Circular bronze medal with laterally pierced lug and ribbon bar suspension; the face with the head of King Constantine surrounding the king there is greek writing (Constantine King of the Hellenes 1913). The reverse side has the head of Emperor Basil II and is enscribed in greek (Basil II 976-1025) and signed ‘G. Iakovidis’ on the base of the neck.
Donated by Anthony and Maria Zannis.
The medal was instituted by Royal Decree on 17 February 1914 and awarded for participation in the war against Bulgaria the previous year. An alliance of Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro and Serbia threw the Ottoman Turks out of almost all their remaining European territories in 1912 and the First Balkan War ended with the Treaty of London on 30 May 1913. However, the victors fell out over the division of the spoils, with Serbia and Greece forming an alliance against Bulgaria and the Second Balkan War broke out at the end of June. After initial setbacks, Bulgarian military successes stabilised the front in Macedonia. The situation was transformed by the invasion of Bulgaria by Romania on 10 July, leaving the former in a hopeless position. An armistice was agreed on 31 July with Greece gaining significant additional territory at the expense of Bulgaria. The sense of grievance thus created led to Bulgarian participation in the two subsequent world wars on the side of Germany and against Greece but the territorial settlement has endured. The Byzantine Emperor Basil II earned the epithet ‘Bulgar-slayer’ during his wars against the Bulgarian empire of Tsar Samuel which led to the incorporation of most Bulgarian lands into the Byzantine Empire. The medal is becoming hard to find.
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Medal, Commemorative, 1913, Dr. Anthony and Maria Zannis Collection, National Hellenic Museum, https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/Detail/objects/6668. Accessed 11/27/20.