Thrace (theme)

The theme of Thrace (Greek θέμα Θρᾴκης / Topic THRAKIS or Greek θέμα Θρᾳκῷον / Topic Thrakon ) was a military and administrative management unit in the Byzantine Empire ( subject), in the southeast of the Balkan Peninsula, which, during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Heraclius founded in the 7th century been. It extended over a part of the same historical landscape Thrace and had throughout history a different extension. The area includes the present-day Southeast Bulgaria and European Turkey bordering region ( Eastern Thrace ). The region belonged to the direct hinterland of Constantinople Opel.

The theme of Thrace consisted of about 680-1204 and then again from the 1230s years until the 14th century. Founded the subject 680/681. The re- establishment of the subject in the 1230s years was related to the recovery and expansion of the Empire of Nikaia. In the 14th century the subject was then divided into smaller administrative units.

The territory of the topic covered in Thrace about, albeit somewhat enlarged, the previously existing Roman Late Antique Province Europe. In contrast was the late antique province of Thrace, after the reform of the Empire by Emperor Diocletian ( reigned 284-305 ) to the northwest.

The capital was Adrianople ( Edirne today ) and later Arcadiopolis (now Lüleburgaz ).


It is generally believed that the issue of Thrace was founded around 680 as a single military command, in response to the threat posed by the Bulgarians. At that time it was mainly a military administrative unit of the parent military commands. This assumption is based on the report of a certain patrikios Theodoros, Komes the topic Opsikion and hypostrategos of Thrace, in the years 680/681.

However, the mention not allowed security to determine whether Thrace existed as a separate military command. Thus, it remains unclear whether Theodoros acted as owner of a military double post - Thrace thus a separate issue was - or whether Thrace was only an administrative subunit of the topic Opsikion. In any case, a separate strategos of Thrace is not mentioned clearly in the sources to 742. Seal of strategists are available only from the 8th century. Initially, certainly was Adrian Opel the capital of the topic.

Under Empress Irene of Athens, the topic was divided in the late 8th century. The western part became the subject of independent Macedonia. From then on Arcadiopolis was the capital of the topic Thrace.

Administrative subunits of the topic were the tourmai ( singular: Tourma; Greek: τούρμα ), among each a tour marches, in Bizye (now Vice ) and Sozopolis (now Sozopol ). Narrated is also a third command, the tour marches tes Thrakes ( "Tour Marches of Thrace " ), probably it was Arcadiopolis and subordinate to the Deputy Strategos.

( † around 912 * to 820) and Ibn al -Faqih mention the theme that " extends from the long wall [ the Anastasiusmauer ] to the subject of Macedonia, and after the 9th and 10th century, the Arab geographer Ibn Chordadhbeh have the north. "This 5000 soldiers had to provide the subject, when the Byzantine Empire was at war to the land of the Bulgarians, with 10 forts and 5000 man army. Thrace asked many archers and spearmen.

The boundaries of the topic Thrace had a changing course on the northern border of the Byzantine Empire during the Byzantine- Bulgarian Wars. Initially, the topic of most of the ancient diocese of Thrace ( " Dioecesis Thraciae " / Greek Διοίκησις Θράκης; dĭœcēsĭs, see: late antique province of Thrace ) have included, except the land along the Danube, which was overrun by the Bulgarians. But after the conquests of Krum ( ruled 803-814 ), Omourtag (reigned 814-831 ) and Simeon I (reigned 893-927 ) moved the border gradually in the area south of the Balkan Mountains, approximately up to the line, which is also the present border between Bulgaria and its southern neighbors Greece and Turkey forms. So then covered the topic at the turn of the 10th century, mainly the eastern half of present-day part of the European Turkey ( Eastern Thrace ). However, it stretched along the Black Sea coast far to the north, up to and including Anchialos, today Pomorie.

During the 10th century the theme of Thrace was under the 30 Byzantine issues of its economic importance forth in ninth place. From the 11th century the territories of Thrace and Macedonia are usually only mentioned together, suggesting that they have been combined. This is evidenced by numerous documents and strategists of judges ( kritai ) who sat in two issues to court.

After the storming of Constantinople in 1204 Thrace was taken by the Crusaders in the Latin Empire, but recaptured in the first half of the 13th century by the Byzantines. After that it was no longer an issue.

During the last Byzantine emperor dynasty, the time of the Palaiologos (1259-1453), the name issue Thrace came as administrative term disuse. He was, however, still used by some contemporary historians as obsolete term.

With the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans Opel 1453 the administration of the Byzantine subjects finally came to a halt.