6. The Assassination of Gavril Radomir

Summary

In the beginning of the 9th century Bulgaria is fighting for survival. The Byzantine emperor Basil II has conquered the entire eastern part of the country. The Bulgarian tzar Samuil rules in the western one residing in the capital of Ohrid. In 1014 however, Basil II takes captive 14 000 Bulgarian warriors, blinds them and sends them back to Samuil. The old king cannot bear the cruelty of the sight and, on October 6, 1014, he dies of a heart attack. Because of his bloodthirstiness, Basil the second is known as the Bulgar-Slayer.

The son of Samuil, Gavril-Radomir inherits the throne and continues the war, but the emperor bribes his cousin Ivan Vladislav to kill him and become tzar. After the death of Gavril Radomir, Ivan Vladislav is slain by the Byzantines on his turn. Bulgaria falls under Byzantine rule, not to regain its independence for another 150 years.