In 1014 the Byzantine emperor Basil was ready to launch a campaign aimed at destroying Bulgarian resistance. On 29 July 1014, Basil II and his general Nikephoros Xiphias outmanoeuvred the Bulgarian army, which was defending one of the fortified passes, in the Battle of Kleidion. The leader of the opposing fighters, Samuel the Bulgarian, (his greatest resistance and enemy), avoided capture only through the valour of his son Gabriel. Having crushed the Bulgarians, Basil was said to have captured 15,000 prisoners and blinded 99 of every 100 men, leaving one one-eyed man in each cohort to lead the rest back to their ruler. Samuel was physically struck down by the dreadful apparition of his blinded army, and he died two days later after suffering a stroke. Although the extent of Basil’s mistreatment of the Bulgarian prisoners may have been exaggerated, this incident helped give rise to Basil’s Greek epithet of Boulgaroktonos, meaning “the Bulgar-slayer”, in later tradition.