Popov, S. (2020). Elements of the 15-16th c. Equipment of Horseman and Horse – Possible Witnesses of the Conflicts Between the East and West. In Pinter, Z. K., Urduzia, C., & Niţoi, A. (Eds.), Relaţii Interetnice în Transilvania: militaria mediaevalia în Europa centrală şi de sud-est: lucrări prezentate în conferinţele internaţionale Interethnic Relations in Transylvania Sibiu, 2018-2019 (pp. 55-64). Sibiu, Romania: Astra Museum.
The present work concerns several items of equestrian and horse equipment that were discovered on the territory of present-day Bulgaria but are not characteristic of the material culture of the local population. These are spurs and stirrups whose main area of distribution is Central Europe. The artifacts are stored in the collections of NAIM-Sofia and the Vatevi collection in Plovdiv. The objects date from the 15th – 16th centuries – the time of the height of the wars between the Ottomans and the European Christian peoples.
Of these conflicts of the 15th century there remain material traces, part of which are the three spurs that are the subject of this work. Two of these spurs are stored in the Vatevi Collection (Ill. 1 – 5) and one in the NAIM-Sofia (Ill.6). All three spurs were found in areas related to the campaign of Vladislav III Jagello from 1444, located along the path of the Crusade to Varna and its retreat to Central Europe. The first two are from the Shumen region. In the Vidin region (near the village of Archar) the third spur was discovered.
The following two artifacts that are the subject of this work are stirrups (Ill. 7-12). The two stirrups are accidental finds from the region of Nikopol. It is possible that they were taken as loot from Hungary, given the existence of this military tradition during this period. That type of stirrups were spread in Central Europe (most of all in Hungary) in the sixteenth century, from where they also have some spreading in the Balkans.
Keywords: mediaeval equestrian and horse equipment, spurs, stirrups.