By Matthew Spinka
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Additional info for A History of Christianity in the Balkans
The reign of Boris (852-889), one of the most outstanding during the history of Bulgaria, is specially significant on account of Boris' conversion to Christianity, the consequent adoption of that religion as the national creed, and the fundamental change in the political character of the Bulgarian govern ment which resulted therefrom. Back of these changes, political factors were preeminent. It is this political back ground which must be understood in order that the reasons for Boris' conversion may become clear.
Therefore, a year after his conversion, he sent an embassy to Pope Nicholas, headed by his cousin, bolyar Peter. The embassy arrived in Rome in August, 866, and brought the pope many gifts, as well as a list of one hundred and six questions dealing with matters of faith and morals. Above all, the Bulgars requested the pope, whose supreme author ity they readily acknowledged, to grant Bulgaria a patriarch and to send Latin clergy along with him. 3 The pope, who saw in Boris' request an opportunity to offset the loss of territories of which Emperor Leo had deprived the Roman See, joyfully expressed his satisfaction with the action of the sagacious Boris.
He at first wrote to Boris, threatening him, the patri "that arch, and the Greek clergy with excommunication, 4 BULGARIAN CHRISTIANITY AFTER 44 they may thus join the Devil"10 unless Bulgaria be restored to papal obedience. 12 Again, the thunders passed unheeded except that Boris sent an embassy to Rome to present his compli ments to the pope. " The legates then to to deliver a letter to Ignatius, proceeded Constantinople ordering him on pain of deprivation of his office to recall his clergy from Bulgaria within thirty days,16 and another one to Basil, requiring him to aid in execution of the order.
A History of Christianity in the Balkans by Matthew Spinka