Pernik sword

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The Pernik sword is a medieval double-edged iron sword unearthed in the ruins of the medieval fortress of Krakra near Pernik, western Bulgaria, on 1 January 1921. It bears an inscription in silver inlay on the blade. The sword is preserved in the National Archaeological Museum of Bulgaria in Sofia under inventory number 2044. The sword is 96 centimetres (38 in) in length and up to 4.5 cm (1.8 in) in width.

The blade inscription is typical of the 12th-century "garbled" in nomine type, reading +IHININIhVILPIDHINIhVILPN+. Comparable blade inscriptions range from the comparatively clear NNOMNEDMN to the heavily distorted 00NINOMINED, OIEDOMINI, INNIOINNEDINI, etc. There is[clarification needed] a scholarly tradition of attempts to interpret this type of inscription as abbreviations or contractions, e.g. reading INPMPNC as I(n) n(omine) p(atris) M(ater) p(atris) n(ostri) C(hristi), "In the name of the Father. Mother of Our Father Christ" or IINBITTPINI I(esus). I(n) n(omine) b(eati) I(esu). T(rinitas). T(rinitas). P(atris) I(esu) n(omine) I(n), "Jesus -- in the name of the blessed Jesus -- Trinity -- Trinity -- Of the Father -- of Jesus -- the name -- in".[1][2] Following such proposals, Mihailov (1985) proposed a tentative reading of the Pernik inscription along the lines of "IH(ESUS). IN I(HESUS) N(OMINE). IH(ESUS) VI(RGO). L(AUS) P(ATRIS) I(HESUS) D(OMINI) H(RISTUS). IN IH(ESUS) VI(RGO). L(AUS) P(ATRIS) N(OSTRIS)".[3] By contrast, Dentschewa (2005) argued for a "Lombardic" interpretation of IH INI NI hVIL PIDH, INI hVIL PN, meaning "I do not await eternity, I am eternity".[4]


  1. ^ Drboglav, D. (1984): Zagadki latinskih klejm na mečah IX-XIV vekov (Klassifikazija, datirovka i čtenie nadpisej). Moskva.
  2. ^ Štereva, I. (1975): Kam vaprosa za mečovete v srednovekovna Balgarija. V: Archeologia, kn. 2, 55-60.
  3. ^ Mihailov, St. (1985): Nadpisăt na latinski ezik vărhu meča ot Perniškata krepost. V: Archeologia, kn. 3, 46 sl.
  4. ^ Dentschewa, Langobardische (?)…, p. 1.
  • Friedrich E. GRÜNZWEIG: Ein Schwert mit Inschrift aus Pernik (Bulgarien), Amsterdamer Beiträge zur älteren Germanistik 61 (2006).
  • Dentschewa, Emilia: "Langobardische (?) Inschrift auf einem Schwert aus dem 8. Jahrhundert in bulgarischem Boden". In: Beiträge zur Geschichte der deutschen Sprache und Literatur, Band 128 (2006) Heft 1, S. 1-11.
  • Dentschewa, Emilia: "+IHININIhVILPIDHINIhVILPN+ oder die Botschaft eines Schwertes aus der Zeit des Königreichs der Langobarden (?)" In: Archaeologia Bulgarica IX (2005) Heft 2, S. 99-105.

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