Boris

d.907. Khan (king) of Bulgaria, 852-889. Christian missionary activity had taken place in Bulgaria as early as the seventh century, and perhaps even earlier. This early work in the Balkans was primarily under the direction of the Byzantine Church. The missionaries were effective, for by the eighth century there were Christians within the society and in the palaces of the princes. Boris became a convert to Orthodox Christianity by receiving baptism by the patriarch of Constantinople about 864. Because Byzantine theology linked church and state in a union, Boris's baptism carried overtones of entrance into the state as well as the church. Boris desired the church in Bulgaria to be independent, but Byzantium rejected this. The king of Bulgaria then encourged Western missionary activity, primarily German, to take place in his land. Pope Nicholas I sent Latin priests, and the Greek clergy were driven out. The Khan's alliance with Rome was short-lived, for Rome also did not approve his desire for Bulgarian church independence. The Byzantines in turn were forced to agree to a Bulgarian archbishopric which was semiautonomous.