Prōtospatharios (Greek πρωτοσπαθάριος ) was one of the highest courtly Would titles of the Byzantine Empire from the 8th to the 12th century, which was awarded to deserving generals and civilian provincial officials, but also to foreign heads of state.


The meaning of the title ("first Spatharios " ) refers to its original function, the leader of the ranking group or unit ( taxis ) of spatharioi. It is an imperial bodyguard which are occupied as early as the 6th century. Probably in the reign of Heraclius, the Office became a Would titles (Greek: δια βραβείου αξία, dia brabeiou axial ) and has since been important courtiers and allied rulers granted, later also awarded to high-ranking commanders of the issues. The first specific mention of a prōtospatharios can be found in the chronicle of Theophanes, the " prōtospatharios and strategos of Sicily Sergios, " in the year 718 describes a. In the late 9th century we find the clue that have stood prōtospatharios dishypatos under the patrikios and above. Imparting the title was associated with the inclusion in the Senate. Therefore, the prestige of the title was very large, which is a depiction of the emperor Constantine VII ( r. 913-959 ) in his work De administrando Imperio clear: during the reign of his father, Emperor Leo VI. ( r. 886-912 ), paid an aged priest of the Nea Ekklesia named Ktenas 60 Litras Gold ( approximately 19.4 kg ), ie about sixty times the annual income of 72 Nomismata that a prōtospatharios tion states to obtain the title. The priest but died two years later. Would Like other titles of the Middle Byzantine Empire took its importance in the 11th century greatly. The last time is the title of 1115 demonstrated, although it is still mentioned by pseudo - Kodinos in the middle of the 14th century.

The Klētorologion of According Philotheos distinction was made within the title between the categories of eunuchs ( ektomiai ) and non- eunuchs ( barbatoi, " Bearded "). In addition to the insignia of their office, a gold chain ( maniakion ), which was decorated with beads, the eunuchs had a special piece of clothing, a white- golden decorated tunic and doublets with golden facets. The non- eunuchs wore only a gold chain ( kloios ), which was decorated with precious stones.


In addition to the courtly Would titles, there were also some prōtospatharioi who had specific tasks:

  • The prōtospatharios that the Chrysotriklinos board (Greek πρωτοσπαθάριος τοῦ Χρυσοτρικλίνου ), the entrance hall of the Great Palace of Constantinople Opel.
  • The prōtospatharios that the Lausiakos board (Greek πρωτοσπαθάριος τοῦ Λαυσιακοῦ ), a large hall, which followed the Chrysotriklinos and served as a meeting hall. The staff ( oikeiakoi ) of Lausiakos had probably also tasks related to the preparation of the imperial banquets.
  • The prōtospatharios, or katepanō, the basilikoi anthropoi (Greek πρωτοσπαθάριος / κατεπάνω τῶν βασιλικῶν ), a group of low imperial servants. He is listed as one of the stratarchai, therefore, had an unspecified known military task. His entourage included men of lower ranks ( eg spatharioi and kandidatoi ), his main assistant was a domestikos.
  • The prōtospatharios tēs Phialēs (Greek πρωτοσπαθάριος τῆς Φιάλης ), an official who, acted as judges for the rowers of the Byzantine fleet stationed around the capital Constantinople Opel. As the exact job description of the office remains the term Phiale ( " pools " ) puzzling; he could possibly relate to the imperial harbor of Bukoleon Palace.

Known foreign Prōtospatharioi

  • Ivan the Russian
  • Kasim Beg
  • Mihailo of Duklja Vojislavljević