Revised 02/12/2019





Varna Harbour entrance (Bulgaria)
(25 April 2008)


Recommended reading includes: "Lexicon des Mittelalters" (-1998) for paragraphs on Aaron and Samuel, "The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium (OUP, 1991), "Historical Dictionary of Bulgaria" (Detrez, 1997) and "Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Macedonia" (Georgieva and Konechni, 1998).

At its zenith in (prior to Byzantine rule, 971), the First Bulgaria Empire included Bulgaria and Macedonia, and reached Peloponnesus in present-day Greece, Epirus in present-day Albania, Zeta and Srem in present-day Serbia. In the west there was a principality, where the Comes [Governor] at one time was Nikolas.

[BULG131] Tubdjak of Bulgars (son of Boyan-Chelbr of the Huns, descended from Attila the Hun).

[BULG141] Alburi, Prince of the Bulgars.

[BULG151] Kubrat, Khan of Bulgaria. He died after 651.


[BULG161] Asparukh, King of Bulgaria (680-700). He died after 701.

[BULG171] Tervel, King of Bulgaria (700-21), married [HERA182] Princess Anastasia of Byzantium (daughter of EMPEROR JUSTINIAN, see HERACLIUS DYNASTY). He helped the deposed EMPEROR JUSTINIAN II to regain his throne (705), and in return was able to expand his territory. However Justinian tried to regain this territory (708), but his army was defeated at Anchialus, and afterwards Terval and Justinian came to an agreement. Later, Terval sent 50,000 soldiers to help during the Siege of Constantinople (717-18), and during the decisive battle they massacred some 30,000 Arabs, after which Tervel became known as the Saviour of Europe. He died after 721.

[BULG181] Telerig, King of Bulgaria (768-77, deposed, by his son). Later instability in the area caused EMPEROR CONSTANTINE V to hold further campaigns aimed at eliminating Bulgaria, and defeated them at Anchialus (763), but were unable to advance further north. In 775 Telerig tricked Constantine into revealing those loyal to him in the Bulgarian Court, who were then prompted executed by Telerig as spies. He died some time after 777.

[BULG191] Kardam, King of Bulgaria (777-803). He had a great victory over the Byzantines at the Battle of Marcalae (792), where the Byzantine army was thoroughly defeated. He died c.803.


The Succession of Krum - Ormortoq - Malamir - Presian is as given in "Dynasties of the World" (OUP), which places Presian two generations after Ormortoq, making dating difficult. It also seems likely Presian married his aunt, who could have been born around 830 to Ormortoq's second wife. Boris would therefore be both grandson and great-grandson of Ormortoq.

[BULG201] Krum (born c.775), King of Bulgaria (803-14). Under Krum, the Bulgarian territory was greatly expanded. A large Byzantine army was defeated at the Battle of Varbitsa Pass (811), where the EMPEROR NICEPHORUS I was slain and his skull afterwards used as a drinking cup. Krum was preparing for a great attack on Constantinople itself, with 5,000 iron-plated waggons prepared to carry siege equipment. Fortunately for Constantinople the scheme was dropped on the sudden death of Krum (13th April 814).

[BULG211] Ormortoq [Omurtag] the builder, King of Bulgaria (814-31), concluded a 20-year peace with Constantinople. He died c.831.

[BULG222] Malamir (son of Ormortoq), succeeded his father as King of Bulgaria (831-36).

[BULG221] Zvinica (son of Ormortoq).

[BULG231] Presian (son of Zvinica), succeeded his uncle as King of Bulgaria (836-52), possibly married Enrovata (alleged daughter of Ormortoq, in which case Presian married his aunt).

[BULG241] Boris I (born c.848, son of Presian), King Michael of Bulgaria (852-89, deposed), married Marija of Byzantium. He became a monk (889) and died May 907.

[BULG251] Simeon I (born c.863, 3rd son), King of Bulgaria. (893-927), crowned EMPEROR OF BULGARIA (913), married 1. ---; then 2. Mariam (daughter of George Sursuvul, an influential nobleman). He achieved a string of victories over the Byzantines, and the Bulgarian Empire reached its peak. He died (age 69?) 27th May 927.

[BULG261] Peter I (born c.885, son of Simeon & his 2nd wife), EMPEROR OF BULGARIA (927-67, abdicated in favour of his son Boris II), married Princess Marija (daughter of EMPEROR CHRISTOPHER I, see MACEDONIAN DYNASTY). He died 30th January 969. His son King Boris II was deposed (971), followed by Macedonian Rule.


[BULG271] Nikola Kumet [=Count] (born c.906, said to be son of Peter I, but some accounts say of Simeon, others of Boris). He was probably brought up in exile during the Byzantine occupation of Bulgaria. He married [ARME272] Hripsime/Ripsimija (born after 917, daughter of King Ashot, see ARMENIA). He became Byzantium's principal governor of Macedonia. Nikola came to Bulgaria with Byzantine troops, and his four sons, David, Moses, Aaron and Samuel led an insurrection against the Byzantine occupiers of Bulgaria. Together they were collectively known as the Kometopouloi. When three of the brothers were killed in battle, Samuel (the youngest) became self-proclaimed Tsar of Bulgaria (976), and died 993.

[BULG282] Samuil Kometopulos (born 954, youngest son of Nikolas) was King of Bulgaria (976-1014). He married (c.970) Kosara [Agathe] Chryselia (daughter of John Chryselios, DUKE OF DYRRACHION/Durazzo). Samuil gradually expanded his empire, reaching the Danube in Bulgaria, Peloponnesus in present-day Greece, Epirus in present-day Albania, Zeta and Srem in present-day Serbia. He moved his capital to Ohrid, where he was crowned EMPEROR (997). His empire was gradually destroyed by strong assaults of the Byzantine army led by EMPEROR BASIL II, culminating in the final battle at Belasica where 50,000 Macedonian solders were killed and the 14,000 soldiers taken captive were blinded. One eye was left in every 100th prisoner, to lead the others back home to Samuil. By this act, EMPEROR BASIL II achieved his nickname Bulgaroctonus [Bulgar-Slayer]. Two days after, Samuil learned of the fate of his army he suffered at Prilep. He died October 1014.

[BULG292] Katun (born c.993, daughter of Samuil) said to have married [HUNG301] Vazul the blind, (see HUNGARY).

[BULG281] Aaron Kometopulos (born at Ohrid, Macedonia, c.935, son of Nikolas, and older brother of King Samuil), Ruler of Western Bulgaria, together with his brother Samuil). Aaron together with his entire family (with one exception) were murdered by his brother King Samuil at Ramatanitze (June 987). The sole exception was his son Ivan Vladislav, who was spared by request of Samuil's son Gavriil Radomir. Ivan Vladimir proved to be ungrateful.

[BULG291] Ivan Vladislav (born c.960, son of Aaron, and nephew of Samuil) murdered his cousin King Gabriel Radomir (1015), and thus became King of Bulgaria (1015-18). He married Maria (a descendant of "the families of Konstostephanos, Abalates and Phokas"). Ivan Vladislav captured the Serbian Knez Ivan Vladimir in a battle (998). (Afterwards Knez Ivan Vladimir was reconciled, and married a daughter of King Samuil.) Ivan Vladislav re-conquered Duklja, after murdering the Serbian Knez Ivan Vladimir (1016). Finally, King Ivan Vladislav was killed by the Byzantines in battle near Dyrrachion (February 1018), thus heralding final Byzantine rule. His widow Maria for a short while took over government, then handed it over to EMPEROR BASIL II. Afterwards she went to Constantinople to live, took the name Zoe, and was given the title Zoste Patrika (1019), variously translated as "girded", "girding lady-patrician" or "mistress of the robes". She was eventually banished to Thrace by EMPEROR ROMANOS III, (after 1028).

[BULG301] Trajan/Troianus (born c.998, son of Ivan Vladislav), of West Bulgaria, married [ABAL302] Constostephane Aballanta (born c.1003, daughter of Romanos Aballantes of Byzantium, see ABALLANTES).

[BULG312] Maria Troiane (born c.1045, daughter of Trajan) married (before 1063) [DUCA311] Andronicus Ducas ([born c.1045], see DUCAS (2)).