Legend of Tsar Boris The Ruler Who Christianised Bulgaria And Enlarged It Greatly

Khan Boris {or Bars} ascended the throne in 852, he was Presiyan’s son. Boris I was not an outstanding military commander. He often suffered defeat but the state’s borders remained unchanged. Boris I was a skillful diplomat. But his greatest act of diplomacy was a domestic one. Boris was surrounded by Christians, Christians everywhere! To the west of him, the Pope, to the east - the Byzantine Patriarch. Bulgaria was a pagan island in an ocean of Christianity.
When Boris inherited the throne from his father, Bulgaria’s territorial, military, and political potential had made it one of the largest states in Europe. Bulgaria’s approximate frontiers were the Dnieper River in the northeast, the Carpathian Mountains in the north, the Tisa River in the northwest, the Adriatic Sea in the west, and the Tomorr , Belasica, Pirin, Rhodope, and Strandzha mountains in the south. Many Slavic tribes lived within the boundaries of the state, together with the Thracians , and the Bulgars. All of them had different religions, ethnicities, and languages.
Because of this - the Christians, all the Bulgarian peoples and Boris’ goal to merge them all into one indistinguishable mass of Bulgarians; Boris decided to make a truly radical change in Bulgaria’s attitude towards Christianity. The Khans preceding him, had persecuted Christians, but Boris I was going to make Christianity a compulsory religion for all Bulgarians. This would not go over well with a lot of people in Bulgaria. In fact Boris’ eldest son and heir Vladimir {Yet another firstborn Bulgar with a Slavic name.} with the help of like minded Boyars attempted to revive pagan worshipping. Boris, who had abdicated in 889, then returned to active politics. With the aid of Boyars loyal to him and the army, Boris drove his son from the throne. Vladimir was blinded, unfitting him for rule, and was replaced by Boris’ third son, Simeon. To make a point, Boris ordered the execution of fifty-two Boyars, together with their families, who had remained faithful to Vladimir and pagandom. After his death in 907 Boris I was proclaimed the first Bulgarian saint, and traces of his cult during this period can be found as far away as Ireland.