From Academic Kids

Krum (died April 13, 814) was a Khan of Bulgaria, of the Dulo clan, from 802 to 814.

By defeating the Avar Khaganate in 804, Krum expanded the territory of Bulgaria to the north to cover the whole of Transylvania and eastern Panonia. A common border in Panonia was established between the Frankish Empire and Bulgaria, forcing the empire of Charlemagne to reckon with his powerful 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. The 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. Serdica, 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 (see Battle of Pliska). Stauracius, 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 and used it as a drinking cup.

The Khan's 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 Mesemvria (now 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 goal of entering the Emperor's palace as a conqueror.

Khan Krum was also known for the first Bulgarian written laws, which, in what may be the earliest example of state social policy in history, 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, an extraordinary personality that has impressed many prominent Europeans for many centuries. His legislation was paid tribute to in Montaigne's works, Francois Rabelais described Krum's state as a country where there had been no treachery, slander and theft. Krum was the prototype of Prospero in Shakespeare's The Tempest, one of Grifius' characters in Germany, and Corneille's - in France.

His son Omurtag succeeded to the throne.

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Preceded by:
List of Bulgarian monarchs Succeeded by:

de:Krum Khan zh:克鲁姆


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