By Matthew Spinka
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Additional resources for A History of Christianity in the Balkans
Vol. I, p. 359. I, p. 357-59. THE RISE OF SLAVIC CHRISTIANITY 27 Theophanee, op. , v. p. 761-5. 3 ,3. I, a I a it, by the Bulgars, to guard it against the Avars. At the center of this strategic and well-protected territory lay Pliska, northeast of Shumla, where the sublime khan, as the ruler of the Bulgars was called, built his palace and held court. This form of governmental organization of the Bulgars and Slavs is further confirmed by Frankish sources of the ninth century which speak of it as Bulgarorum societas.
It is to be regretted that for lack of source material bearing upon them, these pertinent queries can not be an swered with any degree of fulness. Among the Elbe and the Baltic Slavs, and even among the Russians, the situation It is far better known than among the Balkan nations. would not of course be safe to assume a complete analogy between the Southern Slavs and the rest; hence, we must be content with the meagre data which the sources yield respecting the former, despite the fact that they do not suffice to answer the questions raised.
But some infirmity of his described by Theophanes as "sore feet" — possibly gout — prevented him from taking energetic measures. At any rate, his army fell back before the in vaders who penetrated as far south as the present-day Varna. • They settled in the country which they had oc cupied, and the emperor was forced to negotiate with them for terms of peace (679). Thus Asperuch became the founder of modern Bulgaria. As for the Slavic population settled in the territory, they not only offered no resistance to the invaders, but ap pear to have entered into a voluntary political union with the Bulgars, by the terms of which the Slavs were obliged to render their Bulgarian overlords military aid and pos sibly pay a yearly tribute.