Sicily (theme)

The topic of Sicily (Greek θέμα Σικελίας ) was a Byzantine theme, so an administrative unit of the Byzantine Empire, which existed from the late 7th to the 10th century and the island of Sicily and Calabria included on the Italian peninsula. After the Arab conquest of Sicily, the subject was limited to Calabria from 902, retained his name but by the middle of the 10th century.


Since the Byzantine reconquest of Sicily from the Ostrogoths by Belisarius in 535/536 Sicily formed a separate province under a praetor, the army was under a Dux. A Strategos is mentioned on the island of Arabic sources, 687-695; during this period, Sicily was likely organized on a topic.

The subject had his capital at Syracuse, the traditional capital of the island. It included not only Sicily, which was divided into tourmai, but also the doukaton Calabria (Greek δουκᾶτον Καλαυρίας ), the northward stretched to the river Crati.

The Arab conquest of the island began in 826 after the fall of Syracuse in 878 and the conquest of Taormina in 902 moved the Strategos his seat to Rhegium, the capital of Calabria. In the first half of the 10th century the Byzantines tried several times unsuccessfully to recapture the island. You could keep a few scattered forts near Messina to 965, as Rametta, the last Byzantine outposts fell. The office of the " strategos of Sicily " was thus continued until the mid-10th century, when the title " strategos of Calabria " begins to appear in the records.