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Old 12-19-2008, 08:54 PM   #1
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Talking “Britannica“ : Samuel- MACEDONIAN Tsar!

Samuel tsar of Macedonia
died Oct. 6, 1014, Prilep, Macedonia

tsar of Western Bulgaria, or Macedonia, from 980; his realm was successor to the First Bulgarian empire.

Ruling originally in Macedonia, Samuel then conquered independent Serbia and further extended his power into northern Bulgaria, Albania, and northern Greece. He established his capital at Ochrida (now Ohrid, Macedonia) and revived the Bulgarian patriarchate. In the 980s he defeated the Byzantine emperor Basil II Bulgaroctonus near Sofia, but from 997 the intermittent struggle with the Byzantines went against him. Finally, on July 29, 1014, Basil overwhelmed Samuel in the Battle of Belasitsa. At Basil’s order, the Bulgarian prisoners (said to number 15,000) were blinded and returned to Samuel, who fainted from shock and soon died. He was succeeded by his son Gavril (murdered in 1015) and a nephew Ivan (killed in battle in 1018), after which Bulgaria became a Byzantine province.

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