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Bulgaria - Khan Asparuh

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Added by Bob in Civilizations 1-Now
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The Story of Khan Asparuh and Bulgaria
In English with Bulgarian subtitles
.


In the early middle ages a new power rises in Eastern Europe and takes its place on the great historical scene of the known World.
It is Bulgaria.
Although it is not well known, Bulgarian history and events are remarkable and have left their mark on Europe.
Thanks to Khan Asparuh (681-700 A.D.) Bulgaria is a country today.
Bulgaria was once one of the three main powers in Europe along with the Eastern Roman/Byzantium Empire and the Franks under Charlemagne.

The Nominalia of the Bulgarian khans states that Asparuh belonged to the Dulo clan and was a descendant of Attila the Hun.

  Asparukh was made the leader of the Onogur tribe by his father Khan Kubrat of Great Bulgaria. After his father's death, Asparuh would have acknowledged the rule of his older brother Bat Bayan, but Great Bulgaria disintegrated under Khazar attack,  in 668 he and his brothers, except  Bat Bayan departed Great Bulgaria, leading their tribes to seek a more secure home in other lands.

Asparukh was followed by 30,000 to 50,000 Bulgars. He reached the Danube while the Byzantine capital Constantinople was besieged by Muawiyah I, Caliph of the Arabs (674–678), he and his people settled in the Danube delta, probably on the now disappeared Peuce Island. After the Arab siege of Constantinople ended, the Byzantine Emperor Constantine IV marched against the Bulgars and their Slav allies in 680 and forced the Bulgars to build a fortified encampment and withstand a seige. Forced to abandon the leadership of his army in order to seek medical treatment for his ailments in Anchialo ( today's Pomorie), the emperor sabotaged the morale of his troops, who gave in to rumours that their emperor had fled. With segments of the Byzantine army starting to desert, the Bulgars and their allies broke through the blockade and routed the enemy troops at the battle of Ongala in 680. Asparuh then swiftly moved from the Danubian delta down to the Balkan range.

Asparuh's victory led to the Bulgarian conquest of Moesia and the establishment of some sort of alliance between the Bulgars and the local Slavic Tribes). As Asparuh commenced to raid across the mountains into Byzantine Territory in 681, Constantine IV decided to cut his losses and conclude a treaty, whereby the Byzantine Empire paid the Bulgars an annual tribute as protection money. These events are seen in retrospect as the establishment of the First Bulgarian Empire and its recognition by the Byzantine Empire.

According to a late tradition, Asparuh died fighting the Khazars on the Danube. According to one theory, advanced by the Bulgarian historian Vaklinov, his grave is located near Voznesenka ("Ascension") on the Dnieper in Ukraine.

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