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Amisos (Byzantium)

Author(s) : IBR , Giftopoulou Sofia (3/17/2003)
Translation : Koutras Nikolaos

For citation: IBR , Giftopoulou Sofia, "Amisos (Byzantium)",
Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World, Asia Minor
URL: <http://www.ehw.gr/l.aspx?id=7207>

Αμισός (Βυζάντιο) (3/19/2008 v.1) Amisos (Byzantium) (5/27/2008 v.1) 



Official of the kommerkion, equivelant to the komerkiarios. The name of the office is linked with the function of the kommerkion in the city of Abydos, in the narrows of Helespontos, that served the purveyance of Constantinople. The abydikoi could be seated in the kommerkia of certain cities. They exersised their power along with the kommerkiarioi.

Βyzantine officer (from the word charta meaning the official document) with various duties1. In the Early Byzantine period the chartoularii served the officia of high rank, like the prefecturae, being in charge of the archives. In the Middle Byzantine period chartoulari served almost everywhere, being in charge of the archives; the office of megas chartoularios administering the homonymous sekreton appears as well. From the 12 th c. some chartoularii appear to undertake military duty and during the 13th c. the megas chartoularios was an officer of high rank in the court. 2. Ecclesiastical officer, in charge of the archives (close to chartophylax).

A receptacle for holding rainwater, but also water transported from elsewhere, in order to keep it stored. The cisterns were either covered eiter open, and they could have more than one compartements.

Middle - Late byzantine era: an official of the fiscal service, whose jurisdiction applied to a certain territory.

(from Arabic amir) Emir meaning "commander" or "general", later also "prince". Also a high title of nobility or office in some Turkic historical states.

1. Rome: official in charge of the operation of the public storage spaces, that principally served the state but, occasionally, the private individuals as well. 2. Byzantium: official of the fiscal service who was in charge of the running of commodities heaped inside the horrea (storage spaces within the borders of the imperial estates).

Isfendiyar Oğullari
A Turkmen dynasty, which established its dominion around Kastamone (Castamonu) in the late 13th c., under Mongol suzerainity. In the period of 1301-1340, they expanded their dominion as far as Sinope, as independent sovereigns. By 1460 they had passed under Ottoman suzerainity, and so their territory was absorbed in the Ottoman Empire.

kommerkiarios (commerciarius)
An official of the fiscal service in charge of the levying of the tax called commercion (δεκάτη<, 10%), that was imposed over the portage and the selling of articles. The jurisdinction of each commerciarius was exersised either over specific urban centers with vivid commercial activity or over particular widespread territories of the empire. Since the official had been appointed by the emperor himself he used to be called "royal commerciarius". In the Late Byzantine era the commerciarius acted also as an individual entrepreneur who used to merchandise silk for his own interest.

This name had two meanings in Byzantium 1. Commercium (lat.), which in late Roman times designated the frontier cities where exchanges with foreign merchants were authorised. 2. Kommerkion, which was a circulation and sales tax, paid at the customs, and collected on mercandise imported into the empire and on merchandise reaching Constantinople by the sea. It appears in the sources c. 800 and was also called dekate, its rate being 10 percent of the merchandise value.

megas doukas
The commander of the Byzantine fleet. In the Late Byzantine period, the title of the megas doukas was assigned to the highest officials of the imperial administration.

paraphylax, castrophylax
In the Middle Byzantine period paraphylax was a sine actu official. In the Late Byzantine period the term designates a lesser official responsible for the guard of the fortified cities (castra); this official appears also under the title of «castrophylax».

portolan, portulan
(from latin word “portus”, port) a book with nautical instructions (today called “a pilot book”) which gives a description of the coastline and indicates the sailing directions which were to be followed in order to reach a given point of orientation (a port, promontory, island, estuary etc.). It also depicts the ports and anchorages with their navigational peculiarities and the possible approaches to them. The portulan is an achievement of the medieval navigation and could be considered as a result from the application of the compass in seafaring during the 12th C.

terminus ante quem (lat.)
Technicality of historical studies for expressing the chonological line, before which an event took place.

A Byzantine term that signifies wide military and administrative units under the administration of a strategos (general). The institution was consolidated in the 7th century and was characteristic for the organization and the division of Byzantine Empire at the Middle Byzantine period. The term applies also to the army unit that resided in each administrative unit and was staffed by farmer-soldiers. The thematic system was maintained until the end of Byzantine period. However, in the Later Byzantine period it was used in order to declare mostly tax units.

(lat. turma, meaning squadron) Administrative division of a theme in the Middle Byzantine period. A tourma was further subdivised into droungoi and banda.

Civilian and military commander of a tourma, subdivision of a theme.


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