Historian: Battle of Belasica, an important event for Macedonia

Tzar Samoil is the most distinguished Macedonian emperor and ruler after Alexander the Great, historian Milan Boskoski says, Telegraf reports. 

However, Bulgarian historians claim that Tzar Samoil was a Bulgarian king.

Symposiums, a round table and events will take place in Ohrid, Strumica and in the village of Slepce, near Demir Hisar, to mark the millennial anniversary since the death of Tsar Samoil. These are initial announcements as the official program will be additionally prepared by the board, which has already been formed for this important event. 

The symposium will take place mid-October in Strumica, in cooperation with the International Institute for Conservation. The round table will be organized with the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts (MANU).

Several proposals related to the events have been submitted to MANU, the Institute of National History and the Municipalities of Strumica and Ohrid.

Historians have no doubts that the country must observe this jubilee due to the fact the realm was located on the territory of Macedonia.

"The Battle of Belasica and the death of Tzar Samoil are important events. The first middle-age empire was established under the patronage of Tzar Samoil. He is the most distinguished Macedonian king and ruler after Alexander the Great", historian Milan Boskoski says.

Boskoski further added that the village of Slepce is also related to the Battle of Klidion.

"Several legends point to the fact that this village and the eponymous, near Prilep, were named 'Slepce' (blinded) after the return of the blinded Samoil's army soldiers", Boskoski explains.

In an interview with Telegraf.mk, academician Cvetan Grozdanov explains why Bulgaria tries to add Tzar Samoil to its list of historical figures.

"Samoil died in Prilep the moment he saw his soldiers with eyes ripped. Prespa, Ohrid and Voden partially, were centers of his empire. Tsar Samoil had received orders from the territories that were added to his kingdom, however, he has no connection with Preslav and Pliska, capitals during the First Bulgarian Empire. They are part of another territory and ideology", Grozdanov said.

During the last several years, Samoil's Fortress in Ohrid and Samoil's Towers in Strumica were reconstructed. A monument of the emperor was placed at the Macedonia Square in Skopje.

Bulgaria also prepares to observe the anniversary. The project is financed by Bulgaria's state budget. A monument of Tzar Samoil will be placed in the center of Sofia as well. Science conference, concerts and other events will take place in the Bulgarian capital.

According to Bulgarian historians, Samoil was the last Bulgarian emperor before the Turkish occupation. 

The Battle of Belasica, also known as the Battle of Kleidion between the armies of the Macedonian Tzar Samoil and the Byzantine emperor Basil II, took place on 29 July 1014. The outcome was devastating for the Macedonian army and Samoil's Empire: many soldiers were killed and 14,000 blinded. 


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