Bulgarian draws its name from the Bulgar people probably of Turkic origin, who formed a political and military alliance with the Slavic tribal union in what is present-day northern Bulgaria.
In the 480s the Byzantines recruited them as mercenaries to fight against the Ostrogoths. By the 6th century Bulgars were powerful enough to attack Byzantines province.
In the 560s they were forced to defend themselves from the Avars out of Asia - some tribes killed displaced or absorbed by them. In 640, the Khanate of the Onogur Bulgars to the north of the Black Sea fragmented into several tribes following their conquest by the Khazars.
The First Bulgarian Empire reached its political and cultural zenith in the late month and early tenth centuries.
This empire lasted until 972, when Bulgaria fell to the Byzantine Empire during the rule of Boris II, the Bulgarian khan. By 1018, all of Bulgaria had been incorporated into the Byzantine Empire.
The formation of the First Bulgarian Empire (681-1018)
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