George Sursuvul

Summary

George Sursuvul (Bulgarian: Георги Сурсувул) or Sursubul was first minister and regent of the First Bulgarian Empire during the reigns of Simeon I (r. 893–927) and Peter I (r. 927–969). According to the chroniclers, George Sursuvul was a brother of Simeon I’s second wife, who was the mother of Peter I.[1] After the death of Simeon I, he ruled Bulgaria (927-928) as a regent for adolescent Peter I[2] and his younger brothers John and Benjamin. George Sursuvul retired from the regency after concluding a peace treaty with the Byzantine emperor Romanos I Lekapenos,[3] one of which terms was a marriage of George Sursuvul’s nephew Peter I to Byzantine Emperor’s granddaughter Maria Lakapenos (renamed Eirene).

George Sursuvul initiated the peace treaty with Byzantine Empire by sending in utmost secrecy an envoy to Constantinople, suggesting a treaty and a marriage-alliance. George Sursubul, heading a delegation of Simeon I’s brother-in-law Symeon, Calutarkan, courtier Sampses, and numerous nobility, met with Romanos I in 927 and concluded the peace treaty which ended the Byzantine–Bulgarian war of 913–927.[4] Afterwards, he presided at the marriage ceremony as a witness on the bridegroom’s side, with his counterpart on the Byzantine side being the Byzantine Prime Minister.[5]

George Sursuvul was a great-uncle to Boris II of Bulgaria. The timing of his retirement from the post of the Prime Minister is unknown. The historian Steven Runciman cites description of George Sursuvul as an ambassador to the Byzantine Court left by Otto I’s Frankish ambassador Bishop Liudprand of Cremona, offended that Bulgarian ambassadors at Constantinople had precedence over all other ambassadors: his head was shaven, he wore a brass belt and trousers.[6]

Honours

Sursuvul Point on Davis Coast, Antarctica is named after George Sursuvul.

References

  1. ^ Fine, John V. A. Jr. (1991) [1983]. The Early Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Sixth to the Late Twelfth Century. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press. p. 160. ISBN 0-472-08149-7. His second wife was the sister of a prominent boyar, George Sursuvul. On Symeon's death Peter, the eldest son of the second marriage, succeeded.
  2. ^ Florin Curta (2006). Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500-1250. Cambridge University Press.
  3. ^ Runciman, A history of the First Bulgarian Empire, p. 187
  4. ^ Runciman, A history of the First Bulgarian Empire, p. 178
  5. ^ Runciman, A history of the First Bulgarian Empire, p. 179
  6. ^ Runciman, A history of the First Bulgarian Empire, p. 197-198, citing Ibrahim ibn Yakub and Bishop Liudprand of Cremona

Sources

  • Runciman, Steven (1930). "Emperor of the Bulgars and the Romans". A history of the First Bulgarian Empire. London: George Bell & Sons. OCLC 832687.