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Maces in medieval Transylvania between the thirteenth and the sixteenth centuries

Maces in medieval Transylvania between the thirteenth and the sixteenth centuries

Maces in medieval Transylvania between the thirteenth and the sixteenth centuries

By Andrei Octavian Farcas

Master’s Thesis, Central European University, 2016

Abstract: Medieval mace heads have often been ignored by scholars and many artefacts of this type lay unpublished and sometimes unknown in various museums even today. In some countries, such as present-day Hungary, Poland or the former USSR, archaeological research into these weapons has been undertaken to understand their use and their origin. Currently there are two typo-chronologies in use, but both limited to certain geographical areas. A survey of research conducted into maces held in Transylvanian museums revealed that scholarship on this topic is scarce and mace heads are often left in collections with incorrect or no dating.

In the present thesis I created a new typo-chronology for Transylvania, based on existing scholarship and analogies, comparing the results with research from other regions. I conclude that Transylvania was among the few regions with a high number of mace heads which, at least after the twelfth century, includes types that are rare elsewhere in Central and Eastern Europe. Aside from the importance of the typo-chronology in dating new artefacts, the thesis’s main contribution to scholarship is the compilation of the first catalogue of almost all presently known mace heads now held in Transylvanian museums.


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