Not surprisingly, one can say that without attention to the captivity and slavery the studies of all pre-modern societies hardly would have achieved considerable accomplishment. Along with this, however, as regards the monitoring of aspects about the fate of the war-captives in the early Byzantine era, it looks as if there are enough things to add. The very moment of those caught up in enemy’s hands, apart from not such a large number of publications specifically concerning the problem, is usually passed by. The starting point, in an attempt to explore the issue of captives and slaves in the down of the Early Medieval epoch in the Eastern Mediterranean and its surroundings is related to the state of the source basis. Due to the nature and the long term impact of well known legal compilations in the time of Emperor Justinian I, the lavish clues in Digest XLIX.15 provide an opportunity for inflicting additional touches.
There is not substantial reserve that in entire medieval epoch captured warriors and abducted non-combatants have been used as means of extracting the military, political and economic benefits. It is well acknowledged that practices concerning prisoners of war depend on the selected goals as well as the course of the conflict and attitude towards own warriors and subjects captured by the rival power. The fate of early medieval war-captives caught up in enemy’s hands during the clashes between Bulgaria and Byzan-tium makes no exeption.
Along with this, it looks as if there are enough things to add. For example, the exchange of prisoners of war is one of the most important features which need further specification and analyses. The impact of such a practice on the Byzantino-Bulgarian relations still is unstudied enough. Even scarce and almost totally ignored is the attention to the legal status of Byzantine subjects who were taken into captivity by Bulga-rians. In this sense, the scientific interest within the scope of metioned topics is an inseparable part of the efforts to give more density and depth of knowledge for the early medieval past of the Balkans.