Roman of Bulgaria

Roman of Bulgaria

Infobox_Monarch | name =Roman
title = Еmperor of Bulgaria

caption =
reign = 977 - 991 (997)
coronation =
predecessor = Boris II
successor = Samuil
consort = Unknown
issue = None
royal house = "Krum's dynasty" (possibly Dulo)
royal anthem =
father = Peter I
mother = Irina
date of birth = early 930s
place of birth =
date of death = 997
place of death = Constantinople
buried =|

Roman ( _bg. Роман) was emperor (tsar) of Bulgaria from 977 to 997 (in Byzantine captivity from 991).


Roman was the second surviving son of Emperor Peter I of Bulgaria by his marriage with Maria (renamed Eirene) Lakapene, the granddaughter of the Byzantine Emperor Romanos I Lakapenos. It is possible that he had the double name Roman Simeon, but this may be due to confusion with another man in the sources. He was born around 930, and had probably visited Constantinople with his mother and older brothers soon after 931.

We know nothing about Roman's life until 968, when he joined his older brother Boris in Constantinople to negotiate a peace agreement between Bulgaria and Byzantium, during which they apparently served as honorary hostages at the Byzantine court. On their father's abdication in 969, Boris and Roman returned to Bulgaria, where Boris II succeeded as emperor. Roman may have been proclaimed co-emperor in accordance with Byzantine usage, but the evidence for that is vague.

In Bulgaria Roman probably shared his brother's destiny, becoming first a pawn in the hands of Prince Sviatoslav I of Kiev and then in those of the Byzantine Emperor John I Tzimiskes. After the latter's victory in 971, Roman was taken to Constantinople together with his brother's family. To ensure that the Bulgarian dynasty would die out (Boris II apparently had only daughters), the Byzantine emperor had Roman castrated. Boris and Roman remained in honorary captivity at the imperial palace until after the death of the emperor in 976.

At this point the raids of the "Kometopouloi" into Byzantine possessions in Macedonia led to a Byzantine stratagem intended to divide the leadership of the still-unconquered Bulgarian lands in the west. Temporarily jailed, Boris and Roman were allowed to escape in 977. During their attempt to cross the Bulgarian border, Boris II was taken for an enemy and killed by a guard. Roman managed to identify himself to the Bulgarian patrols, and was duly recognized by the Bulgarians as emperor, although as a eunuch he was ineligible for the throne.

ALthough Roman was acknowledged as the official bulgarian ruler, most af the military matters were left in the hands of Samuil, who was the youngest brother of the Comitopuli dynasty, and Roman devoted to church deeds similar to his father Peter in his end of life. During one of his invasions of Bulgaria, the Byzantine Emperor Basil II succeeded in capturing Roman in 991. Roman remained in Byzantine captivity until his death in 997, and it was only then that Samuel took the Bulgarian imperial title. Such, at least, is the sequence of events reported by the trustworthy historian Yahya of Antioch.

("According to the later testimony of the Byzantine chronicler John Skylitzes, in 1004 Skopje was surrendered to Basil II by its governor Roman Simeon, who may have been mistaken for Emperor Roman in the text. Roman Simeon received the title of patrician and was named military governor or strategos of the theme of Abydos.")


* John V.A. Fine, Jr., "The Early Medieval Balkans", Ann Arbor, 1983.
* Jordan Andreev, Ivan Lazarov, Plamen Pavlov, "Koj koj e v srednovekovna Bălgarija", Sofia 1999.
* (primary source) John Skylitzes II, 455, 13

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Román de Bulgaria — Román Zar (Emperador) de Bulgaria Detalle de un fresco que representa a Romano. Reinado 977 991 (997) Nacimiento c. de 930 Fallecimiento 997 Constantinopla …   Wikipedia Español

  • Bulgaria — /bul gair ee euh, bool /, n. a republic in SE Europe. 8,652,745; 42,800 sq. mi. (110,850 sq. km). Cap.: Sofia. * * * Bulgaria Introduction Bulgaria Background: The Bulgars, a Central Asian Turkic tribe, merged with the local Slavic inhabitants in …   Universalium

  • Roman Catholicism in Bulgaria — Roman Catholicism is the third largest religious congregation in Bulgaria, after Eastern Orthodoxy and Islam. It has roots in the country since the Middle Ages and is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of… …   Wikipedia

  • Bulgaria — • A European kingdom in the northeastern part of the Balkan Peninsula Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Bulgaria     Bulgaria     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Roman — or Romans may refer to:* A thing or person of or from the city of Rome.; History * Ancient Rome (9th century BC – 5th century AD) ** Roman Kingdom (753 BC to 509 AD) ** Roman Republic (509 BC to 44 AD) ** Roman Empire (27 BC to 476 AD) ** Roman… …   Wikipedia

  • BULGARIA — BULGARIA, East Balkan republic located along the Black Sea. Ancient Period A Jewish settlement is known to have existed in Macedonia in the time of Caligula (37–41 C.E.; Philo, Embassy to Gaius, par. 281). A late second century Latin inscription… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Roman, Bulgaria — Roman (Роман) is a town in northwestern Bulgaria near the city of Pravets and about 90 km northeast of the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia. It is located in Vratsa Province and is known for the big steel factory, producing 100,000 tons of steel a year …   Wikipedia

  • Bulgaria —    Bulgaria is relatively close to the center of the Eastern Orthodox Church in Constantinople (Istanbul), and the Orthodox Church came to dominate its Christian community. Its position was shaken during four centuries of ottoman Turkish rule,… …   Encyclopedia of Protestantism

  • Roman and Byzantine Greece — Roman GreeceThe Greek peninsula became a Roman protectorate in 146 BC, and the Aegean islands were added to this territory in 133. Athens and other Greek cities revolted in 88, and the peninsula was crushed by the Roman general Sulla. The Roman… …   Wikipedia

  • Roman Catholicism in Asia — has its roots in the very inception of Christianity, which originated in the western part of the Asian continent in the area of the Levant, at the beginning of the 1st millennium CE.According to tradition, the Christian movement was started by… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.