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Byzantine Diplomacy (with Bulgaria) Explored

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Interesting bit from the New Historian...


The Byzantine Empire was one of the most powerful military, economic and cultural forces in Europe for much of the Middle Ages. That is not to say that the Byzantine Empire was not without rivals. Bulgaria was a newly-Christianised entity in the late ninth century. The Byzantine Empire, as the heart of Eastern Christianity, claimed religious supremacy over the powerful Bulgarian state. Hostilities broke out between the two powers, reaching a peak in 912 when the Bulgarian tsar, Simeon I, besieged Constantinople, the Byzantine capital.


New research has traced the troubled diplomatic relationship between these two powerful states. Writing in the most recent edition of History Compass, Ian Mladjov, from the Department of History, Bowling Green State University, Ohio, USA, noted that “when it comes to diplomatic relations, the phrase ‘too close for comfort’ perfectly describes the relationship between the medieval Byzantine and Bulgarian states in the Balkan peninsula.”

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