Pliska 811 – Byzantine – Bulgarian Wars DOCUMENTARY



Our new animated historical documentary series on the Byzantine-Bulgarian Wars will start with the story of the battle of Pliska or battle of Varbitsa pass between the Eastern Roman emperor Nikephoros I and the khan of the First Bulgarian Empire Krum. The story starts right after our video on the Umayyad Caliphate’s siege of Constantinople in 717-718, during which the allied Byzantine-Bulgar forces stopped the Muslim expansion in the region.

Support us on Patreon: or Paypal:

We are grateful to our patrons and sponsors, who made this video possible:

The script video was written by Matt Hollis.

This video was narrated by Officially Devin (

Machinimas were made on Total War: Attila engine by MalayArcher (

✔ Merch store ►
✔ Patreon ►
✔ Podcast ► Google Play: iTunes:
✔ PayPal ►
✔ Twitter ►
✔ Facebook ►
✔ Instagram ►

Sources:
Paul Sophoulis – Bulgaria and Byzantium 775 – 831
Dennis B Hupchick – The Bulgarian-Byzantine Wars for Early Medieval Hegemony
R.J Crampton – A Concise History of Bulgaria

Production Music courtesy of Epidemic Sound:

#Documentary #Pliska #Krum

33 comments

  1. For the duration of 7 centuries, there were 36 Byzantine-Bulgarian wars. Having six times less population, the Bulgarians won 24 and lost 12 of them. Not bad.

  2. Funny how someone could think that a nomad-steppe population like the bulgars would know and adapt at this mountainous terrain. The bulk of the army was of course latinophon, vlach natives.

  3. if the who was tries to insult my nation Im gonna fuck their brain,
    Always church and Rome made their enemies (Like Ottoman,Avar and Atilla's era)"demon,barbarian,ugly,coward or brutal"
    but when they saw a Christian Turk(Cumans) they has praised to my ancestors but they when saw a Jew or Muslim Turk they're releasing curse on our heads like sick of plague,insulting and staying away
    bunch of bullshit and racist talks blah blah… Ultra-Extra Nationalist hot Christian talks blah blah
    I dont care who is from who just dont be moron and be glad of your nation
    "now happy is the who says Im a Turk"or for else another nations

  4. for the @Best Dad ⵣ where you found this symbol Ж THIS IS BULGARIAN SYMBOL AND MEAN TO BORN THE ANCIENT EGYPTIAN IS FOUND WHITE RACE IS FROM COME THRACE WITH THE BLUE DINASTIES AND COPTES WRITE IN GLAGOLIC ALPHABET AND EGYPTIANS THER RULES IS WHITE FROM OLD BULGARIA THRACE IS SIMILAR TO BASTET QUEEN BUEATIFULL BULGARIAN WOMAN MEAN THE CAT.HAVE A NICE DAY THE SYMBOL OF Ж IS BULGARIAN MEAN THE HOLY WOMAN OR BORN TO BE HUMAN

  5. Много платени антибългарски спамери надолу из коментарите, чак да се зачуди човек от къде са се пръкнали и кой ги спонсорира…

  6. Bulgaria at this time had acquired some traits typical of a barbarian state,because the bellicose tribe of the Bulgars had imported the Turkic traditions of the great steppe into the Balkans.

    The Old Testament in Byzantium Edited by Paul Magdalino Robert S. Nelson Washington, D.C. :Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection : Distributed by Harvard University Press, c2010. pp. 255

    The Bulgars were a Turkic tribal confederation that gave rise to the Balkan Bulgar and Volga Bulgar states. The ethnonym derives from the Turkish bulgha-, "to stir, mix, disturb, confuse." The confederation appears to have taken shape among Oghur tribes in the Kazakh steppes following the migrations that were touched off by movements of the Hsiung-nu. Later Byzantine sources (Agathon, Nicephorus Patriarchus, Theophanes) closely associate or identify the Bulgars with the Onoghurs, who were enemies of Sassanid Iran in the late 4th century. When or how this connection developed is unclear. If we discount several (most probably) anachronistic notices on the Bulgars in Moses Kliorenats'i (Moses of Chorene), the earliest references to them are perhaps to be found in an anonymous Latin chronograph of 354: "Vulgares." They are absent from Priscus's account of the migration, ca. 463, of the Oghuric Turks into the Pontic steppes, but by 480 they are noted under their own name as allies of Constantinople against the Ostrogoths. Amity with Byzantium was short-lived. By 489 the Bulgars had initiated a series of raids on Byzantine Balkan possessions. Their habitat, at this stage, appears to have been in the eastern Pontic steppes stretch-ing into the Azov region and North Caucasus. It is here that Jordanes and Pseudo-Zacharius Ithetor place them in the mid-6th century. Shortly afterward, they were overrun and subjugated by the Avars and then the Turks. When Turk rule weakened, sometime after 600, the Avars appear to have reestablished some control over the region. It was against Avar rule that the Bulgars-under their leader Qubrat, whom Heraclius had been cultivating for some rime (he and his uncle were baptized in Constantinople to 619)—revolted ca. 631-632 and founded the Onoghundur-Bulgar state. Some time after Qubrat's death (660s), this Pontic – Maeotun Bulgaria, whose Balkan descendents would also claim Attilid origins, came into conflict with the Khazar khaganate, successor to the Turk empire in western Eurasia. The Khazars emerged victorious from the contest, and parts of the Bulgar union broke up and migrated. One grouping under Asperukh in 679 crossed the Danube into Moesia and, having subjugated a local Slavic confederatton, there laid the foundation for the Balkan Bulgarian state. Yet other groups joined the Avar state in Pannonia (where some would prove to be rebellious subjects or took up restience in Italy around the five Rasennate cities, to live as Byzantine subjects.The other Bulgars either remained in the Pontic steppe zone the (the “Black Bulgars” of Byzantine and Rus’ sources) or later migrated (perhaps as early as the mid-7th century or as late as the mid-8th to early 9th century) to the middle Volga region, giving rise there to the Volga Bulgarian state, which remained, however a vassal of the Khazars. Balkan Bulgaria soon became an important element in Byzantine politics, on occasion supporting contestants to the throne and also helping to defeat the Arab attack on Constantinople of 717-18.The iconoclastic Emperor Constantine (741-775) began a series of wars against them that remained a constant theme of Byzantine-Bulgarian relations until the destruction of the first Bulgarian empire by Basil II (976-1025).In 864 the Bulgarian king Boris, outmaneuvered by Constantinople, converted to Christianity. Thereafter, the Turkic Bulgars underwent Slavicization, and Balkan Bulgaria became one of the centers of medieval Slavic. The Volga Bulgars, however, converted to Islam in the early 10th century and created a highly sophisticated, urbane, mercantile Muslim society that, after stout resistance, was conquered by the Mongols in the early 13th century.

    Bowersock, Glen W. & al. Late Antiquity: A Guide to the Postclassical World pp.354 Harvard University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-674-51173-5.

    At the time,the new Khazar qaganate was expanding westward,squeezing out the Onogurs,or Bulghars as they begin to be named. One of the Kuvrat’s sons,the Asparuch (Asparux,Isperih) now celebrated as the founder of Bulgaria,forcibly crossed to the Danube arpund 679 to occupy imperial territory Moesia after defeating the forces of Constantine IV (668-685). The event is recorded in the preserved text of a Hebrew letter of a Khazar qahan,who wrote that the Vununtur(=Onogurs=Bulghars) has fled across the Duna,the Danube. Even if numerous for the steppe,Asparuch’s pastoralist warriors and their families were of necessity relatively few as compared to the agricultural Slav population that lived south of the Danube,and thus the Turkic-speaking Bulghars were assimilated linguistically by the Slav majority to form the medieval and modern Bulgarians. This particular ethnogenesis occuree gradually over a period of more than two centuries: there was the Turkic qan (or khan) Krum (803-814),Qan Omurtag (814-831),Qan Presian (836-852),then the wan who converted Boris I (852-889);then came Tsar Symeon (893-923), Tsar Peter I (927-970),and so on.But this transformation of Turkic shamanists into Slavic Christians did nothing to diminish the warlike character of the empire’s new neighbours. Because even warlike neighbours can be useful at times,the relations between the empire and the new Bulghar qaganate encompassed every possible variation,from intimate allience to all out-war,as exemplified by the career of the Bulghar qan or khan Tervel (or Tarvel-Terbelis in our Greek sources),the successor and probably son of Asparukh who ruled for some twenty-one years within the period 695-721,extant chronologies being inconsistent.

    “Bulghars and Bulgarians.” The Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire, by EDWARD N. LUTTWAK, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts; London, England, 2009, pp. 173

  7. And didnt talk about the destructive
    Abbasids invasion of asia minor 806 the Romans lost tens of thousands of soldiers and tens of thousands of civilians the roman Emperor nikephoros was forced to pay tribute
    this time Abbasids Caliph Harun exacted an additional personal tax levied on the Emperor and his son and heir, staurakios as a token of their submission to the Caliph.all this contributed to the defeat, as the emperor was unable to gather a large and strong army, as most of the army was destroyed in battles against the Abbasids.

  8. You didnt talk about the battle of krasos 804 at that battle thé arabs wiped out 41000 roman soldiers under the leaderchip of nikephoros, the latter was almost killed himself; saved only by the bravery of his officers.

  9. Imagine living in Byzantium during the Middle ages lol constant wars and conquests of different kingdoms and empires. At least since the Turks took Constantinople there has been peace in the are…

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *