In 924 AD the BG Tsar Simeon I the Great and the Byzantine Emperor Romanos I Lekapenos agreed on a temporary peace ouside the walls of Constantinople.
The first major challenge faced by the new emperor of Byzantine, Romanos I Lekapenos, was the war with Bulgaria, which had been re-ignited by the regency of Zoe. Romanos' rise to power had cut off Simeon I of Bulgaria's plans for a marital alliance with Constantine VII, and Romanos was determined to deny the unpopular concession of imperial recognition to Simeon, which had already toppled one imperial government.
Consequently, the first four years of Romanos' reign were spent in warfare against Bulgaria. Although Simeon generally had the upper hand, he was unable to gain a decisive advantage because of the impregnability of Constantinople's walls. In 924, when Simeon had once again blockaded the capital by land, Romanos succeeded in opening negotiations.
Meeting Simeon in person at Kosmidion, Romanos criticized Simeon's disregard for tradition and Orthodox Christian brotherhood and shamed him into coming to terms and lifting the siege. In reality, this was accomplished by Romanos' tacit recognition of Simeon as emperor of Bulgaria. Relations were subsequently marred by continued wrangling over titles (Simeon wanted to call himself emperor of the Romans), but peace had been effectively established.
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There are all reasons to say that the time of Tsar SIMEON I marked the highest point in the development of the Bulgarian Kingdom in the middle ages. In the first quarter of the 10th century Bulgaria is an unparalleled in south-eastern Europe and one of the most civilized states in the Christian world.
Under king SIMEON Byzantium controls only 1/3 of the Balkan territories and is true worried about its future presence on the Peninsula. For the more sagacious contemporaries of the events it is clear that SIMEON intends to change the status quo of Pax
Byzantina and to create a new imperial system in which the Bulgarians will dominate. The young prince whom the Patriarch of Constantinople Nikolay the Mystic called “THE SO OF PEACE”, was born after the conversion to Christianity and had Christian upbringing Later he continues his education in the famous School of Magnaura. In Constantinople the third son of king BORIS, who is preparing for a clerical career, comes to know the source of imperial power, which spring not from human and natural resources, but from thousands of years of cultural tradition that gave the Byzantines self-confidence and pride. Years later, on coming back to his home country, SIMEON makes use of his knowledge to set the beginnings of the period of cultural flourish for Bulgaria, known as “THE GOLDEN AGE.”
There are several most important aspects in the development of old Bulgarian Christian culture. In monumental art and architecture most impressive are the constructions in the new capital - GREAT PRESLAV - the Round Church and Simeon’s Palace, the painted ceramics and decorative plastic art. In their character those monuments have no parallel in the art of construction of the previous periods. This marks even more sharply the ambition of the king to set the beginnings of a new civilization, which must parallel but also oppose Byzantine culture.
By general agreement highest glory during the “The Golden Age” is attributed to the literary achievements of Simeon’s circle. It is no wonder then that the literary pieces of that period have remained forever in the cultural treasure of Bulgaria: “Simeon’s Collection”, “Golden Flow”, “Alphabetical Prayer”, “Teaching Gospel”, “Six-Days Prayer”. “The Words” of St. Kliment Ohridski and many others.
The first ten years of the rule of SIMEON pass in creative construction and four wars imposed by the circumstances. Between 894 and 904 Bulgarian troops invade Byzantium for several times and the result is territorial acquisitions in the southwest. The attempt of the empire to use again “the foreign hand”, the Magyars, fails. King SIMEON drives them far to the northwest and strikes the border mark at 20 km north of Thessaloniki.
Between 904 and 913 extends the last peaceful period in the rule of SIMEON. When old Bulgarian literature extols him as “the new Ptolomy” and “lover of books”, it has in mind that period exactly. The death of Emperor Leo VI and the coming to the throne of his brother Alexander drastically changed the interrelations with the empire. The grave offense offered on Bulgarian emissaries takes King SIMEON out of the noble dreaming over books and sends him off on the battlefield where he is to remain till the end of his days. In the summer of 913 his troops march towards Constantinople with the intention - as Patriarch Nikolay the Mystic puts it - “to grasp the imperial power” (in Byzantium). What is changed? After the early death of Emperor Alexander the crown is inherited by the under-aged Constantine VII Bagrenorodni whose regent is the ambitious Patriarch Nikolay the Mystic. The situation of Byzantium gives hope to King SIMEON that with some effort and pressure he will succeed in receiving the craved crown of the Roman Basilevs and will set the beginning of a Bulgarian-Byzantine empire with a new orientation. But military demonstrations and the negotiations that followed give no results. Byzantium refuses to recognize the kingly worthiness of the Bulgarian ruler, which means reopening of the war. On August 20, 917, at the river Aheloi, the Byzantines suffer mortal defeat doubled by still another victory of the Bulgarians at Karasirti. After these victories SIMEON proclaims himself KING, and the archbishop of Bulgaria becomes PATRIARCH.
King SIMEON succeeds in raising the status of Bulgaria to that of the First permanent Kingdom in Christian Europe and to established the independent status of the Bulgarian Church as the first local public church.
By 926 he fought with Croatia under King Tomislav, but suffered a defeat in the Battle of the Bosnian Highlands. Simeon died of a heart attack on May 27, 927, after 14 years of war against the Byzantine Empire.