Byzantium: Part XXXVII
After 16 years as co-emperor, Basil ascended to the throne in his own right. As Basileus, he dedicated his life fully to his work, wearing simple clothes and never marrying. Despite his dedication, Basil was faced with immediate rebellion. He was forced to fight off Bardas Sclerus. To try and end the revolt, Bardas Phocas, the imperial general, maimed Sclerus in single combat. By this battle, Basil II breathed a sigh of relief, although he was not out of the clear.
Samuel, the brother of the dead Bulgar Tsar Boris, raised his flags in revolt.
Along with Samuel, Bardas Sclerus returned from exile to vie for the throne while Bardas Phocas tried to take the crown. Outside help was needed to put down this revolt.
In 989, Greek fire and Kievan Varangian mercenaries were enough to put down the pretenders with brutal efficiency. At the apex, Basil killed Bardas Phocas in single combat himself. Bardas Sclerus soon followed the other pretender to the grave.
To put down Bardas Phocas and Bardas Sclerus, Basil needed to make an alliance to earn foreign soldiers. To that end, he agreed to marry off his sister, Anna, to Vladimir of Kiev. Basil got Norse Varangian soldier which he used to great effect. Vladimir demanded his new bride, but a condition was placed. To earn such an alliance, Vladimir accepted the Byzantine Rite of Christianity. From here on, Russia would be Christian.
Non penso di essere speciale e non aspiro ad esserlo. Mi accontento di sapere chi sono, nel bene e nel male, ricca di difetti e altrettanto piena di pregi. Sono un connubio tra il bene e il male, forza e fragilità, sono tutto ciò che la gente mi permette di essere, perché ognuno avrà ciò che si merita, almeno da me.