Lykandos or Lycandus (Greek Λυκανδός ) was the name of a Byzantine fortress and also the name of the theme Lykandos in the 10th and 11th centuries.


The fortress was Lykandos in today Elbistan in southeastern Turkey in the anti- Taurus Mountains. In 903 the Armenians Mleh moved there ( Melias in Greek sources ) and established a de facto autonomous rule. The area was of great strategic importance as it lay on the border between the Byzantine Anatolia and the Muslims of Syria and Mesopotamia. The fortress oversaw one of the main passes between the two empires. In the year 905 Melias was by the Byzantines (along with other Armenians ) after the failed rebellion of Andronikos Doukas against Emperor Leo VI. (reigned 886-912 ) expelled. 908 however, he was recalled and appointed by Leo for Kleisourarches of Lykandos. Melia was commissioned to rebuild the fortress, which was in ruins and populate the district again. Melia was successful with his efforts: the area that Constantine VII states that " over -reaching was to pasture ," was populated with Armenians.

Arab sources show that this new powerful province soon posed a threat, especially for the emirate of Melitene. An Arab -scale attack on Lykandos in 909 failed, 915 while the troops of Melias Arab territory plundered until after Germanikeia (today Kahramanmaras ). The importance of Lykandos was recognized by the central government and 916, it was elevated to its own theme.

The troops of Lykandos played a major role in the Byzantine- Arab wars of the 10th century, especially in the campaigns of John Annes Kourkouas that stretched the limits of the empire to the Euphrates and Armenia and Syria, but also in the civil wars of the late 10. century. In administrative terms, the topic was often administered together with the other themes of Melitene and Tzamandos. After the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 it was overrun by the Seljuks; nevertheless it appears in the land allocation of Alexius I Comnenus (reigned 1081-1118 ) of Bohemund of Taranto in the year 1108.