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Conversion, Expansion, Political Ideology, And Social Conditions During The First Bulgarian Tsardom, 864–1018

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Chapter Summary

The seals document the newly converted ruler's dedication to Christianity by referring to him by his Christian name only and underscore the territorial concept of the Bulgarian polity as opposed to earlier references to people rather than land. Both the name and the invocation of the Mother of God stress the link to Byzantium. Especially interesting is the last seal, which might be attributed to the time of Michael's brief return to power to suppress the pagan reaction under his son Rasate and re-establish Christianity and the pro-Byzantine orientation of Bulgaria by putting his younger son Simeon on the Bulgarian throne. Tsar Simeon's universal claims were not accepted as legitimate by Byzantium, but the political sovereignty of his heir, Peter, was acknowledged in a compromise that left him with the title of basileus of the Bulgarians, a return to a non-territorial definition of his authority.

Keywords: Bulgarian Tsardom; Byzantium; Christianity; seals



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