvinica), which may lend support to the interpretation of his origins now dominant in Bulgarian historiography.
Presian may have been young and inexperienced at the time of his accession, and state affairs may have been dominated by the minister (kaukhanos) Isbul, as under Presian's uncle Malamir. Soon after Presian's accession the Slavs in the vicinity of Thessalonica rebelled against the Byzantine Empire in 837. Emperor Theophilos sought Bulgarian support in putting down the rebellion, but simultaneously arranged for his fleet to sail through the Danube delta and undertake a clandestine evacuation of some of the Byzantine captives settled in trans-Danubian Bulgaria by Krum and Omurtag. In retaliation Isbul campaigned along the Aegean coasts of Thrace and Macedonia and captured the city of Philippi, where he set up a surviving memorial inscription set up in a local church. Isbul's campaign may have resulted in the establishment of Bulgarian suzerainty over the Slavic tribe of the Smoljani.
Presian's reign coincides with the extension of Bulgarian control over the Slavic tribes in and around Macedonia. It is known that the Serbs and Bulgars lived in peace until the invasion in 839 (the last years of Theophilos). Vlastimir, the Knez of Serbia, united several Serbian tribes, and Emperor Theophilos (r. 829–842) granted the Serbs independence, thus the Serbs acknowledged nominal overlordship of the Emperor. The annexation of western Macedonia by the Bulgars changed the political situation, Malamir or Presian may have seen a threat in the Serb consolidation, and opted to subjugate them in midst of the conquest of Slav lands. Another cause might have been that the Byzantines wanted to divert the attention so that they could cope with the Slav Uprising in the Peloponnese, meaning they would have sent the Serbs to instigate the war. Presian invades Serbian territory between 839-842 (see Bulgarian–Serbian Wars). The invasion led to a 3-year war, Vlastimir was victorious; Presian made no territorial gains, was heavily defeated and lost many of his men as the Serbs had a tactival advantage in the hills, Presian was driven out by the army of Vlastimir. The war ended with the death of Theophilos in 842, which released Vlastimir from his obligations to the Byzantine Empire.
He died in 852, and was succeeded by his son Boris I.
Regnal titles Preceded by
Khan of Bulgaria
- ^ a b c Bury 2008, p. 372
- ^ L. Kovacevic & L. Jovanovic, Историjа српскога народа, Belgrade, 1894, Book 2, p. 38—39
- ^ S. Stanojevic, Историjа српскога народа, Belgrade, 1910, p. 46—47
- ^ a b Известия за българите, p. 42—43
- ^ Fine 1991, p. 108
- ^ Fine 1991, p. 110
- ^ Runciman 1930, p. 88
- ^ Houtsma 1993, p. 199
- Jordan Andreev, Ivan Lazarov, Plamen Pavlov, Koj koj e v srednovekovna Bălgarija, Sofia 1999.
- Vasil Zlatarski, Istorija na bălgarskata dăržava, 1:1, Sofia, 1918.
- (primary source), Bahši Iman, Džagfar Tarihy, vol. III, Orenburg 1997.
- Constantine Porphyrogenitus, De Administrando Imperio, edited by Gy. Moravcsik and translated by R. J. H. Jenkins, Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies, Washington D. C., 1993
- Bury, J. B. (2008). History of the Eastern Empire from the Fall of Irene to the Accession of Basil: A.D. 802-867. ISBN 1605204218. http://books.google.com/?id=svPkt-TIHK0C&pg=PA372.
- Fine, John Van Antwerp (1991). The Early Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Sixth to the Late Twelfth Century. Michigan: The University of Michigan Press. ISBN 0472081497.
- Runciman, Steven (1930). A history of the First Bulgarian Empire. London: G. Bell & Sons. http://www.kroraina.com/knigi/en/sr/sr_2_2.htm.
Bulgarian monarchs First Empire (681–1018) Second Empire (1186–1396)Ivan Asen I · Peter IV · Ivanko · Kaloyan · Boril · Ivan Asen II · Kaliman I Asen · Michael Asen I · Kaliman II Asen · Mitso Asen · Constantine Tikh · Ivailo · Ivan Asen III · George Terter I · Smilets · Chaka · Theodore Svetoslav · George Terter II · Michael Shishman · Ivan Stephen · Ivan Alexander · Ivan Shishman · Ivan Sratsimir Principality (1878–1908) and
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