The Аuthenticity of the Sоuda Lexicon as a Source for Khan Krum’s Laws Cover Image
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Историческата достоверност на Лексикона „Суда“ като източник за законодателството на хан Крум
The Аuthenticity of the Sоuda Lexicon as a Source for Khan Krum’s Laws

Author(s): Desislava Naydenova
Subject(s): History
Published by: Институт за литература - BAN

Summary/Abstract: The article deals with the evidence of the legislation activity of Khan Krum in the Sоuda Lexikon (Souidas). This information is not confirmed by any other sources, which makes its authenticity highly dubious. A few events related to the Bulgarian history were mentioned in the Lexikon. Their source is not known. Yet, the review of the source data reveals that the greater part of the references to the Bulgarians in Souda was based on events that had really happened. Refracted through the prism of history, however, events lose their reality. This may be due, on the one hand, to the sources used by the compiler himself; on the other hand, the cause may be the practice widespread in Byzantine literature to copy older writings or to add own information (in accordance with the personal position of the writer) with the aim to depict a particular episode as a moral model without much caring of whether the presented events corresponded to what had really happened. The comparison of the text of the Laws and the information in the Souda to the Ecloga, the Responses of Pope Nicholas I (Responsa Nicolai I papa ad consulta Bulgarorum) and the Court Law for the People (Zakon” sudnyi ljud’m”) – i.e. the sources which, together with the Mirrors of princes (Speculum regale), are viewed most often as reflections of Krum’s laws – shows that the regulations of oaths, stealing and complicity, the uprooting of vines and the support for the poor had no analogue in the observed monuments. Thus, they should rather be related to the points that appeared most often in the instructions to the rulers: justice, sobriety, charity and care for the subjects. All this leads to the conclusion that the Souda Lexikon had a legendary basis and could not be used as a reliable source about the legal system in Bulgaria after the Conversion.

  • Issue Year: 2006
  • Issue No: 35-36
  • Page Range: 167-180
  • Page Count: 13
  • Language: Bulgarian