Pliska - 100 years of archaeological excavations
R. Rashev, Ya. Dimitrov

III. The legacy of Pliska

    11. Inscriptions

Pliska contains the highest number of the so called Proto-Bulgarian inscriptions – various texts cut into stone, written in Greek during the first half of the IX c. [26] Most frequently, locally found antique columns or columns brought after the military campaigns of khan Krum from Thracia were used for that purpose. No large inscription similar to the chronicle-type inscriptions of khan Krum or the building inscriptions of khan Omurtag has been found in Pliska itself, so far. The initial position of the Pliska’s columns is not know with certainty. It has been suggested that they were erected around the Palace and the Palace square. 42 inscriptions have been found in Pliska so far. Another 15 come from the villages in its immediate neighbourhood and, save for those at Madara, were probably removed from the Pliska’s ruins as well.

Fragment of a peace treaty between Bulgaria and Byzantium from the time of khan Omurtag
from the village of Sechishte (former Sjulejmankjoj), Shumen district. SVaklinov, p. 64, 155

----------------------- POL -------------------
[a]ngelia apes[tilen] --------
NIROTOS i[rinin epuisa]nto l’ et(on). to a’ ton [sumfoniqenton
i]a’ kefaleon [estin peri] tis enorias  hna esti[n apo Debe-
lt]tou ke epi Po[tamoukast]elin ke meson ton b’ A[brolebon ke is
t]a pola gefu[ria ke me]son Balzhnas ke Agaq[onikhs ke is Leuk-
i]n ke is Konstantian ke is Makrin libada[n ke is Ebron ke is
E]mon oros. eos eki gegonen i oroqesia. [b’ kefaleon peri to-]
n Sklabon ton onton upo t[o]n b[asilean hna diaminousin outos,
os efqastisan, ote egeneton o p[olemos. g’ kefaleon peri ton l-]
upon Sklabon ton mi upokimenon [is ton basilean is to par-]
alion meros epistreusi autous h[s ta coria. d’ kefaleon per-]
i ton egmaloton Cristianon ke kr[atiqenton -----peri]
cou laou yucin anti yucis. boup(a)lia b’  d[osi peri de tou pto-]
i]qenton esoqen ton kastron, ean exa[...........tas ko-]
mas. ean apofugi strathgos ---------------------------

"... communication ... [they] sent ... [they] signed peace for 30 years. The first of the agreed 11 chapter refers to the territory. It must be from Develt to Peromokastel and between the two banks of Avroleva, and to the many small bridges, and between Valzina and Agathoniki, and to Hebros, and to Konstantia, and to Makri livada, and to Hebros, and to the mountain of Hemus. Thus the delimitation of the boundary. The second chapter about the Slavs who are under the emperor: they must remain [to live] as they were found, before the war. The third chapter about the rest of the Slavs who are not subjects of the emperor in the coastal region: he will return them to their villages. The fourth chapter about the captured Christians and about the captured ..., and about the tutmarses, the spathares and the comites: he will give ..., and for the poor soldiers soul for soul. For the captured beyond the fortresses he will give two (or 'two thousand') buffaloes, if ... the villages. If a strategos had run away ----------- "


The inscription of Oturdachis
ZAladzhov, p. 70

Regardless of the statements of some researchers that the Proto-Bulgarians had their own runic script, brought from Asia, not one such inscription has been found so far in Pliska.

The inscriptions in Cyrillic are few. Two short epitaphs from the Large Basilica, the first one – accompanied by a parallel text in Greek, and one inscription on the handle of a clay vessel are the only complete texts. [27] Similar is the situation with the inscriptions in Greek. Save for the bilingual inscription from the Large Basilica, there is one epitaph-cryptogram from the end of the X – the beginning of the XI c. [28] as well as several short inscriptions, some of them – with unclear meaning. [29]

Cyrillic inscription and a runic symbol at the handle of an amphora
SVaklinov, p. 224

[Previous] [Next]
[Back to Index]

26. BESHEVLIEV V. Purvobulgarski nadpisi. S., 1979; 1993.

27. GEORGIEV P. Eine zweisprachige Grabinschrift aus Pliska. – Palaeobulgarica 1978, 3, p. 32-44; MIHAYLOV ST. Arheologicheski materiali ot Pliska, examples 28, 29.

28. VISHNYAKOVA A.F. Svincovye pechati vizantiyskogo Hersonesa. – Vestnik drevney istorii 1939, 1, p. 132-133; GEORGIEV P. Deshifrirane na zagaduchniya nadpis ot Pliska. – Prinosi kum bulgarskata arheologiya I, 1992, p. 107-112.

29. BESHEVLIEV V. Novi otkusleci ot purvobulgarski i drugi srednovekovni nadpisi ot Pliska i Silistra. – IAI XX, 1955, p. 278 ff.