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This conversion was followed by a Byzantine recognition of the Bulgarian church After his conquest of Bulgaria, Basil II prevented revolts and discontent by retaining the rule of the local nobility and by relieving the newly conquered lands of the obligation to pay taxes in gold, allowing them to be paid in kind instead.After his death Byzantine domestic policies changed and a series of unsuccessful rebellions broke out, the largest being led by Peter Delyan.The Ottomans completed their conquest of Bulgarian lands south of the Danube after the Battle of Nicopolis in 1396, which brought about the fall of the Vidin Tsardom.Bulgarian nobility was subsequently eliminated and the peasantry was enserfed to Ottoman masters, As the Ottoman Empire began to decline, Habsburg Austria and Russia saw Bulgarian Christians as potential allies.Its ancient history saw the presence of the Thracians, Ancient Greeks, Persians, Celts, Romans and others.The emergence of a unified Bulgarian state dates back to the establishment of the First Bulgarian Empire in 681 AD, which dominated most of the Balkans and functioned as a cultural hub for Slavs during the Middle Ages.
After the division of the Roman Empire in the 5th century the area fell under Byzantine control.
By the end of the 14th century, factional divisions between the feudal landlords and the spread of Bogomilism had caused the Second Bulgarian Empire to fragment into three separate states—the tsardoms at Vidin and Tarnovo and the Despotate of Dobruja.
These rump states continued to be in frequent conflict with the Byzantines, Hungarians, Serbs, Venetians and Genoese.
By this time, Christianity had already spread in the region.
A small Gothic community in Nicopolis ad Istrum produced the first Germanic language book in the 4th century, the Wulfila Bible.