Byzantine Time Swords (10th–11th Centuries) in Romania Cover Image
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Byzantine Time Swords (10th–11th Centuries) in Romania
Byzantine Time Swords (10th–11th Centuries) in Romania

Author(s): Valeri Yotov
Subject(s): Archaeology
Published by: Editura Universitatii LUCIAN BLAGA din Sibiu
Keywords: Early Middle Ages; Byzantine Sword; Sword-guard; Pommel; Varangians

Summary/Abstract: The author points his attention to several published and unpublished swords andparts of swords of Byzantine time, discovered in Romania. Defining the kind of weapons by origin (manufacturing), or linking them to a certain ethnic group or army is largely conditional – each soldier had used an effective weaponry, whether it was made in a local workshop, produced in a workshop during a military campaign, or received as a gift or trophy. Thus, it is difficult to determine if some of the weapons mentioned in some studies (particularly swords), are definitely Byzantine, Arabic, Indian, etc. The author gives new interpretation some already published Byzantine swords (from Sfintu Gheorge (Sepsiszentgyörgy), Covasna County and for a sword-guard and pommel of a sword found in the Păcuiul lui Soare fortress. For the sword from Sfintu Gheorge (Sepsiszentgyörgy), Covasna County, he proposes the hypothesis that it is of Byzantine origin, found in Bulgarian cemeteries dated from the second half of 9th – first years of 10th centuries. For the pommel from Păcuiul lui Soare fortress the author gives numerous parallels – all dated to the second half of 9th – 10th centuries. Based on the fact that there are two quite similar in shape sword-guards: one from Păcuiul lui Soare fortress and another one from Pliska the author derived the conclusion that they belong to a new type of sword (or more precisely sword-guard). This type should be described as Byzantine and the name “Pliska (1948) type” has been suggested for it. Giving a comment on four unpublished swords kept in two museums in Romania the author suggested that the sword from Giurgiu museum is also Byzantine and dated it to the 10th century, while the three others from Constanţa museum are of Scandinavian origin. He believes, that the last ones would have reached the area close to the mouth of the Danube during the Varangian-Russian military and commercial raids to Constantinople from 9th to mid-11th centuries or due to the recruitment of Varangians and Normans (Engli/sh and Dani/sh too) by the Byzantine Empire in middle 11th century and later.

  • Issue Year: 2011
  • Issue No: VIII sp
  • Page Range: 35-46
  • Page Count: 11
  • Language: English