Mace In Bagratid Armenia According To Written And Figurative Sources




Bagratid Armenia, mace, stick, lakht, gurz, Byzantium, Caliphate, throwing mace, «Judas Kiss»


The military history of the Bagratid era (late 9th– mid-11th centuries) has not been the object of historical research for a long time. Therefore many questions concerning the form and functions of the weapons of that time remains unresolved. However, the studies of the armament of neighboring countries (Byzantium, Caliphate, Georgia, etc.) were researched much better. Previousely historiographers considered the military history of such «small nations» as Armenia from the perspectives of Eastern Roman Empire and Muslim world warfare which were considered as primary research objects. This paper aims to change this perspective and give the subject of the medieval Armenian military history the attention it deserves. The aim of the research is to pay attention to the war mace – one of the earliest weapons in almost all cultures. The task is to reconstruct the types of maces which were used in Bagratid Armenia; to analyse their physical and battle characteristics; methods of use; manufacturing process; terminological issue (լախտ (lakht) and գուրզ (gurz) etc.

Taking into consideration the lack of archaeological finds of medieval maces from the territory of Armenia, the author pays attention to the written and figurative sources, comparing them with Byzantine and Muslim written accounts, archaeological finds and figurative sources respectively. Special attention was drawn to Armenian miniatures from the 11th century: «Kiss of Judas» (fig. 1–4), «Jesus before Pilate» (fig. 21) and to the relief on the door of Msho Arakelots monastery (1134) (fig. 6), where various types of maces are depicted. Due to the comparative analysis, further support was given to the idea that medieval figurative sources are more or less accurate material for studying medieval military history.



How to Cite

Dymydyuk Д. (2021). Mace In Bagratid Armenia According To Written And Figurative Sources. TEXT AND IMAGE: ESSENTIAL PROBLEMS IN ART HISTORY, 2(10).



Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern art