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Part one of the story of one of the greatest Byzantine Emperors.

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It is tenth century Byzantium, Basil the Second has just organized the ancient Bardas Skleros' surrender marking the last rebellion of his reign. The previous rebel leader had been hacked to pieces by the newly formed Varangian guard.* And Bardas most likely guessed his fate would be similar if he continued to defy him.
When Basil met the rebel, he was surprised to see that he was almost blind and had to be supported when he stood. Nevertheless, he saw something in Bardas, something that provoked him to ask how he could have a secure reign.+ Bardas, with all the wisdom of his age replied with the following;
"Cut down the governors who become over-proud. Let no generals on campaign have too many resources. Exhaust them with unjust exactions, to keep them busied with their own affairs. Admit no woman to the imperial councils. Be accessible to no one. Share with few your most intimate plans."
This wisdom profoundly changed Basil, and historians have been known to say that no one in history took advice more to heart then Basil did at that moment.
For Basil had been known by many names in his lifetime, Basil II, Basil the Young, Basil the Porphyrogenitus.
But he would be predominately known as Basil Bulgaroctonus; Basil The Bulgar-slayer.
*The rebel leader had challenged the young Emperor to a duel, and charged at him. Midway, he had a seizure and fell down, paralyzed. The Varangians without warning leaped upon him and hacked him to pieces before anyone could respond. Needless to say, the rebel army surrendered on the spot.
+It was wise of Basil II to ask this question, for his entire precursor Dynasty, "The House of Macedon" had been made up of usurpers.

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