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            THE MACES FROM THE PRESENT BULGARIAN LANDS

10TH – 17TH C. AD

            The present monograph discusses all maces found in the territory of present day Bulgaria. The author classifies these into types and presents a tentative  chronology for them. In the existing scholarly literature (both European and American), his typology is the fullest one of its kind: for the first time in the world maces from the 10th – 17th centuries AD have been collected and analyzed such a large number.

            The book comprises an introduction, three chapters, a conclusion, and a catalogue. The study is based on all maces discovered in the present-day territory of Bulgaria. These number is 482 and all of them are previously unpublished.

            The book format is A4, it has a luxurious hardcover, all of the more than 550 images are in color, the paper is Colotech 90g/sm and the number of pages is 438.

            The Introduction briefly traces the invention and development of maces in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Asia, and the Bulgarian lands. It presents some key dates for the invention and spread of maces in medieval Eastern, Central and Western Europe, the terms for designating the different parts of a mace, and thevarious methods for assembling these parts. Observations are made about the ways of using a mace in battle.

            Chapter One is a critical review of the current state of research on maces from the present-day territory of Bulgaria.

            Chapter Two is dedicated to medieval testimonies about maces in Eastern and Southeastern Europe. The chapter's second part examines depictions of maces in medieval wall-paintings from present-day Bulgaria and in illustrated manuscripts that refer to Bulgaria and the Bulgarians.

            Chapter Three presents a typology and relative chronology for 10th through 17th-century maces from present-day Bulgaria. Types are defined according to a number of distinctive features. The characteristics of every type, subtype, and variant are presented. Whenever possible, non-Bulgarian parallels are given for each type. The chronology of types, subtypes, and variants is illustrated in Table I.

            The Conclusion provides a summary overview of the 21 types, 53 subtypes and 22 variants defined by the author. Possible genealogical links between the different mace types are outlined and illustrated in Table II: Genealogical tree of the maces from present-day Bulgaria, 10th-17th centuries.

            The Catalogue is prefaced with an explanation about measurements and the mace parts that have been measured. The catalogue proper includes every single artifact examined and discussed by the author. Each entry contains exhaustive data about the respective mace, together with illustrations of it.

Stoyan Popov, PhD
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