This introductory chapter gives a brief outline of the chronology and significance of the reign of Basil II to Byzantine political, diplomatic, and military history. It summarizes the territorial expansion of the Byzantine empire in the period, contrasting this success with the revolts that Basil faced in the early part of his reign from Bardas Skleros and Bardas Phokas. It shows how the emperor's wars and conquests contributed to his nickname, Bulgarslayer. The introduction goes on to explain the methodological problems associated with piecing together the history of Basil's reign. It outlines the way in which this particular study of Basil II will be underpinned by a very close examination of the Byzantine historiography of the 10th and 11th centuries.
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