Ideology behind the Naming: On the Origin of Basil II’s Appellation ‘Scythicus’

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18778/2084-140X.12.02

Keywords:

Byzantium, terminology, ideology, Basil II, Samuel’s State, Scythians, Mysians, Macedonians

Abstract

The paper examines the terminology used by the Byzantine authors of the 10th and 11th century as regards the Samuel’s State, which was largely shaped by the Byzantine ideology and momentary aim of the political propaganda. The analysis of the Byzantine sources shows that by the end of the 10th century Basil II became known as “Scythicus”, because of his military achievements against Samuel’s State. The same context derives from Basil II’s verse Epitaph which contains ideological message about the accomplished mission given to Basil II by Christ himself in defeating the “Scythians”. Hence, Basil II was known and wanted to be remembered, among other, as the victor over the Scythians, thus designating the enemies coming from the Samuel’s State. Following this notion, in his narrative Michael Psellos portrayed Basil II as the vanquisher of the Scythians. Psellos even provided ideological context of the subjugation of the Samuel’s State, remarking that by this Basil II actually converted these people and turned them towards God.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Enkomion for Ioannes [Mauropous] the Metropolitan of Euchaita, ed. G. T. Dennis, Michaelis Pselli orationes panegyricae, Stuttgart–Leipzig 1994 [= Bibliotheca scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana].
Google Scholar

Gelzer H., Ungedruckte and wenig bekannte Bistümerverzeichnisse der orientalischen Kirche, “Byzantinische Zeitschrift” 2, 1893, p. 22–72, https://doi.org/10.1515/byzs.1893.2.1.22
Google Scholar DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/byzs.1893.2.1.22

George Akropolites, The History, trans. R. Macrides, Oxford 2007 [= Oxford Studies in Byzantium].
Google Scholar

Georgii Acropolitae Opera, vol. I–II, ed. A. Heisenberg, P. Wirth, Stuttgart 1978.
Google Scholar

The History of Leo the Deacon. Byzantine Military Expansion in the Tenth Century, trans. A.-M. Talbot, D. F. Sullivan, Washington DC 2005 [= Dumbarton Oaks Studies, 41].
Google Scholar

The History of Psellus, ed. C. Sathas, London 1899.
Google Scholar

Ioannes Scylitzes, Synopsis historiarum, rec. I. Thurn, Berlin–New York 1973 [= Corpus fontium historiae byzantinae. Series Berolinensis, 5].
Google Scholar

Ivanov I., Bălgarski starini iz Makedoniia, Sofija 1908.
Google Scholar

John Geometres, Poems, [in:] Anecdota Graeca e Codd. Manuscriptis Bibliothecae regiae Parisiensis, vol. IV, ed. J. A. Cramer, Oxford 1841.
Google Scholar

John Skylitzes, A Synopsis of Byzantine History, 811–1057, trans. J. Wortley, Cambridge 2010, https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511779657
Google Scholar DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511779657

Leo of Synada, The Correspondence of Leo, Metropolitan of Synada and Syncellus, ed. et trans. M. P. Vinson, Washington DC 1985 [= Corpus Fontium Historiae Byzantinae, 23; Dumbarton Oaks Texts, 8].
Google Scholar

Leonis Diaconi Caloensis historiae libri decem, ed. C. B. Hase, Bonn 1828.
Google Scholar

Mercati S. G., L’epitafio di Basilio Bulgaroctonos secondo it codice Modense Greco 144 ed Ottoboniano Greco 344, [in:] Collectanea Byzantina, vol. II, Bari 1970, p. 232–234.
Google Scholar

Mercati S. G., Sull’epitafio di Basilio II Bulgaroctonos, [in:] Collectanea Byzantina, vol. II, Bari 1970, p. 226–231.
Google Scholar

Michaēl Psellou Hekatontaetēris Vyzantinēs historias (976‒1077), ed. K. N. Sathas, Paris 1874 [= Μεσαιωνικὴ Βιβλιοθήκη / Mesaiōnikē Bibliothēkē, 4].
Google Scholar

Michaelis Pselli Chronographia, vol. I, ed. D. R. Reinsch, Berlin–Boston 2014 [= Millennium-Studien, 51.1].
Google Scholar

Michaelis Pselli Historia Syntomos, ed. et trans. W. J. Aerts, Berlin 1990 [= Corpus fontium historiae byzantinae. Series Berolinensis, 30].
Google Scholar

Michaelis Pselli scripta Minora, vol. I, Orationes et dissertations, ed. E. Kurtz, F. Drexl, Milan 1936.
Google Scholar

Mihail Psell, Hronografiia, trans. I. N. Liubarskii, Moskva 1978.
Google Scholar

Nicetae Choniatae historiae, ed. J. L. van Dieten, Berlin 1975 [= Corpus Fontium Historiae Byzantinae, 11.1].
Google Scholar

Psellos, Orationes et dissertationes, ed. E. Kurtz, F. Drexl, Milano 1936 [= Orbis Romanus, 5].
Google Scholar

Vita S. Iohannis Iunioris, Acta Sanctorum, Novembris, vol. IV, ed. H. Delehaye, P. Peeters, Bruxelles 1925.
Google Scholar

Kaldellis A., Ethnography after Antiquity. Foreign Lands and Peoples in Byzantine Literature, Philadelphia 2013, https://doi.org/10.9783/9780812208405
Google Scholar DOI: https://doi.org/10.9783/9780812208405

Lauxtermann M. D., Byzantine Poetry from Pisides to Geometres. Texts and Contexts, vol. I, Wien 2003 [= Wiener Byzantinistische Studien, 24.1], https://doi.org/10.1553/0x00034c77
Google Scholar DOI: https://doi.org/10.1553/0x00034c77

Lauxtermann M. D., John Geometres – Poet and Soldier, “Byzantion” 68, 1998, p. 356–380.
Google Scholar

Lom A., Krsmanović B., Georgije Manijakis, ime Gotselios i Pselova ‘skitska autonomija’, “Зборник радова Византолошког института” / “Zbornik Radova Vizantološkog Instituta” 36, 1997, p. 233–263.
Google Scholar

McCormick M., Eternal Victory. Triumphant Rulership in Late Antiquity, Cambridge–New York–Paris 1986 [= Past and Present Publications].
Google Scholar

Nikolov A., Mezhdu Rim i Konstantinopol. Iz antikatolicheskata literatura v Bălgariia i slavianskiia pravoslaven svet, XI–XVII v., Sofija 2016.
Google Scholar

Nikolov A., Okolo prozvishteto na Vasilii II ‘Bălgaroubiets’, [in:] Hiliada godini ot bitkata pri Belasitsa i ot smărtta na tsar Samuil (1014–2014), ed. V. Giuzelev, G. N. Nikolov, Sofija 2015, p. 84–91.
Google Scholar

Nikolov A., On Basil II’s Cognomen ‘The Bulgar-Slayer’, [in:] Evropeiskiiat Iugoistok prez vtorata polovina na X – nachaloto na XI vek. Istoriia i kultura. Mezhdunarodna konferentsiia Sofia, 6–8 Oktomvri, 2014, ed. V. Giuzelev, G. N. Nikolov, Sofija 2015, p. 578–584.
Google Scholar

Panov M. B., Ohrid Archbishopric and Ecclesiastical Identity in Byzantium, [in:] Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium on Byzantine and Medieval Studies, Days of Justinian I, ed. M. B. Panov, Skopje 2021, p. 82–92.
Google Scholar

Panov M. B., The Blinded State. Historiographic Debates about Samuel Cometopoulos and his State, 10th–11th Century, Leiden–Boston 2019 [= East Central and Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 450–1450, 55], https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004394292
Google Scholar DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004394292

Panov M. B., The Slavs and the Conceptual Roman Borderland in Macedonia, [in:] Continuation or Change? Borders and Frontiers in Late Antiquity and Medieval Europe. Landscape of Power Network, Military Organisation and Commerce, ed. G. Leighton, Ł. Różycki, P. Pranke, London–New York 2022, p. 59–80.
Google Scholar

Papaioannou S., Duffy J., Michael Psellos and the Authorship of the Historia Syntomos: Final Considerations, [in:] Byzantium, State and Society. In Memory of Nikos Oikonomides, ed. A. Abramea, A. Laiou, E. Chrysos, Athens 2003, p. 219–229.
Google Scholar

Stephenson P., Byzantine Conceptions of Otherness after the Annexation of Bulgaria in 1018, [in:] Strangers to Themselves. The Byzantine Outsider, Papers from the Thirty-second Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton, March 1998, ed. D. C. Smythe, Aldershot 2000, p. 245–257.
Google Scholar

Stephenson P., Byzantium’s Balkan Frontier. A Political Study of the Northern Balkans, 900–1204, Cambridge 2000, https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511496615
Google Scholar DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511496615

Stephenson P., The Legend of Basil the Bulgar-Slayer, Cambridge 2003.
Google Scholar

Stephenson P., The Tomb of Basil II, [in:] Zwischen Polis, Provinz und Peripherie. Beiträge zur byzantinischen Geschichte und Kultur, ed. L. M. Hoffmann, A. Monchizadeh, Wiesbaden 2005, p. 227–238.
Google Scholar

Downloads

Published

2022-10-12

How to Cite

Panov, M. B. (2022). Ideology behind the Naming: On the Origin of Basil II’s Appellation ‘Scythicus’. Studia Ceranea. Journal of the Waldemar Ceran Research Centre for the History and Culture of the Mediterranean Area and South-East Europe, 12, 739–750. https://doi.org/10.18778/2084-140X.12.02

Issue

Section

Articles