The Madara Horseman or the Bulgarian “New Heracles”  Cover Image
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Мадарският конник, или за българския „нов Херакъл“
The Madara Horseman or the Bulgarian “New Heracles”

Author(s): Elena Stateva
Subject(s): History
Published by: Асоциация Клио
Keywords: Madara Horseman; Byzantine Empire; Khan Tervel; new Heracles; new Constantine; Constantinople

Summary/Abstract: The article is dedicated to two fundamental questions the Madara Horseman has posed before science for decades: that about the appearance of the rock composition and the message it embodies. A number of sources have been analysed in view of the study: apocryphal works (7th–11th century); the lead seal of Khan Tervel and 8th century Byzantine cloth depicting horsemen, among others. As a result, the author has formulated the conclusion that the Madara relief was made on the occasion of a great joint Bulgarian-Byzantine victory before the walls of Constantinople in 717/718 when the Bulgarian ruler, along with the Emperor, won the fame of a “great hero”, a “new Heracles”, a “new Constantine”. The Madara Horseman actually depicts Ceasar Tervel as a “new Heracles”, the savior of the Roman Empire.

  • Issue Year: 2010
  • Issue No: 1-2
  • Page Range: 137-146
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: Bulgarian