Prisoners of War in Early Medieval Bulgaria (Preliminary Remarks)
Hristov, Yanko M.
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The work is concentrated on the problem of war prisoners in the chronological period of the existance of the so-called First Bulgarian state. The analysis is based predominantly on various Byzantine and selected Latin and Bulgarian sources from the epoch. With some exceptions, mostly for 707/708, 754/755, 763/764 and 774, the notices are concentrated around the events of 811–815/816, 837/838; 894–896, 917–30s and for a moment or two from the period of 971–1018. In his preliminary remarks the author comes to the conclusion that in the Early Middle Ages prisoners of war (in the broadest medieval sense) were an integral part of the efforts to achieve the political objectives of the Bulgarian rulers. Response mechanisms against prisoners of war were highly dependent on the course of the conflict and their attitude towards their own warriors and subjects caught up in enemy hands. They included a wide range of solutions, which could be grouped into three main areas: the first one refers to killing (and / or mutilation) of war prisoners; the second main line was connected with preserving the lives of the captives; the third group of measures was due to the fact that an immediate effect is not always haunted.
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