KrumKrum (died April 13, 814) was a Khan of Bulgaria, of the Dubo clan, from 808 to 814.
By defeating the Avar Thaganate, he expanded his territory to cover the lands between the Danube and the Carpathians. More Slavic tribes were incorporated into the state. A border was established between the Frankish Empire and Bulgaria, forcing the empire of Charlemagne to reckon with his Balkan neighbor.
Khan Krum aimed to incorporate all lands inhabited by Slavs and Bulgars into his state. The Byzantine Empire, under the leadership of Nicephorus I Genik, was alarmed. First Byzantine attempt to attack Bulgaria was prevented by an internal plot. Before the end of 809, the Bulgarian forces had defeated the Byzantine army in the Struma valley. Serdika, which was later to become Bulgaria's capital, was captured at this time.
In 811 the Byzantine army captured Pliska and slaughtered its residents. After the palace was destroyed Krum was said to sue for peace offering Nicephorus I anything. The Byzantine Emperor refused the proposal. On July 26 Krum got his revenge, laying siege on the Byzantine army at the Vurbitsa pass, killing the Emperor and most of his commanders. Stauracius, the son of Nicephorus, was paralyzed by a sword wound to his neck but escaped. It is said that Krum had the Emperor's skull lined with silver, using it as a drinking cup.
The Khan further peace proposals met with refusal. Leading his army south, Krum seized Byzantine towns and strongholds. Extending another proposal for peace with very modest conditions, and with the new emperor refusing, the Bulgarians attacked Nessebar. The Bulgarians soon reached the walls of Constantinople. Intending to kill the Bulgarian Khan, the emperor proposed peace negotiations. The plot, however, was exposed and the Bulgarians tore through the lands between Constantinople and Adrianople. Krum's sudden death on April 13, 814 put an end to his plan to enter the Emperor's palace as a conqueror.
Khan Krum was also known for the first Bulgarian written laws, which ensured subsidies to beggars and state protection to the poor of all Bulgarians. Through his laws he became known as a magnanimous ruler, bringing Slavs and Bulgars into a centralized state. Drinking, slander and robbery were severely punished under Krum.
His son Omortag succeeded to the throne.
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