Cibyrrhaeot Theme

The Kibyrrhaiotische topic or theme of the Kibyrrhaioten (Greek θέμα Κιβυρραιωτῶν ), was a Byzantine theme, which included the southern coast of Asia Minor between the early 8th century and the 12th century. First and foremost naval theme (Greek: θέμα ναυτικόν ), it served mainly the position of ships and troops for the Byzantine fleet.


The Kibyrrhaioten (Greek Κιβυρραιῶται, "Men of Kibyrrha " ) derive their name from the ancient city Kibyrrha (either the Kibyrrha in Caria or Kibyrrha in Pamphylia ). The theme is first mentioned in the expedition against Carthage in 698, as a " Droungarios the Kibyrrhaioten " is mentioned as commander of the men of Korykos: Apsimar, at the head of the rebellious fleet to the Emperor Tiberius III. climb. At this time the Kibyrrhaioten were under the command of the fleet of Karabisianoi.

After the command of Karabisianoi had been dissolved ( between 719/720 and about 727), the Armed Forces of the Kibyrrhaioten were summarized in a regular topic whose commanding Strategos is first mentioned in 731/732. Until the 9th century, when the topic of the Aegean Sea and were created from Samos from former Droungarios commands, the theme of Kibyrrhaioten was the only purely maritime theme of the Byzantine Empire.

The topic covered the southern coast of Asia Minor ( modern Turkey ) of Miletus ( the on the subject of Thrakesier belonged ) to the border with the Islamic caliphate in Cilicia, which comprised the ancient Roman provinces of Caria, Lycia, Pamphylia, and parts of Isauria and today Dodecanese. Its geographical location made ​​it become the first target of the Arab fleet from the Levant and Egypt, so that the Kibyrrhaioten occupied a large part in the Byzantine- Arab Wars. The theme that was well known for its fertility, suffered from frequent Arab attacks that depopulated rural areas except for a few forts.

The seat of the strategos of the theme was probably Attaleia. He received an annual salary of 10 pounds of gold. Its position in the Byzantine hierarchy was relatively low, yet he was the highest commander of the Byzantine fleet. Like all subjects was divided the subject of Kibyrrhaioten in Droungoi and Turmai. Among the most important officials of the strategos was the imperial ek prosopou in Syllaion, the Droungarios Attaleia and Kos and the Katepano, who commanded the Mardaiten of the topic. These were the descendants of a few thousand people who had been relocated from Lebanon by Emperor Justinian II in the 680ern to Asia Minor, to ask where marines and rowers. In the early 9th century, the theme of the Kibyrrhaioten consisted of about 70 ships. In the expedition against the Emirate of Crete, 911 the issue sent 31 warships - 15 large and 16 medium-sized dromons Pamphyloi - with about 6,000 oarsmen and 760 marines.

In the mid-11th century, when put the Muslim threat to sea began also to the Byzantine province fleets of long descent. The fleet of Kibyrrhaioten is last mentioned in 1043 in the fight against a fleet of Rus. After the issue was a purely civilian Province, presided over by a Krites and later a Doux. The majority of the subject fell to the Seljuks in 1071, but could be partially recaptured by Alexios I Komnenos. The issue was finally resolved by Manuel I Komnenos and the remaining area is under the theme of Mylasa and Melanoudion in Caria.