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Information about reign: Βασίλειος Β΄ (Emperor Basil II)

CountryEastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire)
From10 January 976
To15 December 1025
Personal InformationEmperor Basil II of the Eastern Roman Empire (958 - 1025)
Description

Basil II (Greek: Βασίλειος Β΄) was a Byzantine Emperor from the Macedonian dynasty who reigned from 10 January 976 to 15 December 1025. He was known in his time as Basil the Porphyrogenitus and Basil the Young to distinguish him from his supposed ancestor, Basil I the Macedonian.

The early years of his long reign were dominated by civil war against powerful generals from the Anatolian aristocracy. Following their submission, Basil oversaw the stabilization and expansion of the eastern frontier of the Byzantine Empire, and above all, the final and complete subjugation of Bulgaria, the Empire's foremost European foe, after a prolonged struggle. For this he was nicknamed the Bulgar Slayer (Greek: Βουλγαροκτόνος, Boulgaroktonos), by which he is popularly known. At his death, the Empire stretched from southern Italy to the Caucasus and from the Danube to the borders of Palestine, its greatest territorial extent since the Muslim conquests four centuries earlier. His reign is therefore often seen as the medieval apogee of the Empire.

Despite near-constant warfare, Basil also showed himself a capable administrator, reducing the power of the great land-owning families who dominated the Empire's administration and military, while filling the Empire's treasury. Of far-reaching importance was Basil's decision to offer the hand of his sister Anna to Vladimir I of Kiev in exchange for military support, which led to the Christianization of the Kievan Rus' and the incorporation of later successor nations of Kievan Rus' within the Byzantine cultural and religious tradition.