Basil II Biography
Born In: Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
Basil II (or Basilius II) was the Byzantine emperor of the Macedonian dynasty, from 976 (coronation in 960) to 1025 CE. He came to be known as the “Bulgar-Slayer” (“Bulgaroktonos”) for his aggressive conquest of Bulgaria, defeating the army of the mighty King Samuel of Bulgaria. With a little help from the Vikings sent by Prince Vladimir of Kiev, Basil defeated two claimants to the throne, Bardas Sclerus and Bardas Phocas. His diplomacy led to Prince Vladimir’s conversion to Christianity. He recaptured Greece and the Balkans, won battles in Syria, and almost doubled his empire. He also won against the Arabs and won battles in Georgia and Armenia. He was planning to annex Sicily when he fell ill and died. He was succeeded by his brother, Constantine VIII, as he had remained a bachelor all his life and had no children. His huge empire was eventually led to its decline by his inefficient successors.