Macedonians in the East Roman Empire

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  • TrueMacedonian
    And let's look at an article from the end of May about the lost fortress of Justinian in Eastern Macedonia

    In Eastern Macedonia, a Lost Fortress of Justinian
    5/26/2009 (

    By Christopher Deliso*

    High on a windswept ridge in Macedonia’s barren northeastern expanse, some 17 kilometers down a rough dirt track heading towards Kratovo, it stands as a cryptic reminder of the country’s still largely undocumented past: the rocky remains of what was once an important outpost in the Early Byzantine imperial hinterland.

    Nevertheless, the lack of specific references in Late Antique and Byzantine sources means that we may never know what the name of the settlement or its fortress actually was- a tantalizing omission that could only be resolved “by epigraphy finds, which we so far haven’t encountered,” says Dr. Carolyn Snively, an archaeologist and professor from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. For the last decade, Dr. Snively has been working jointly with international and Macedonian experts, supported by local workers at Konjuh- in the process, shedding light on this little-documented period of Macedonia’s remote history.

    The lost fortress of Justinian at Konjuh had a strategic vantage point on a central ridgeline overlooking farmland and probably an iron mine (Photo: Christopher Deliso)
    Recently having arrived back in Macedonia, Dr. Snively will soon lead excavations into an eleventh season of work. The dig will last from May 28 through August. Earlier today, she shared some insights and projections for this season’s upcoming work with

    Background and Significance

    The Konjuh site was originally discovered in 1938, but only worked on extensively during the 1970s by Yugoslav archaeologist Ivan Mikulcic. This expert drew the original plan of the site, which has been redrawn several times. Although the plan “seriously needs to be updated,” says Dr. Snively, “we have not had an architect on site with enough free time and surveying skill to do it in recent seasons.”

    Although the name of the settlement and fortress has vanished, pottery finds date the ruins, clearly a fortress standing watch over now buried remnants of an urban settlement and church, to the 6th century- and the reign of Emperor Justinian I (r. 517-565), one of the greatest Byzantine rulers. Under Justinian, imperial authority was reasserted as far as northern Africa and parts of Italy. Justinian’s expansion efforts were executed by a powerful military led by his renowned general, Belisarius, considered a master tactician who could win battles even when cut off from communications with the capital or other parts of the army.

    Yugoslav archaeologist Ivan Mikulcic’s original plan of the Konjuh site, with fortifications of the lower city outlined in orange (courtesy Carolyn Snively)
    The Kratovo region, part of the mineral-rich Osogovski Mountain range, has always had strategic importance for its mines. Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans all excavated it extensively for gold, silver and iron. In the 6th century, the Byzantine Empire was beset by barbarian tribes in the Balkans but still held on to large areas through an extensive system of fortresses that allowed military garrisons to provide some measure of protection for settlements and ongoing economic activities. Indeed, an important part of the Justinianic legacy was the refortification of the region as part of his general military strategy.

    At the fortress site, finds have revealed that one significant local activity then was the excavation of iron ore, a substance which archaeologists have discovered in large quantities among the various artifacts discovered to date.

    The mining was carried out near today’s village of Konjuh. A tiny enclave of a few hundred people, without even a village shop, the village is about 1km south of the ridgeline upon which the bygone fortress stands. Here there are no great stone towers or constructions, at least no remaining ones here, but the steepness of the ridge and its width at the top would have provided protection for defenders and adequate space to store weapons, provisions and, when necessary, people.

    View of the northern terrace taken from the acropolis, end of 2005 season (Photo: Carolyn Snively)
    The fortress ridgeline is surrounded by valleys and, further on, flanked by other small ridges that could also have served as military outposts. At the top, the acropolis, there is a remarkable 3m (15ft)-deep cistern, and the remains of several small stairways and paths chiseled into the sides of the rock. Naturally formed turrets overlook the plain, behind which Byzantine bowmen could have taken aim at any invaders below.

    Below the fortress, on the lower town located on a northern terrace, excavators have made their most substantial discoveries. A street system, and the base of a Late Antique church indicate organized settlement occurred there over a period of several centuries. The settlement likely dates from the 5th century, says Dr. Snively, adding that “there was probably a 3rd or 4th-century settlement in the vicinity, though I don’t think the inhabitants started living on the northern terrace until the need for building a fortification arose later.”

    2009: Upcoming Plans

    In keeping with the professional approach to managing the site, the remains of the foundations are all painstakingly reburied each year at the end of the digging season- partly, for their own protection, since the project hasn’t the funds to hire a full-time guard. According to Dr. Snively, the team won’t re-dig everything that has been buried in previous seasons. “This year, we will concentrate on excavating the apse of the basilica we discovered last year,” she says.

    This exciting discovery confirms the significance of the site as a former center of civilization with some amount of population. According to Dr. Snively, one of the main goals of the 2009 dig in terms of this structure will be “to define the basilica’s shape and dimensions- we can say with 95 percent certainty that it is a 6th-century basilica, which would have been built within a few decades of Justinian’s fortification works.”

    Indeed, the whole region is remarkably rich in sites once populated during the Late Antique period. According to Katie Haas, an archaeology student from Gettysburg College who has come to Macedonia for the summer thanks to a grant from the Mellon Foundation, “there is a marked efflorescence of Late Antique sites in this region.” As a member of the dig team, Katie will concentrate on the important job of small finds analysis- particularly, spatial pattern analysis of the site. She is part of a nine-person team (comprised of American, British and Macedonian archaeologists, who will be aided by local workmen.

    While locals have since learned to respect the site’s integrity and have developed good relations with the excavation teams, some nefarious diggers have in the past attempted to search here, as almost everywhere in Macedonia, for gold – in the process, breaking their drill heads when inadvertently striking the solid bedrock.

    While occasionally outsiders continue to show up illegally, Dr. Snively does not anticipate any trouble this summer from the “wild diggers,” as such people are known in the press. Indeed, other local inhabitants are more in danger, as when the villagers’ sheepdogs were sadly poisoned en masse by a probable sheep-rustler- indicating that this still is the wild east to some extent.

    Taking the plunge: American Fulbright scholar Seth Elder descends into the fortress’s murky cistern depths (photo: Christopher Deliso)
    Part of the archaeologists’ sustained good relations with the locals owes to education and trust-building efforts carried out since 1998. But it also owes to something that helps explain why the fortress has attracted relatively little attention thus far- a lack of shiny objects. The lack of major awareness of the site, despite its historical significance, probably stems from the fact that neither gold nor silver, nor colorful mosaics have yet been discovered. Traditionally, these sort of ‘big-ticket’ items are what draw attention from the central government (this is of course not only the case in Macedonia).

    Although archaeologists do not anticipate making stunning discoveries of buried treasure at Konjuh, the possibility cannot be completely excluded. Working with extraordinary diligence since 1998, Dr. Snively has deliberately not chosen to dig for burial areas on the site – even though such spots would have the best chance of containing jewelry and coins – partly because there has not been sufficient support available to protect the site during the off-season. Were the site to gain a reputation for riches, the thinking goes, it would become more difficult to protect it from looters.

    Another reason why the team is deliberately not looking for burial sites is because of lack of sufficient support for an activity which would greatly enlarge the scope and character of the operation.

    “If we found a cemetery, we would then have to bring in a physical anthropologist too,” says Dr. Snively, noting also the further permits and bureaucratic requirements that would be needed in such cases. While the Macedonian government has pledged an all-out campaign for excavating “mega-sites” like Stobi, Heraclea and Ohrid-area locales, more modest sites like Konjuh have gone largely unnoticed.

    Konjuh: “A Great Example of Cooperation”

    Konjuh locals have also been happy to see the site remain undisturbed, archaeologist Snively believes, because it has provided an occasional source of employment for the economically depressed village, when additional workers or watchmen have been needed over the past decade. “Injecting even a few thousand dollars into the local economy makes a big difference in a small village like this,” she notes.

    The cultural heritage protection aspect of the Konjuh fortress site is particularly intriguing to Seth Elder, an American Fulbright scholar from DePauw University in Indiana. Seth chose to come to Macedonia for his research on the practical connections between archaeology, local communities and economic development. Since arriving in Macedonia last year, and touring numerous sites, he has gained insight into the Konjuh site from a comparative sense.

    According to him, “the Konjuh site is a great example of cooperation between local and international archaeologists, and also with the local community. Since Macedonia has been somewhat isolated from international archaeologists’ attention, there’s a real need for more work like this to be carried out in the future.” He also emphasizes the need for Macedonian archaeologists to publish their findings more widely in foreign journals, as this activity is a key part of attracting the attention of outside experts who often have the ability to acquire funding and personnel for increasing archeological efforts.

    From the well-worn fortress wall remnants, unfinished bridge sections in the distance show how close the site would be to organized transport, and so tourism, if the authorities someday finish the long-promised connection to Bulgaria (Photo: Christopher Deliso)
    Future Tourism Potential?

    Indeed, one of the very interesting aspects of the site for the future is its specific placement. The fortress is set in what is today literally the middle of nowhere, on a ridge above the Kriva River near Konjuh. However, some raised concrete pillars that might seem equally mysterious to outsiders may hold the key for the area’s development as a tourism destination. Long-neglected skeletons of bridge supports, these and other similar structures dot the wilderness in eastern Macedonia- unfinished pieces of proposed railway and highway links to Bulgaria. For various reasons, the long-hoped-for infrastructure project has never been completed. If it were, the site would be ideally located for travelers to access.

    Even today, the Konjuh fortress site is accessible enough for visitors, if coming with a professional guide, and part of a cluster of local sites around Kratovo, such as the standing stone dolls of Kuklica, the enigmatic Neolithic rock site of Cacev Kamen, and the magnificent Lesnovski Monastery. When combined with the natural beauty of this mountainous region and the potential for outdoor activities, plus the architectural attractiveness of Kratovo itself, this clearly indicates the potential for a multi-faceted tourism product that could conceivably put this forgotten corner of northeastern Macedonia back on the map- even if the name of the fortress settlement has vanished from the map long ago.

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  • Soldier of Macedon
    Excellent work, I don't have much time now but I will look into it in more detail later. All the more value is now added given that information concerning the Macedonians of East Rome is being consolidated here.

    Check the below threads for related information:

    Isnt this strange? What does a Sclavonic general do in the Byzantine Empire? Obviously he must have been a Roman citizen to become this, how did he manage this when he was just about to run down to the Balkans from the Pripet marshes to slaughter all of the native inhabitants of the southern Balkans...... strange is it not?


    Interesting to note is the fact that the region of Adrianople, or Odrin as it was known to the Macedonian revolutionaries of the 19th century, has had a consistent Macedonian identity during the East Roman period.

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  • Pelister
    Good find Bratot.

    555 is an early date.

    The first and ONLY ancient Macedonian city to be destroyed was Bargala, in 585.
    Last edited by Pelister; 06-29-2009, 09:10 PM.

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  • Bratot
    Dr Vlasto reviews the early history of the various Slav peoples (from about AD 500 onwards) and traces their gradual emergence as Christian states within the framework of either West or East European culture. Special attention is paid to the political and cultural rivalry between East and West for the allegiance of certain Slav peoples, and to the degree of cultural exchange within the Slav world, associated in particular with the use of the Slav liturgical language. His examination of all the Slav peoples and extensive use of original source material in many different languages enables Dr Vlasto to give a particularly comprehensive study of the subject.

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  • Pelister
    Hey SoM,

    I found this in one of my books.

    I hate it when the authors us the term "Slav" as a synonym for the term "Sklavenoi". Anyway ...

    A Sklavonian chieftain, Chilbuldius, became a Roman commander, and one of their best. He was a Thracian, of Sclavonian origin, defending northern Thrace from Sclavonian marauders. (Proc.Wars vii. 38. 17).

    Some of the Sclavonian tribal chiefs who had contact with the East Roman empire.


    Not really building on the Macedonian Theme, and know where near as good as you have done here, but something in any case.

    Macedonia in the 4th century

    the richest and most productive areas of the Balkan provinces in the estimation of the fourth century Expositio Totius Mundi, was Thrace, Macedonia, and Thessaly ... central cities, Naissus, Serdica and Justinia Prima usually remained within the administration horizon of Constantiniople
    p.62 The Emporer Maurice and his historian, Whitby

    Macedonia in the 6th century

    The first book of the Miracula preserves important evidence on conditions in Thessalonica, the second city of the Balkans, and shows that Slavs attacked the city, in 586, but it does not provide proof of infiltration into Macedonia; infiltration only became a serious threat to the city in the seventh century, when the constricting presence of Slavs is recorded in the second book of the Miracula
    Macedonia in the 7th century

    Within the Balkans there were groups of Slavs who took over the corn producing lands of Thessaly, and were able to export food to Thessalonica by the late seventh century (showing no community of interest with the Slavs blocking the entrance to the city), and Slav leaders such as Perbundus soon emerged who were attracted by the benefits of urban civilization (Source: Mirac. SD 235)
    p.83 The Emporer Maurice and his historian, Whitby

    How were they able to "take over" corn production? And trade with the native Macedonians of the region? Note, the "Slavs" who are now producing corn in Macedonia, and exporting it to Thessalonica "show no community with the Slavs blocking the entrance to the city". We have to assume they were trading with ancient Macedonians still populating the region, right ??
    Last edited by Pelister; 06-29-2009, 08:40 PM.

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  • Pelister
    This is good work SoM.

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  • Bratot
    And we could also mention the Macedonian commanders of Justinian who were known as the Macedonian Slavs:

    Dobrogost, Svarum/Svarun, Sveugad/Vsegrd, Belisar/Velisarius.

    With the break-up of the former Yugoslavia, an old conflict between Greece and Macedonia has taken on added significance for the international community. The genesis of the conflict is detailed here, as well as the modern-day events that have led many observers to believe that the area is a flashpoint for a major war.

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  • TrueMacedonian
    TrueMacedonian, I see that you have posted information on Aplakes elsewhere, good information, if you have anything further to add in relation to the above, please do so.
    Thanks SoM. I might have something here of interest relating to the Slav tribes in Macedonia before Aplakes time.

    The Early Slavs By Paul M. Barford page 73

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  • Soldier of Macedon
    Another informative source:

    page 56 What is everyones opinion? I know many of you do not like the "slavness" of the text above but Shea does offer some valid points about Basil.

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  • Soldier of Macedon
    Here is some more information, this time concerning the Macedonian Dynasty that raised East Rome to its glory years.

    The question of the origin of the founder of the Macedonian dynasty has called forth many contradictory opinions, mainly because sources vary greatly on this point. While Greek sources speak of the Armenian or Macedonian extraction of Basil I, and Armenian sources assert that he was of pure Armenian blood, Arabic sources call him a Slav. On the one hand, the generally accepted name "Macedonian" is applied to this dynasty, but on the other hand, some scholars still consider Basil an Armenian, and still others, especially Russian historians prior to the seventies of the nineteenth century, speak of him as a Slav. The majority of scholars consider Basil an Armenian who had settled in Macedonia, and speak of his dynasty as the Armenian dynasty. But in view of the fact that there were many Armenians and Slavs among the population of Macedonia, it might be correct to assume that Basil was of mixed Armeno-Slavonic origin. According to one historian who has made a special study of Basil’s time, his family might have had an Armenian ancestry, which later intermarried with Slays, who were very numerous in this part of Europe, and gradually became very much Slavonized.A more exact definition of the Macedonian dynasty from the point of view of its ethnographic composition might be Armeno-Slavic. In recent years scholars have succeeded in determining that Basil was born in the Macedonian city of Charioupolis.
    It was during the reign of the Macedonian Dynasty that the Bulgars and Serbs received Christianity from East Rome.

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  • Soldier of Macedon
    That is why I thought it deserves the exposure, the Macedonian people survived and the Macedonian identity seems to have transcended traditional borders. The relationship between the Slavonic tribes with the Macedonians and Thracians is an interesting one, it is clearly evident that the Macedonian and Thracian soldiers were speaking a Slavonic tongue.

    I find it interesting that the inhabitants of rump Macedonia remained outside of East Roman control while the people of the Macedonian coast, eastern fringes and Thrace, were absorbed in the theme system earlier, given that most spoke a Slavonic tongue. Macedonia was more resilient, producing chieftan Perbund that hailed from Salonika in the 7th century and even the priest (Niketas) who became Patriarch of Constantinople in the 8th century, it retained its autonomous nature, as did her inhabitants.

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  • Risto the Great
    Interesting work SoM.
    It is an era that has not had much attention and well worth the review.

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  • Mr. MASO
    You guys just get more interesting. Awesome

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  • Soldier of Macedon
    Check the below link:

    Does anybody have any further information regarding the texts cited below? It would be good to confirm the sources and their accuracy, as it provides a greater insight to the circumstances of the time.

    Miracles of St. Demetrius of Thessaloniki
    The Miracles of St. Demetrius of Thessaloniki is considered the most significant work of early Byzantine literature; the first volume, containing an account of the Slavs' attack on Thessaloniki on St. Demetrius' day, was written by John, Archbishop of Thessaloniki. Regarding the attack he writes: "In the field by the holy temple, a man saw a not very numerous barbarian army (as we counted them together up to five thousands), but very strong, as it consisted of selected experienced fighters... and until late in the night they fought, and the people of the victor [the protectors of Thessaloniki] exposed themselves to great risk while they attacked and retreated, because as said, they had the selected flowers of the entire Slavic people for their opponents. Finally, when help arrived, the Barbarians were expelled and they retreated."
    No author cited in link.
    Byzantine documents provide information about the siege of Thessaloniki by the Avaro-Slavs in 586: "If one would imagine that all Macedonians, Thracians and Achaeans gathered in Thessaloniki at that time, all of them together would not represent even a small part of that barbarian multitude which then besieged the town."
    Letter of Michael II to Louis le Debonnaire
    Concerning the use of the term Macedonia in the early 9th century, the letter sent by Byzantine Emperor Michail II (reigned 820-829) to Louis le Debonnaire on April 10, 824 is intriguing. Michail wrote of the 821-824 rebellion of Thomas the Slav: "Thomas... by taking our ships and boats, had the possibility to come into (some) parts of Thrace and Macedonia. In such a quick action, he besieged our town [Constantinople] and surrounded it with the fleet in the month of December, Indiction 15 [December, 821]." Furthermore, in his letter to the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Michail writes that among the rebels, Thomas had people from the "areas in Asia, Europe, Thrace, Macedonia, Thessaly and from the surrounding sclavenes". Apparently, Michail II in referring to Macedonia in the first case meant the theme Macedonia, and in the second case as a geographical and historical entity. By the expression "the surrounding sclavenes", he meant the Slavs, Macedonian Slavs foremost.
    John Cametinae, On the Capture of Salonika
    Comenyat, author of On the Takeover of Thessaloniki (by the Arabs in 904) gives a number of details about the Macedonian Slavs, mentioning also the Draguvites, Sagudats, Strymians and others who as compact Slavic populations lived near Thessaloniki. Comenyat writes: "Our homeland, my friend, is Thessaloniki and, first of all, I am going to introduce that town to you... the great and first town of the Macedonians..."
    No author cited in link.
    However, there is written record which states that during the invasion of Crete by Nichephorus Phocas in 961, the Byzantine emperor "gathered ships and selected infantry of Thracians, Macedonians and Sclavesians".

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  • Soldier of Macedon
    started a topic Macedonians in the East Roman Empire

    Macedonians in the East Roman Empire

    I will start with a post from another thread, to provide a background for this topic and the below events.

    7th Century In the year 610, Heraclius of Carthage in Africa sailed from his homeland to Constantinople and defeated the East Roman emperor, assuming the title for himself. Only a decade later he made significant changes to certain elements in the East Roman Empire, the most outstanding being the change of official language

    The fact that the Macedonia Theme was established well over 2 centuries after the invasion of the Slavic-speaking tribes from the Danube indicates that the local Macedonian populace and the relevant Slavic tribes lived in relative harmony after the initial turbulence. The Macedonia Theme included large parts of southern Thrace covering lands from the Sea of Marmara to the city of Adrianople, which was chosen as its capital, and was governed as a single administrative unit. Macedonia proper was not included in the new East Roman administrative unit as control of the region could not be guaranteed due to the rebellious inhabitants who had maintained their autonomous status. Segments of the Macedonian nobility who wished to avoid any further involvement in the rebellious attacks against the East Romans, and/or to avoid the impending Bulgar attacks and invasions, had much to lose with the breakdown of the East Roman system. A gravitation east towards the capital by way of partial Macedonian emigration appears to have taken place, inspiring the name of the Macedonia Theme.

    Although the Slavic rebels of Macedonia spent time to recover from recent battles against the East Romans, the Slavic tribes of the Peloponnese erupted in revolt, turning on the East Roman establishment and in particularly their Greek-speaking neighbours. In the year 821, an individual known as Thomas, who was a Slavic-speaking soldier in the East Roman Army, had raised the banner of revolt in the Asia Minor provinces. Emperor Michael II was in a dire position as East Roman rule diminished in all the eastern provinces except Opsikion and Armeniakon, with Thomas actually being crowned as an emperor by the Patriarch of Antioch, also receiving support by the local Muslims hostile towards the East Romans. Eventually Emperor Michael II utilised the help of the Bulgar Khan Omurtag, who intervened in the civil war on behalf of the East Romans. Although Thomas the Slav had amassed a large army and territory within a relatively short period of time, not doubt including several thousand descendants of the Slavic-speaking rebels from Macedonia that were resettled in Asia Minor, and had spent over a year attempting to take Constantinople via siege, he was captured and killed in the year 823. The main reasons for the revolt led by Thomas the Slav was to support the “iconodules” during the Iconism struggles and also to stand up for the poor who were being bled dry by the East Roman system.
    Prior to the events of Thomas the Slav, a battle took place between the empires of East Rome and Bulgaria that engaged the Macedonians in battle.
    On 5 November 812 Mesembria fell. It was now clear to Michael that he must march once more against his adversary; and this time he must win. All that winter he spent gathering his troops, from every corner of the Empire; and in May 813 he set out. The following month, on the field of Versinicia near Adrianople, the armies came face to face; and on 22 June John Aplakes, commander of the Macedonians on the left wing, led his men into the attack. The Bulgars fell back in confusion, and for a moment it looked as if the battle were over almost before it had begun. But then an astonishing thing happened: the Anatolian troops on the right, commanded by an Armenian named Leo, suddenly turned tail and fled from the field. At first, we are told, Krum stood incredulous; then he and his men fell on the luckless Macedonians and slaughtered them wholesale. ---- A Short History of Byzantium (Based on the Great Three-Volume Work)” by John Julius Norwich, page 126.
    The territory covered by the Macedonia Theme has since ancient times been a meeting point of Macedonians and Thracians that were loyal to the Macedonian Kingdom. The below text by George Finlay elaborates a little more on the same event:

    In the month of May, Michael again resumed the command of the army, but instead of listening to the advice of the experienced generals who commanded the troops, he allowed himself to be guided by civilians and priests, or by the suggestions of his own timidity. There were at the time three able officers in the army — Leo the Armenian, the general of the Anatolic theme ; Michael the Amorian, who commanded one wing of the army; and John Aplakes, the general of the Macedonian troops. Leo and Aplakes urged the emperor to attack the Bulgarians ; but the Amorian, who was intriguing against Theoctistos the master of the palace, seems to have been disinclined to serve the emperor with sincerity. The Bulgarians were encamped at Bersinikia, about thirty miles from the Byzantine army; and Michael, after changing his plans more than once, resolved at last to risk a battle. Aplakes, who commanded the Macedonian and Thracian troops, consisting chiefly of hardy Sclavonian recruits, defeated the Bulgarian division opposed to him; but a panic seized a part of the Byzantine army; and Leo, with the Asiatic troops, was accused of allowing Aplakes to be surrounded and slain, when he might have saved him.
    The native people of both Macedonia proper and the Macedonia Theme spoke a Slavonic tongue, and their distinction, particularly as soldiers, was proven in East Rome, Bulgaria and Serbia. Since the creation of the Macedonia Theme, the mix of Slavonic tribes, Macedonians and Thracians came to represent a powerful element in East Rome, centred around their capital Adrianople (Odrin). In addition to the example already cited regarding the Macedonian and Thracian troops that fought for East Rome against Bulgaria, some decades later, the same powerful combination was used to subdue the Slavonic rebels in the Peloponnese. Below is an excerpt from De Administrando Imperio, that cites an event that took place during the regency of Michael III (842-867)
    ....and in the reign of Michael, the son of Theophilus, the protospatharius Theoctistus, surnamed Bryennius, was sent as military governor to the Province of Peloponnesus with a great power and force, viz., of Thracians and Macedonians and the rest of the western provinces, to war upon and subdue them. He subdued and mastered all the Slavs and other insubordinates of the province of Peloponnesus, and only the Ezeritai and the Milingoi were left, towards Lacedaemonia and Helos…….
    Macedonia proper was under the control of Slavonic-speaking rebels as the above events unfolded, although the local population had since the second half of the 8th century been less rebellious towards East Rome. Bulgaria too, had increased its appeal, as with each year passing the Slavonic element in the local language prevailed completely over the tongue of the ruling class of Asian Bulgars and the official state tongue, which was Greek until then. With the baptism of Boris, and subsequently his subjects in Moesia (where the Bulgarian Kingdom was based), Macedonia proper was gradually absorbed into Bulgaria either by agreement or subjugation, which cemented the language and Christian faith in Boris' realm (led previously by Turkic Bulgars).

    TrueMacedonian, I see that you have posted information on Aplakes elsewhere, good information, if you have anything further to add in relation to the above, please do so.