Basil II

Definition

Basil II (aka Basilius II) was the emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 976 to 1025 CE. He became known as the Bulgar-Slayer (Bulgaroktonos) for his exploits in conquering ancient Bulgaria, sweet revenge for his infamous defeat at Trajan's Gate. With a tight hold on Byzantine purse strings and a private army of giant Vikings, Basil got the better of at least two significant usurpers for his throne, reconquered Greece and all of the Balkans, won victories in Syria and doubled the size of the empire. This colossus of Byzantine history is the subject of a biography in the Chronographia of the 11th-century CE Byzantine historian Michael Psellos.

More about: Basil II

Timeline

  • 958
    Byzantine emperor Basil II is born.
  • 976 - 1025
    Reign of Byzantine emperor Basil II.
  • 985
    Byzantine emperor Basil II exiles Basil Lecapenus, the influential court chamberlain.
  • 986
    Byzantine emperor Basil II suffers a terrible defeat to Samuel the Bulgar at Trajan's Gate.
  • 987 - 989
    Byzantine emperor Basil II defeats the usurpers Bardas Skleros and Bardas Phokas.
  • c. 988
    Byzantine emperor Basil II uses a force of Varangians for the first time.
  • 995
    Byzantine emperor Basil II wins victories in Syria against the Fatimids.
  • 997
    Byzantine emperor Basil II reconquers Greece from Samuel the Bulgar.
  • 1014
    Byzantine emperor Basil II wins final victory against Samuel the Bulgar at Kleidion.
  • 1021 - 1022
    Byzantine emperor Basil II wins victories in Armenia and Georgia.
  • 1025
    Byzantine emperor Basil II dies and his plans to invade Sicily are abandoned.
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