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Responsibility by Alexandru Madgearu. English Publication Leiden ; Boston : Brill, Physical description xii, pages : maps ; 25 cm. From the area of the same settlement a small part of a coin hoard with 50 nomismata was recovered in Both hoards were hidden during the events of Other nomismata issued between and are known from various points along the Stone Dike or just behind it, at Oltina, Rasova, Urluia, Basarabi Murfatlar , and Constana. This reversal of alliances in the Black Sea region led to a joint action against Bulgaria in , in addition to a Magyar raid against the Empire.

Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas stopped the payment of the usual tribute for Bulgaria, which had been established by the treaty of , and prepared for a large-scale campaign, which had to be cancelled at the last moment because of a rebellion in Antioch. BttnerWobst, ; Ostrogorsky , ; Stokes , , ; Gjuzelev , 17; Fine , ; Busetto , 11; Whittow , , ; Treadgold , ; Spinei , It was a better option to strike this country from the north, because an offensive from the south required access to the mountain passes across Stara Planina, which were too dangerous for the Byzantine army.

The emperor was certainly aware of the catastrophe of , when a Byzantine army was ambushed and slaughtered in one of those passes, in which the usual combat formation was impossible to deploy. He suggested to Svyatoslav that in return, he would keep Bulgaria, in addition to a generous payment of 1, pounds of gold pounds around kg. In the summer of , the Kievan prince launched his campaign with an army said to be as large as 40, men, with which he reached the mouths of the Danube and then Dorostolon. The Bulgarian army, of about 30, men tried to defend the city, but was easily defeated, and Svyatoslav conquered several fortresses in eastern Bulgaria, including the capital at Preslav.

Some Bulgarian aristocrats went to the Rus side, choosing that over the Byzantine rule. Thus, the rising Rus maritime power gained control of the Lower Danube region, with the consent and support of the Byzantine emperor. This appears to have been a major strategic mistake, for the Rus gained control not only over the river, but also over a country of great strategic and economic importance.

Svyatoslav was fully aware of the real meaning of his achievement. According to the Russian Primary Chronicle, he declared that I do not care to remain in Kiev, but should prefer to live in Pereiaslavetz on the Danube, since that is the centre of my realm, where all riches are concentrated; gold, silks, wine, and various fruits from Greece, silver and horses from Hungary and Bohemia, and from Rus furs, wax, honey, and slaves.

Jewish merchants are known to have traveled from Spain to Khazaria by several routes, one of which followed the Danube, while Kievan traders are said to have already reached the German towns on the Upper Danube River in. In that respect, gaining control of the Lower Danube was both a military and an economic target for the Rus. He acted like Symeon during the Magyar invasion in Bulgaria in , but with less success, since the Rus were a redoubtable force, difficult to stop by means of a simple Pecheneg raid. In fact, the Rus prince showed no desire to abandon his expansionist plans.

Svyatoslav returned to Preslav from Kiev in August , subduing the new Bulgarian emperor Boris II , who had recovered his capital a few months before that with Byzantine assistance. In the second campaign, Svyatoslav was wise enough to ally himself with the Pechenegs and the Magyars.

From Preslav, he attacked the Byzantine territory in cooperation with those Bulgarians who had accepted his rule. That shows how ineffective the diplomacy of Nikephoros Phokas has become. The internal conflicts within the empire, in which Kalokyros had intended to get involved, have by now undermined any possible success in the military field. Nonetheless, because the Byzantine general Bardas Skleros obtained a decisive victory against the Rus at Arkadiopolis today Lule Burgas , km to the west from Constantinople, in the spring or summer of The Byzantine army of no more than 12, men, was most certainly outnumbered by the Rus coalition with as many as 30, men, but managed to obtain the victory by means of moving an army corps to the flanks, thus encircling the enemy by surprise.

Thurn, , ; transl. Flusin, , ; transl. Wortley, , ; Zonaras, XVI, Bttner-Wobst, ; Stokes , ; Lewis , ; Wozniak , , Fine , ; Barnea b, ; Franklin, Shepard , , ; Busetto , ; Whittow , ; Stephenson , ; Curta , The location of Pereiaslavetz will be discussed in chapter II. Talbot, Sullivan, , ; Skylitzes, John Tzimiskes, 56 ed.

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Bttner-Wobst, ; Wozniak , ; Fine , ; Hanak , ; Franklin, Shepard , ; Busetto , ; Treadgold , , ; Krsmanovi , 35, As soon as he finished dealing with Bardas Phokas, the Byzantine army moved rapidly through eastern Bulgaria, taking back the ports that had been lost in According to Leo the Deacon, the Byzantine forces included 13, pedestrians and 15, cavalrymen.

The army was commanded by the emperor himself, assisted by the stratilates Bardas Skleros and the stratopedarches Peter Phokas who commanded troops from Thrace and Macedonia.


The capital Preslav was taken from the Rus and the Bulgarians on April 4th. The city was renamed Ioannoupolis after the emperor. The victory at Preslav was only the first step in a large offensive against the Rus, for the main body of the army headed by Svyatoslav was at that time concentrated in Dorostolon. For Svyatoslav, that city was not only a place of refuge, but also a position that allowed him to maintain control over the Danube. A seal of that commander of the fleet was in fact found in Preslav, a clear indication of pre-planned, joint operations. Meanwhile, the Byzantine land army, marching from Preslav toward Dorostolon, took several other fortresses, such as Pliska and Dineia.

Initially, Svyatoslav appears to have effectively defended the city and even to have launched small attacks against the Byzantine troops. However, when the Byzantine fleet showed up on April 25th, the Rus suddenly found that their retreat routes had been blocked. Moreover, the Byzantines could now use the Greek fire from the ships against those on the ramparts. The chronicle of John Skylitzes mentions that a delegation came to the emperor during the siege: A delegation now came to him from Constanteia and the other Iorga , Talbot, Sullivan, , ; Skylitzes, John Tzimiskes, ed.

They sought an amnesty for their misdeeds [in return for] handing over themselves and the strongholds. He received them kindly, dispatching officers to take charge of the fortresses and with sufficient troops to secure them. Unlike Leo the Deacon who framed the narrative in comparison to battles of Antiquity, Skylitzes paid more attention to the details.

To be sure, he does not explain of what exactly have been guilty the garrisons of those fortresses. Asking for forgiveness from the emperor would make sense only if they had been either Byzantines, or allies disobeying orders or betraying oaths.

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Since it is hard to imagine the emperor being so clement, had those soldiers been his own, it is more likely that they were Bulgarians. Tzimiskes wished to be seen as a liberating Bulgaria from the Rus occupation. He recognized Boris II as emperor the Bulgarian ruler was captured by Svyatoslav and freed when Preslav had been conquered. In the mean time, some Bulgarians had chosen Svyatoslavs side. Such opportunists have by now started to leave the Rus as the victorious Byzantine army was approaching.

The emperor had no reason to reject the offer of the Bulgarians who controlled those forts, but could not trust them either. For this reason he set new garrisons in those forts, as if following the advice of the military treatise of Syrianos Magister, according to which we must not entrust the safety of these forts or assign to their garrisons men who have once been captured by the enemy. This Constanteia is most certainly the same as the port mentioned by Constantine Porphyrogenitus, the ancient city of Tomis and the present-day city of Constana.

As a consequence, some have advanced the idea that the passage contains two different sentences, which have been collapsedone. Wortley, For the date and authorship of this treatise, see Rance , Much more likely is the reading of the passage as from Constanteia, and from other forts, [located] beyond the Danube.

In other words, only the un-named forts were beyond the river.

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Some have proposed to locate those forts in northern Walachia at Slon , or even in the Banat or in Transylvania, as no forts are known to have existed on the northern bank of the Danube in the vicinity of Dorostolon. Since they took for granted the location of those forts in the lands north of the river Danube, others advanced solutions that ignore the political and military framework of the events. For example, Mihai Smpetru believed that the forts in question must have been located to the west from the mouth of the Arge river, only because most 9th-century building materials believed to be Byzantine have been found in that area.

Since they are known to have returned to the empire in , their settlements could not have possibly been the same as fortresses said to been in operation in The forts must have been in the vicinity of Dorostolon, and if so, their mission was probably to prevent Pecheneg attacks. It is impossible that John Tzimiskes would have sent his soldiers at a great distance, at a time when he needed them for the siege of Dorostolon. Therefore, one would have to admit that the forts mentioned by Skylitzes could not have been too far from Dorostolon.

Control over them meant a serious blow to the enemys forces and, perhaps, an attempt to cut any possibility of withdrawal. It is obvious that Constanteia Constana served as anchorage for the Rus, in case they needed to withdraw by sea. Another way to withdraw was by the Danube, either on water or along the valley, by land.

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