Glossary

The following glossary of technical terms (mostly offices and dignities) is based primarily on definitions given in the Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, ed. A. P. Kazhdan (New York – Oxford 1991) and in N. Oikonomides, Les listes de préséance byzantines des IXe et Xe siècles (Paris 1972). It is intended as a general guide for the non-specialist user. The handbooks tend to define many offices by talking of the surviving evidence, the dating and the position of each office within the hierarchy. They give less information about the specific duties of the official, which are often unclear and seem to vary over time. There is evidence in the database to help answer such questions, but we leave its exploitation to others.

A

Abydikos
official in control of navigation.
Aerikon
supplementary tax imposed on a village.
Akolouthos
commander of foreign military contingents.
Akrostichon
sum of taxes due by the taxpayer on a piece of land.
Aktemon
fiscal designation for a peasant who owned little or no land and no plough animals (pl. aktemones).
Aktouarios
initially a fiscal official; later the title of a physician.
Allelengyon
communal tax liability paid for poorer neighbours or taxpayers who fled the land.
Ampelikos
monastic official, presumably in charge of a monastery’s vineyards.
Anagnostes
lector, member of the minor clergy.
Anagrapheus
fiscal official in charge of cadaster revisions.
Annonarios
term referring to someone involved with salaries partly paid in kind rather than with cash.
Anthypatos
dignity ranking between a patrikios and a magistros.
Antigrapheus
official in charge of imperial responses and letters sent abroad.
Antinaulon
tax on maritime commerce.
Antiprosopon
deputy official in various government departments.
Apo eidikon
official who had held in the past the post of eidikos.
Apothekarios
official in charge of a monastery’s warehouse (apotheke).
Archegetes
military commander.
Archiatros
chief physician.
Archimandrite
leader of a group of monasteries.
Archon
generic term denoting a magnate or powerful official, a foreign ruler, and technical term for governor of a city/region or head of a department.
Archontares
monk in charge of official visitors’ quarters at a monastery.
Archontopouloi
tagma (regiment) created by Alexios I in 1090/91.
Arkarios
subordinate treasury official, probably dealing with fiscal/economic matters.
Artoklines
courtier in charge of protocol at imperial banquets (also called atriklines).
Asekretis
imperial secretary.
Asekretissa
wife of an asekretis.
Atabeg
title for rulers of cities/regions in the Islamic world (lit. father of the king).
Atriklines
see artoklines.
Augousta
empress; title used for the wife of the reigning emperor.
Augoustalios
office of uncertain nature, perhaps identical with sebastophoros.
Augoustos
title used for the reigning emperor.
Aule
complex of buildings comprising a courtyard.
Autokrator
one of the principal imperial titles, used to distinguish the main emperor from co-emperors.
Autokrator Strategos
commander in chief of the army.
Autokratorissa
empress.
Axiarchos
see taxiarchos.
Azymes
unleavened bread used in the eucharist by the Latin and Armenian churches, and the subject of much controversy between Byzantines (the Orthodox church uses leavened bread) and Latins from the 11th c.

B

Bagenares
official at a monastery in charge of wine or the wine-cellar.
Basileopator
office of protector of the emperor (lit. father of the emperor).
Basileus
principal title of the Byzantine emperor, sometimes used for foreign rulers too in Byzantine sources.
Basileus autokrator
imperial title used to distinguish the main emperor from co-emperors.
Basilikos
official dealing with financial matters; all-purpose agent of the emperor.
Basilis
principal title of a Byzantine empress.
Bibliophylax
ecclesiastical official in charge of books, librarian (lit. keeper of books).
Boidatos
fiscal designation for a peasant who owned one ox (pl. boidatoi).
Boidotopion
amount of land that can be ploughed by one ox (pl. boidotopia).
Boulloterion
pliers-like instrument used for the impression of the dies on a lead blank in order to produce a seal.
Boullotes
official inspector under the eparch, in charge of controlling product quality, certified with a seal (boulla).
Brebion
inventory of possessions, often precious objects belonging to a monastery or church.

C

Caliph
religious spiritual leader of Islam.
Charistikarios
beneficiary of a charistike, that is the grant of a monastery to an individual for a restricted period of time; the charistikarios held administrative power over the monastery’s estates and gained financially from his position.
Chartophylax
ecclesiastical official in charge of archival documents; at Constantinople, principal assistant to the patriarch.
Chartoularios
subaltern official with archival and fiscal duties; also ecclesiastical office similar to chartophylax.
Chichaton
gold coin issued after the coinage reform of Alexios I and taking its name from the form of the depicted emperor’s labarum (pl. chichata).
Chilias
measure of calculation indicating a quantity of one thousand units, often 1,000 modioi (pl. chiliades).
Chorepiskopos
assistant bishop in rural areas, subject to the local bishop.
Chorion
fiscal or juridical entity comprising a rural settlement.
Chosbaites
official with duties related to precious objects.
Chrys(o)epsetes
official in imperial goldsmiths’ workshop.
Chrysobull
generic term for various types of documents bearing the emperor’s gold seal; they usually pertain to the grant of privileges.
Chrysoklabarion
state workshop producing gold embroidery for the costumes of the emperor and high-ranking officials.
Chrysoteles
fiscal official.

D

Dekanos
low-ranking official under the protasekretis.
Demarchos
leader of a circus faction or a choir leading acclamations of the emperor; also leader of the mob.
Demosiarios
fiscal designation of uncertain nature for peasants (perhaps those settled on imperial domains and paying their taxes to the fisc).
Demosion
basic tax on land due to the state treasury.
Depotatos
unarmed man appointed to follow a military contingent and help wounded soldiers.
Despotes
title ranked immediately below that of emperor; also epithet applied to high-ranking ecclesiastics, aristocrats and to the emperor.
Deutereuon
subordinate church official (priest, deacon).
Deuteros
deputy official in any institution (lit. second).
Diaphoron
tax on money borrowed but not used for its stated purpose.
Diasemotatos
rare term, presumably a dignity (lit. most illustrious).
Didaskalos
teacher of sacred or profane subjects, often one attched to the patriarchate.
Dienergon
subordinate official employed in a government department.
Dikaiodotes
high-ranking judge.
Dikaiophylax
subaltern judge, layman or ecclesiastic.
Dioiketes
fiscal official, tax collector.
Dishypatos
title often conferred on judges, anagrapheis, chartoularioi and notarioi.
Docheiarios
monk in charge of a monastery’s cellar (see also bagenares and kellarites).
Domestikos
term designating various ecclesiastical and lay officials; in military hierarchy, the commander of a tagme.
Doukaina
the wife of a doux (also feminine form of the family name Doux).
Douloparoikos
category of peasants of disputed nature (agricultural slaves and freedmen holding land from their masters, or peasants working on estates?).
Doulos
unofficial (?) title denoting close links with a high ranking official, usually the emperor (see also oikeios).
Doux
military commander of a region.
Dromon
type of fast warship carrying 100 to more than 200 men.
Dromos
the imperial post and transportation system of staging posts with fresh horses.
Droungarios
high military rank.
Dynatoi
legal term referring to prominent officials in the army, government and church, often using their position to profit at the expense of weaker neighbours.

E

Eidikos
head of the imperial treasury and storehouse (eidikon – see epi tou eidikou).
Ek prosopou/Ek prosopon
deputy or representative of various lay or ecclesiastical officials and government departments.
Ekdikos
title of a cleric (usually a priest) participating in the tribunal attached to Hagia Sophia (Constantinople).
Ekklesiarches
sacristan, responsible for preparing the church and maintaining discipline during services.
Ekphrasis
literary genre, description usually of a building or a work of art.
Elaioparochos
official collecting certain customs duties and supervising the circulation of goods.
Enkolpion
piece of jewellery worn around the neck usually bearing Christian imagery and often containing a relic.
Enkomion
literary genre, a panegyric or speech of praise of a person.
Ennomion
charge or tax on pasture land or on the right of pasturage.
Enoria
ecclesiastical administrative unit encompassing a group of parishes in one or more villages, dependent on a larger ecclesiastical centre (bishopric or metropolis); often used to designate an entire bishopric too, as part of a metropolis.
Entalma
official document, usually containing an imperial act.
Eparch
city official, usually referring to the prefect or governor of Constantinople.
Epeiktes of the metata
official responsible for the management of state-supervised stables supplying horses and mules to the army.
Ephoros
high-ranking official often with juducial functions; also the lay administrator of a monastery, responsible for its economic management.
Epi tes augoustiakes trapezes
courtier responsible for the empress’s banquets (see also epi tes trapezes of the Augousta [e1419]).
Epi tes basilikes sakelles
official in charge of the imperial treasury.
Epi tes basilikes trapezes
courtier responsible for imperial banquets (see also epi tes trapezes [e1097]).
Epi tes megales hetaireias
official of the emperor’s bodyguard (hetaireia) perhaps a subordinate of the hetaireiarches.
Epi tes oikeiakes trapezes
courtier in charge of the emperor’s private banquets.
Epi tes patriarchikes sakelles
ecclesiastical official in charge of the treasury and religious foundations of the patriarchate of Constantinople.
Epi tes sakelles
treasury official.
Epi tes trapezes
courtier in charge of banquets (see also epi tes basilikes trapezes [e1560]).
Epi tes trapezes of the Augousta
courtier in charge of the empress’s banquets (see also epi tes augoustiakes trapezes [e1098])
Epi ton barbaron
senior official responsible for foreigners in the empire, especially at Constantinople.
Epi ton deeseon
official in charge of receiving and answering petitions on behalf of the emperor.
Epi ton kriseon
judicial official.
Epi ton oikeiakon
perhaps head of the imperial private treasury (see eidikos) or official responsible for the land of the fisc.
Epi tou Chrysotriklinou
court official in charge of the Chrysotriklinos (golden hall in the Great Palace of Constantinople) with unknown functions.
Epi tou eidikou
head of the imperial treasury and storehouse (eidikon – see eidikos).
Epi tou eidikou logou
official of the private treasury of the emperor.
Epi tou hippodromou
category of professional judges, presumably sitting in tribunal at the hippodrome of Constantinople.
Epi tou kanikleiou
one of the emperor’s private secretaries (lit. in charge of the imperial inkstand – see also kanikleios).
Epi tou koitonos
courtier serving in the emperor’s bedchamber (see also koitonites).
Epi tou manglabiou
commander of the manglabitai, a unit of the emperor’s bodyguard.
Epi tou oikeiakou vestiariou
official in the emperor’s private treasury and wardrobe.
Epi tou oikistikou
official in a department perhaps responsible for crown estates.
Epi tou Pantheou
military official or palace guard (see also pantheotes).
Epi tou patriarchikou sekretou
official of the patriarchate of Constantinople.
Epi tou sekretou
official in a government department.
Epi tou stablou
official of the imperial stables.
Epi tou vestiariou
official in the state warehouse and treasury (vestiarion).
Epi tou/tes/ton …
official in charge of a particular section, department or institution within the palace, goverment or church administration.
Epikerniou
presumably identical to pinkernes, a courtier in charge of the emperor’s wine (cup-bearer).
Episkepsis
fiscal term referring to an imperial estate (pl. episkepseis).
Episkeptites
administrator of an imperial domain (episkepsis).
Epiteretes
overseer of a monastery or a government department.
Epitropos
lay administrator of a monastery, in charge of its economic management.
Epoikos
free peasant-taxpayer often synonymous with paroikos.
Epoptes
fiscal official in charge of individual tax payments and reductions (see also exisotes).
Ethnarch
commander of foreign mercenaries.
Euageis oikoi
category of pious institutions.
Eutychestate
rare term, probably an epithet rather than a dignity (lit. most favoured).
Exagion
unit of weight.
Exaktor
high-ranking judge in imperial tribunal perhaps with some fiscal duties.
Exarch
head of a guild or, in the ecclesiastical administration, official of the patriarchate.
Exisotes
fiscal official in charge of individual payments and reductions (see also epoptes).
Exkoubitos
member of a unit of the imperial guard, the exkoubitoi, under the domestikos of the exkoubitoi.
Exkousseia
fiscal term denoting a tax exemption.

F

Follis
copper coin worth 1/24 of a miliaresion, discarded after the coinage reform of Alexios I (pl. folles).

G

Gambros of the emperor
semi-official title (lit. son-in-law of the emperor) used by the husbands of the emperor’s female relatives (daughters, sisters, nieces, etc.).
Geitoniarches
head of a district of Constantinople under the eparch or the demarchoi.
Genikon logothesion
fiscal department dealing with land assessment, taxpayers’ lists and payment collection.
Genikos logothetes
head of the genikon logothesion.
Gennematas
obscure official whose duties were probably related to cereal production.
Geodaisia
measuring of land for tax purposes, land survey.
Gerokomeion
hospice for old people.
Gerokomos
head of a gerokomeion.
Geron
title used for venerable elderly monks.
Gerotropheion
home for the elderly.
Gerotrophos
official in a gerotropheion (see also gerokomos).
Grammatikos
scribe or secretary.
Grand župan
high-ranking title used among the southern Slavs.

H

Halios
monastic official (lit. fisherman) in charge of fish supplies (?).
Hebdoma(da)rios
official in charge of parts of the imperial palace, under the papias.
Hegoumene/Hegoumenos
superior of a monastery (abbess/abbot).
Hesychia
austere form of asceticism based on unconditional devotion to God (lit. tranquillity).
Hetaireia
unit of the emperor’s bodyguard initially largely made of foreigners and from the mid-11th c. of noble young men.
Hetaireiarches
commander of the hetaireia, in charge of security at the imperial palace.
Hetaireiotes
member (?) of the hetaireia.
Hieromnemon
official responsible for ordinations in the chancery of the patriarchate of Constantinople.
Horologion
liturgical book containing the ordinary elements of the schedule of daily prayer for monks (the hours).
Horreiarios
official in charge of state granaries.
Hypatos
modest honorific title.
Hypatos of the philosophers
head of the school of philosophy in Constantinople.
Hyperperilampros
rare term, presumably an epithet rather than a dignity.
Hypertimos
title used for church prelates.
Hyphantes
monastic official in charge of weaving.
Hypobolon
wedding gift of a man to his wife, usually equal to bewteen half and a third of the dowry (see also theoretron).
Hypogrammateus
low-ranking secretary.
Hypomnema
term referring to different types of documents, including petitions addressed to the emperor and patriarchal decrees.
Hypomnematographos
official in charge of drafting documents at the patriarchate or other ecclesiastical institutions.

I

Illoustrios
imperial dignity, perhaps to be equated with protospatharios.
Indiction
unspecified year within the 15-year taxation cycle.

K

Ka(n)strisios
official at the patriarchate of Constantinople; also a courtier responsible for the emperor’s provisioning and apartments.
Kaisar
title reserved for the emperor’s closest male relatives; also bestowed upon important foreign rulers.
Kaisarissa
wife of a kaisar.
Kandidatos
dignity held by officials in both the army and the civil administration.
Kanikleios
one of the emperor’s private secretaries (see also epi tou kanikleiou).
Kanikline
wife of a kanikleios or an epi tou kanikleiou (?).
Kanonarches
lead singer in a church choir and monastic officer in charge of the choir (precentor).
Kanonikon
ecclesiastical tax paid by laity for the bishop’s maintenance.
Kastron
fortress, citadel, or city in general (pl. kastra).
Kastrophylax
commander of a stronghold (kastron), responsible for its maintenance and for order.
Katepanissa
wife of a katepano.
Katepano
initially commander of a military unit, then governor of a major province (11th c.), and later (after c.1100) minor local official.
Kathegoumenos
an hegoumenos” who had been previously ordained.
Katholikos
title used by the heads of the Armenian and Georgian churches, as well as some Armenian bishops.
Kellarios/Kellarites
cellarer; monk in charge of a monastery’s cellar (see also bagenares and docheiarios).
Kensor
judicial official.
Kentarchos
army or naval officer; also a civil official serving in the vestiarion.
Kentenarion
unit of weight equal to 100 pounds (pl. kentenaria); sometimes used to denote a quantity of 100 pounds of gold or gold coins.
Klasma
property that reverted to the fisc following its abandonment for more than 30 years by its tax-paying owner.
Kleisour(i)arches
commander of a kleisoura.
Kleisoura
mountain pass and territorial unit, often part of a theme.
Klerikos
generic term referring to various officials, mostly in the church hierarchy.
Koiaistor
judge dealing with falsification of documents, supervision of visitors in Constantinople, family law and disputes between tenants and landlords.
Koitonites
courtier serving in the emperor’s bedchamber (see also epi tou koitonos).
Kollyba
boiled wheat with sugar, dried raisins, nuts, etc. distributed to the congregation usually following the commemoration of the dead.
Komes
official with various functions; also a low-ranking officer in the army or navy.
Komes of the lamia
official serving in the genikon, perhaps dealing with precious metals and mines.
Komes of the stable
head of the stables of Constantinople and Malagina, in charge of provisioning for animals during military campaigns.
Komes tes kortes
probably a civil official with judicial and police duties under a strategos.
Kommerkiarios
fiscal official responsible for state warehouses, controlling imports and exports and collecting duties.
Koubikoularios
honorific title for dignitaries attached to the emperor’s household.
Kouboukleisios
imperial title bestowed upon chamberlains of the patriarchate of Constantinople.
Koubouklesine
wife of a kouboukleisios.
Kourator
manager of imperial estates; also official in state workshops.
Kouropalates
high-ranking dignity bestowed upon members of the imperial family and important generals.
Kouropalatissa
wife of a kouropalates.
Kritaina
wife of a krites.
Krites
professional judge; also a judge appointed to adminster a province.
Ktematinos
official probably in charge of the management of imperial estates (see also kourator).

L

Lavra
originally a type of monastery made of scattered cells associated to a central complex, but increasingly used to denote any large, usually rural, monastery.
Libellesios
official under the koiaistor, with notarial duties.
Logariastes
financial official serving in various government departments, in the provincial administration and in monasteries or private estates.
Logothesion
bureau of a logothetes.
Logothetes
high-ranking official at the head of a government department.

M

Mageiras
monk in charge of the kitchen and preparation of food at a monastery (lit. cook).
Magistrissa
wife of a magistros.
Magistros
low-ranking dignity.
Maistor
head of a school or a workshop.
Man
subordinate of an official or individual in a relation of personal dependence.
Mandator
official employed on special occasions, sometimes with policing duties or as a guide for foreign envoys.
Mandylion
the Holy Towel, a piece of cloth allegedly bearing the imprint of Christ’s face and kept at Edessa before it was taken to Constantinople in 944 where it was kept in the Great Palace (Pharos chapel).
Manglabites
member of a unit of the imperial bodyguard under the epi tou manglabiou.
Master of the rhetors
one of the teachers (didaskaloi) in the patriarchal school of Constantinople.
Megale droungaraia
wife of a megas droungarios.
Megalodoxotatos
high-ranking honorific title.
Megaloepiphanestatos
high-ranking honorific title.
Megalohyperochos
high-ranking honorific title.
Megas
epithet attached to several officials heading their department or institution.
Megas domestikos
supreme military commander, second only to the emperor.
Megas doux
commander of the fleet.
Megas droungarios
commander of the fleet stationed in Constantinople.
Megistos poimen
title perhaps referring to the patriarch of Constantinople (lit. greatest shepherd).
Meizoteros
official in a state factory or workshop; perhaps related to agricultural estates too.
Merarches
high-ranking military commander, perhaps identical to a tourmarches.
Mesazon
semi-official title bestowed upon a high-ranking official entrusted with the administration of the empire.
Metochion
small monastery subordinate to a larger independent establishment and under the jurisdiction of the latter’s hegoumenos (pl. metochia).
Metretes
controller of measures.
Miliaresion
silver coin equal to 1/12 of the nomisma, suppressed after the coinage reform of Alexios I.
Moderator/Moderatos
obscure official perhaps in the provincial administration, especially of the theme of Anatolikon.
Modios
unit of measurement of varying quantity, used for both wheat and land, and also for the capacity of ships (pl. modioi).
Monostrategos
general commanding several strategoi.
Monydrion
dependency of a monastery with a lesser status than that of a metochion.
Myrophoros
term usually applied to the women who brought spices to the tomb of Christ; title used for women with certain duties at the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem (lit. unguent-bearer).
Mystikos
high-ranking official with notarial and judicial duties.
Mystographissa
wife of a mystographos.
Mystographos
probably an assistant of a mystikos.
Mystolektes
official with duties presumably related to those of mystikos and mystographos.

N

Naukleros
ship’s captain responsible for commissioning a ship, hiring the crew, and for shipping tolls.
Nipsestiarios
palace official in charge of the emperor’s washbasin.
Nobelissimos
high-ranking dignity above that of kouropalates and below kaisar, initially reserved for members of the imperial family and later expanded to include supreme military commanders.
Nomikos
scribe or secretary.
Nomisma
the standard Byzantine gold coin known as hyperpyron from the late 11th c. (pl. nomismata).
Nomophylax
office created in the 1040s for the head of the school of law at Constantinople, held by important canonists later on.
Nosokomos
official (physician?) at a hospital.
Notarios
scribe or secretary in a government department.
Noumerarios
commander of the tagma of the noumera.
Novel
an imperial edict, a new (novel) law.

O

Oikeios/Oikeiotatos
term related to the honorific title doulos.
Oikistikos
official in the genikon, perhaps dealing with the administration of imperial domains.
Oikomodion
regular yearly secondary tax, perhaps in kind.
Oikonomos
official in charge of managing the estates and finances of an ecclesiastical foundation; steward of a monastery.
Oikoproasteion
fiscal and economic term referring to an estate.
Oktoechos
liturgical book containing the hymns for every day of the year except for Lent, Easter and Pentecost.
Onikatos
fiscal designation for a peasant who owned a donkey.
Orphanotrophos
high-ranking lay official in Costantinople, and ecclesiastical official in the provinces (lit. head of an orphanage).
Orthros
matins, daybreak service.
Ostiarios
palace official responsible for introducing dignitaries to the emperor, and also title usually held by notarioi or protonotarioi.
Otrotzina
tax on paroikoi.

P

Paetares
monastic official whose duties remain obscure.
Paktotes
office related to the rental fees paid to property owners.
Panegyris
fair usually held on a major feastday or on that of the local patron saint.
Panhypersebaste
wife of a panhypersebastos.
Panhypersebastos
title created by Alexios I and bestowed upon members of noble families.
Pansebaste sebaste
honorific title (feminine form of pansebastos sebastos).
Pansebastohypertatos
honorific title.
Pansebastos
honorific title.
Pansebastos sebastos
honorific title.
Pantheotes
military officer or palace guard; also a dignity (see also epi tou pantheou).
Papas
title often used by the patriarch of Alexandria (pope).
Papias
official responsible for the maintenance of palace buildings and for access to the palace precinct.
Paradotes
official in charge of the distribution and handover of estates to individuals.
Paradynasteuon
semi-official title for imperial favourites.
Parakellarios/Parakellarites
assistant cellarer at a monastery (see kellarios/kellarites)
Parakoimomenos
official in charge of the emperor’s bedchamber.
Paraphylax
low-ranking military officer or official of the fisc.
Parathalassites
official responsible for commercial shipping, toll payment and the import of goods by sea.
Parekklesiarches
deputy sacristan (see also ekklesiarches).
Paroikonomos
deputy steward at a monastery (see also oikonomos)
Paroikos
dependent peasant, usually on estates of large landowners (pl. paroikoi).
Patrikia
wife of a patrikios.
Patrikia zoste
female dignity for most senior attendant of the empress.
Patrikios
initially high-ranking dignity held by important governors and generals but then depreciated before disappearing in the 12th c.
Periorismos
delimitation of the boundaries of a property.
Petiton
territorial unit for fiscal purposes.
Phelonion
cape-like vestment worn by priests and bishops, chasuble.
Phoundax
warehouse, granary.
Phrourarchos
commander of the guard.
Phylax
guard.
Pinakion
unit of measurement equal to ¼ of a modios and used for both wheat and land.
Pinkernes
courtier in charge of the emperor’s wine (cup-bearer); see also epikerniou.
Pistikos
obscure official, with duties perhaps identical or similar to those of an ek prosopou.
Pittakion
imperial or patriarchal letter transmitting orders.
Ploiarchos
ship’s captain.
Porphyrogennete
title designating a daughter born to a reigning emperor (lit. born in the purple).
Porphyrogennetos
title designating a son born to a reigning emperor (lit. born in the purple).
Praipositos
court official involved in palace ceremony.
Praitor
civil adminstrator of a province, sometimes combining the offices of doux and katepano; the praitor of Constantinople was a judiciary official.
Praitorion
one of the main prisons of Constantinople, within the Great Palace compound.
Praktikon
inventory of estates belonging to individuals or institutions (usually monasteries), listing the taxes due and any exemptions, the land held (in the form of a periorismos) and the households of paroikoi living on the estates.
Praktor
fiscal official involved with tax collection and perhaps with the measurement of land.
Primikerios
head of various groups of military, court, civil or church officials.
Proedrissa
wife of a proedros.
Proedros
initially high-ranking dignity (10th c.) that was later widely granted before disappearing in the later 12th c.; also ecclesiastical title used for bishops.
Prokathemenos
head of a bureau (sekreton).
Pronoetes
estate supervisor; also a provincial official with fiscal or administrative duties.
Pronoia
grant of part of the tax revenue of a specific property and of its dependent households.
Prooimion
introduction to a literary text, letter or document.
Prosodion
special fiscal charge paid by paroikoi, perhaps for contributions to the revenues of high provincial officers.
Prostaxis
administrative order, usually short imperial act.
Protanagnostes
head of the anagnostai.
Protanthypatos
dignity atttested primarily in the 11th c. and related to anthypatos.
Protarches
rare term, probably referring to a high-ranking military commander.
Protekdikos
cleric presiding over a tribunal of priests.
Protoasekretis/Protasekretis
head of the college of asekretis and of the imperial chancery, responsible for producing chrysobulls.
Protokankellarios
head of the officials in various government departments.
Protokensor
head of the kensores.
Protokentarchos
head of the kentarchoi.
Protokourator
head of a kouratoreia (imperial estate).
Protokouropalates
dignity introduced in the 12th c. after the decline of kouropalates.
Protokouropalatissa
wife of a protokouropalates.
Protomandator
head of the college of mandatores.
Protomystikos
office related to that of a mystikos.
Protonobelissimohypertatos
high-ranking honorific title.
Protonobelissimos
high-ranking honorific title related to nobelissimos.
Protonotarios
head of the college of notarioi; the duties of a protonotarios of a theme involved the provisioning of the army and fleet.
Protopansebastohypertatos
high-ranking honorific title.
Protopapas
head of the priests of a church, parish or diocese.
Protopresbyteros
head of the presbyters of a church or monastery.
Protoproedrissa
wife of a protoproedros.
Protoproedros
high-ranking title related to that of propedros.
Protoproedros of the dikaspoloi
head proedros of the judges.
Protopsaltes
leader of a choir in a church.
Protos
head of a group of monasteries and hermitages; also head of any professional group (lit. first).
Protosebastos
high-ranking title usually bestowed upon close relatives of the emperor.
Protospatharea/Protospatharissa
wife of a protospatharios.
Protospatharios
initially high-ranking title that was devalued in the 11th c.
Protostrategos
commander-in-chief.
Protostrator
head of the officials in charge of the imperial stables (see strator).
Protosynkellos
high-ranking official of the patriarchate; also honorary title given to metropolitans.
Protothronos
most senior metropolitan in a patriarchate or archbishopric (after the patriarch or archbishop).
Protovestarches
title related to that of vestarches.
Protovestes
title related to that of vestes.
Protovestiarios
high-ranking title bestowed upon important aristocrats.
Protovestiarites
head of the imperial bodyguard (see vestiarites).
Proximos
military officer with policing duties; also a teacher in some Constantinopolitan schools.
Psaltes
singer in a church choir.

Q

Qadi
judge ruling according to Islamic religious law.

R

Raiktor
high-ranking courtier involved with the administration of the imperial palace.
Raipherendarios
official of the patriarchate of Constantinople in charge of relations with the imperial court.
Raptes
tailor, clothesmender.
Roga
remuneration to title holders and high officials distributed annually.

S

Sakellarios
lay official involved with financial control in government departments; also a high-ranking official at the patriarchate of Constantinople.
Sebaste
wife of a sebastos or female version of the latter title.
Sebastohypertatos
high-ranking honorific title.
Sebastokrator
title created by Alexios I and bestowed upon the emperor’s closest male relatives.
Sebastokratorissa
wife of a sebastokrator.
Sebastophoros
an office in the 10th c., it became an honorific title in the 11th.
Sebastos
high-ranking honorific title usually bestowed upon members of the imperial family.
Seimeiophoros
standard-bearer.
Sekretikos
generic term for a civil official with primarily financial duties, and also for officials of the patriarchate.
Sekreton
bureau or department of the government, used for departments of the patriarchate too (pl. sekreta).
Selarios
Turkish high-ranking office.
Seneschal
court official in charge of ceremonial, royal castles and finances (in the kingdom of Jerusalem).
Seriphos
high-ranking Turkish official.
Sigillion
official document bearing a seal.
Signon
signature in the form of a cross, usually by witnesses of official acts.
Skaramangion
tunic with long sleeves usually made of silk.
Skeuophylakion
sacristy at a church or monastery where vessels and other valuables were kept.
Skeuophylax
church official responsible for the vessels and vestments of a shrine.
Skribas
high-ranking official with judicial duties.
Solemnion
annual grant from the emperor to ecclesiastical institutions, in either cash or tax revenues.
Spatharios
low-ranking title.
Spatharokandidatos
title bestowed upon low-ranking officials.
Spatharokoubikoularios
dignity bestowed upon courtiers accompanying the emperor.
Stauropegion
term used for patriarchal monasteries to designate their independence from the local bishop or metropolitan.
Stolarches
commander-in-chief of the navy, admiral.
Stratarches
high-ranking general.
Strategetes
general (see strategos).
Strategissa
wife of a strategos.
Strategos
military governor with financial and judicial responsibilities.
Strateia
hereditary fiscal obligation attached to a property.
Stratelates
commander-in-chief.
Strateutes
soldier.
Stratiotes
soldier; also a category of soldier-peasants.
Stratiotikos
official of the stratiotikon, a department dealing with the taxes of soldiers’ households.
Stratiotikos logothetes
high-ranking official heading the stratiotikon (see stratiotikos).
Stratopedarches
commander-in-chief.
Strator
official in the imperial stables under the protostrator.
Symponos
assistant to the eparch in his dealings with the guilds.
Synaxis
assembly of monks or clergy, most notably of the hegoumenoi and monks of Athos on particular feastdays, to discuss affairs of their monasteries.
Synkellos
high-ranking official of the patriarchate of Constantinople, nominated by the emperor.
Synodikon
liturgical document.

T

Tabellion
notary responsible for registering transactions and certifying documents.
Taboularios
notary with a legal education, in charge of preparing documents.
Tagma
military contingent usually attached to a theme, although the term is also used in the more general sense of regiment.
Tagmatophylax
commander of a tagma.
Taxeotes
official with police duties acting for a magistrate.
Taxiarches/Taxiarchos
high-ranking military officer in command of 1,000 men.
Teichiotes
official in charge of the Chalke prison, within the Great Palace complex at Constantinople.
Tetarteron
two types of coin of that name are known, a lightweight gold nomisma before the coinage reform of Alexios I and thereafter a small lead and later copper coin (pl. tetartera).
Theme
territorial unit initially administered by a military commander and then by a civil governor.
Theoretron
wedding gift of a man to his first wife, in addition to the hypobolon [n120], that remained her property after the termination of the marriage; usually equal to at least one twelfth of the dowry.
Thesmographos
official perhaps serving under the thesmophylax.
Thesmophylax
judicial official of the tribunal of the Hippodrome.
Topoteretes
lieutenant of the military commander of a tagma, a theme or the navy, in charge of a small district or fortress.
Topoteretissa
wife of a topoteretes.
Tourmarches
military commander with fiscal and judicial authority in his area of jurisdiction; also commander of a naval unit and a coastal area.
Trachy
concave electrum and billon coin also known as scyphate (pl. trachea).
Trapeza
the refectory of a monastery.
Trapezopoios
monk in charge of setting the table at a monastery and waiting on his fellow monks.
Tribounos
military (?) official under the head of one of the prisons of Constantinople.
Triklinos
ceremonial or reception hall in a palace or mansion.
Trisagion
processional chant sung at the beginning of the eucharist.
Typikon
charter containing the administrative and liturgical regulations to be observed by a monastic community (pl. typika).
Tzangares
cobbler.

V

Vestarches
high-ranking title that was devalued by the end of the 11th c.
Vestes
high-ranking title bestowed upon important generals.
Vestiarion
state warehouse and treasury.
Vestiarios
official of the emperor’s vestiarion.
Vestiarites
imperial bodyguard.
Vestioprates
merchant of luxury garments.

X

Xenodochos
head of a xenodocheion, a guest-house for travellers, the poor or the sick, often attached to a monastery.
Xylourgos
carpenter.

Z

Zeugaratos
fiscal designation for a peasant who owned a pair of oxen (pl. zeugaratoi).
Zeugologion
tax paid by paroikoi zeugaratoi to either their landowner or to the state.
Zeugotopion
amount of land that can be ploughed by one pair of oxen.
Zoste
see patrikia zoste.
Župan
see grand župan.

One Response to Glossary

  1. For my living history documentation, is it the case that women in this period would never have two given names and a byname?

    If a woman was documented with three names, I understand that usually the two bynames refered to her husband and father. Was it sometimes the case that one of these names was a term from the Glossary? For example, Maria Protospatharea? Or Maria Protospatharea ?

    Sincerely, J. Marie Lutz

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>