Macedonia Erects Monument of Great Bulgarian Tsar Samuil

Society | June 28, 2011, Tuesday // 16:58| Views: | Comments: 10
Bulgaria: Macedonia Erects Monument of Great Bulgarian Tsar Samuil The marble statue of medieval Bulgarian Tsar Samuil that was erected Tuesday at the Skopje central square. Photo by BGNES

An imposing monument of famed Bulgarian Medieval Tsar Samuil was erected in the Macedonian capital Skopje Tuesday.

The 5-meter marble statue was placed at the central Skopje square nearby the recently ereted statue of Alexander the Great.

Tsar Samuil (Samuel) ruled the First Bulgarian Empire as the Tsar of the Bulgarians in 997 AD-1014 AD from his capital in Ohrid, in today's Macedonia.

The center of Bulgarian power shifted from the old capital of Preslav to Skopje and Ohrid following the Byzantine takeover of Preslav and parts of Eastern Bulgaria in 971.

Samuil fought a heavy battle to ward off an incipient Byzantine appetite to run over the First Bulgarian Empire (681 AD-1018 AD).

As a general for preceding Bulgarian Tsar Roman (Tsar of the Bulgarians in 977 AD-997 AD, dying withouth any heirs), he dealt a devastating blow to the Byzantine army at Gates of Trajan Pass in 986 AD. In addition to being an outstanding defender of the Bulgarian state, Samuil is known for the fact that he was unwilling to proclaim himself Tsar of the First Bulgarian Empire as long as there was a living descendant of the original dynasty, even when Tsar Boris II (r. 970-977) and his brother Roman were in captivity in Constantinople. Samuil took over as Tsar only after the death of both brothers who had no male descendants.

The tides of the war between the First Bulgarian Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) turned in 1014 though, when Byzantine Emperor Basil II extracted revenge by defeating the Bulgarian army at the Battle of Kleidon, capturing 15,000 Bulgarian soldiers, having them blinded, and sending them off home, a sight which caused the death of Tsar Samuil.

Bulgaria fell under Byzantine rule soon after, and Basil II gained the nickname Boulgarokhtonos, i.e. the Bulgar-Slayer.

After Samuil's leadership collapsed, the last two Bulgarian Tsars of the First Bulgarian Empire, Samuil's son Gavril Radomir (1014-1015) and nephew Ivan Vladislav (1015-1018) continued the fight against Byzantium.

The official doctrine of modern-day Macedonia (Macedonia) inspired by the propaganda of Tito's communist Yugoslavia holds Samuil to have been the Tsar of a great medieval "Macedonian" empire, an allegation based solely on the geographic scope of the First Bulgarian State in the Balkans (681 AD-1018 AD), which included lands from the Black Sea to the Adriatic, where southwestern cities such as Ohrid were of crucial importance.

One of the heaviest blow to the doctrine of so called "macedonianism" proclaiming a separate historical identity of the modern-day Macedonian nation is the Bitola Inscription of Tsar Ivan Vladislav, Samuil's nephew, in which he says that the Bitola fortress near Ohrid was rebuilt in 1015-1016 “by Ivan, Tsar of Bulgaria”, who was “Bulgarian by birth” “as a haven and for the salvation of the lives of the Bulgarians."

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Tags: Tsar Samuil, macedonia, First Bulgarian Empire, Byzantine, Byzantine Empire, Basil II, Roman, Skopje, Ohrid, Alexander the Great
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» To the forumComments (10)
temujin2 - 30 Jun 2011 // 13:17:35

I guess these monkeys liked Bulgarian wheat so much they decided to build a statue of Samuel as a way of saying thanks to Bulgarians.

Mat - 30 Jun 2011 // 11:49:25

'How to win friends and influence people' by Nikola Gruevski

Hawk - 30 Jun 2011 // 07:56:18

Thank you for that linguistic lesson of nonsense!
Your country spent over 50 years to eradicate anything that was named Macedonia and now you are rewriting history. The name is Macedonia and it will remain. I think your country has much more serious issues like economy that is in the toilet rather than insisting on the name change. The same country that help design your flag is quite pissed that they have to bail you out. Learn to understand that you have to get along with your neighbors whether you like it or not.
But I have to give you credit that by using Macedonia as an issue it takes the attention away from your real problems. All the countries surrounding Macedonia will have to accept the fact that they have a legal right to it's constitutional name and language.
Cheers from New York!!

Dino the Athenian - 29 Jun 2011 // 05:35:21

I don't understand what you just said.

No one is trying to erase the name of Macedonia. Macedonia is a Greek name and stands as it is.

The country's name derives from the Greek ????????? (Makedon?a), a kingdom (later, region) named after the ancient Macedonians. Their name, ????????? (Maked?nes), derives ultimately from the ancient Greek adjective ???????? (makedn?s), meaning "tall, taper", which shares the same root as the noun ?????? (m?kros), meaning "length" in both ancient and modern Greek. The name is originally believed to have meant either "highlanders" or "the tall ones", possibly referring to the physical character of the ancient Macedonians and their mountainous land.

Hawk - 29 Jun 2011 // 05:07:36

The people of the Balkans that have ripped apart and stole everything that was Macedonian resent the fact that Macedonia is slowly getting on it's own feet and taking care of it's own interest. The Macedonians are putting their historical house in order and showing the world that they matter. Sooner rather then later all of you from the region will have to answer why the Macedonian population living in your "country" has been oppressed, displaced and eradicated so there will be no trace of Macedonians. For the longest time you spent timeless effort to erase the name Macedonia and now you are doing the same in order to show that you always had that name and used it.
Belonging to the EU and NATO Club also means legal responsibility of crimes
committed against Macedonia and the Macedonian people.
As long as you have that arrogant and idiotic philosophy that if you occupied
someone it is yours you will never understand freedom and democracy.
The Macedonians are doing their own thing while you around are preoccupied about an occupation you once had.
It is very interesting to see some of this reply's of narrow minded people.

Alexander Hawk

Hubchev - 29 Jun 2011 // 00:33:36

Political interpretation of historical events is one thing. Renaming middle age self-identifying ethnic Bulgarians into "Macedonians" is quite another.

I used to feel sorry for our long lost cousins (victims of Tito era anti-Bulgarianism persecution) but protection of Bulgaria comes first. If FYROM no longer see themselves as ethnic Bulgarians that's their choice but I will not play along with their government propaganda while they openly attempt to erase Bulgarians. The small stones turn the carriage.

Dino the Athenian - 28 Jun 2011 // 23:55:50


I disagree with what you just said. How would feel if Romania started calling part of its territory Varna or Plovdiv or Sofia?

Bulgarian names and history belong to Bulgaria. So do Greek names and history to Greece.

If BG wants to annex FYROM, I would be o.k. with that because it will become Bulgarian territory and there will be no longer any name dispute.

BTW, how can you refute all the historical references contained in this letter? To do so it would be both ignorant and provocative:

Iggi - 28 Jun 2011 // 23:13:44

When the Bulgarian state chose to be on the wrong side in both world wars of the 20th century they probably did it to be able to occupy Macedonia. To say that we are pretending to be someone else or that we are Bulgarian means that you continue to hold the same policy and ideas. In the 21st Century, there is Macedonia, sovereign and free to choose its heros, to interpret its history and to belong to Europe on its own right. Greek and Bulgarian designs over the current state of Macedonia and its people who self identify as Macedonian is no longer acceptable. To say that there is a Macedonian ambition toward foreign territory is also outdated as the Balkans are moving fast into the European fold, no borders, and the only acceptable activites are culture, business and respect for human rights (including self identification rights).

Hubchev - 28 Jun 2011 // 21:46:27


I couldn't understand why Greeks made such a big deal over the name Macedonia. There are many regions with the same name. Now that they are stealing our history though and claiming persecution by Bulgarians) I am more sensitive to the issue (which is why I stopping calling them Macedonia on a personal level). The FYROM government is clearly out of control with its crazy historical propaganda. (a relic of anti-Bulgarian Yugoslav communist propaganda) They constantly rename ethnic Bulgarians "Macedonians" and claim part of Bulgaria as occupied. If they keep it up eventually there will no Bulgarians left.

Borisov (our PM) needs to eventually address this issue.

Dino the Athenian - 28 Jun 2011 // 18:33:01

So, now you know we are dealing with nut cases.

And perhaps you understand how peoples - completly devoid of history and any cultural contributions to human civilization - behave.

I think the next monument to go up in Skopje would a likeness of Suleiman the Magnificent.

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