Presian II of Bulgaria


Presian II of Bulgaria

Presian II ( _bg. Пресиян II) (or also "Prusian") was emperor (tsar) of Bulgaria for a short time in 1018. The year of his birth may have been 996/997; he may have died in exile in 1060/1061. Presian II was clearly the legitimate and unchallenged claimant to the crown of Bulgaria in 1018 and he was in charge of the resistance to Byzantine conquest, but his ephemeral and constrained rule has resulted in his omission from most lists of Bulgarian monarchs.

Presian II was the eldest son of Emperor Ivan Vladislav of Bulgaria and his wife Marija. After the death of Ivan Vladislav at the siege of Durazzo in February 1018, the Byzantine Emperor Basil II invaded Bulgaria and quickly obtained the submission of much of the nobility, including the widowed Empress Marija and the Bulgarian Patriarch.Although the capital Ohrid also surrendered, some of the nobility and the army rallied around Presian II as his father's successor. Presian II and his brothers Aron and Alusian headed a determined opposition to the Byzantine conquest in and around the Albanian mountain Tomor (Tmor) during a Byzantine blockade of long duration in 1018. Eventually Presian II and his brothers were forced to surrender, and were integrated into the court nobility in Constantinople. There Presian was granted the high court title of "magistros", like the previous ruler of Bulgaria to be deposed by the Byzantines, Boris II.

About a decade later, in the late 1020s, Presian became involved in the conspiracy of his sister's husband, Romanos Kourkouas, against Emperor Constantine VIII. Returning from exile after the accession of Romanos III Argyros in 1029, Presian was once again implicated in a plot, together with his mother Marija. This time Presian was planning to marry Theodora, a daughter of Constantine VIII, and to usurp the throne. The plot was discovered, and Presian was blinded and tonsured as monk in 1030. His subsequent fate is unknown, but the gravestone of a certain "Prince Presian" found in Michalovce, Slovakia (then part of Hungary) may indicate that he emigrated to Hungary and died there in 1060/1061.

References

* John V.A. Fine Jr., "The Early Medieval Balkans", Ann Arbor, 1983.

External links

* [http://sitemaker.umich.edu/mladjov/files/bulgarian_rulers.pdf Detailed List of Bulgarian Rulers]

Footnotes


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