Thracesian Theme

The theme Thrakesion (Greek Θρᾳκήσιον θέμα, Thrakēsion topic), also known as the subject of Thrakesier (Greek θέμα Θρᾳκησίων, subject Thrakēsiōn or shortly Greek Θρᾳκήσιοι, Thrakēsioi ), was a Byzantine theme in western Asia Minor ( now Turkey ). Either launched in the middle of the 7th or 8th century to life, it was one of the more important issues of the Byzantine Empire during its entire existence.


As with many topics, the exact year of birth is unclear. The Thrakesier are first described in 711, when a was sent " Tourmarchēs the Thrakesier " Christopheros named in the theme of Cherson by Emperor Justinian II. A commanding stratēgós is called only 741. So it is believed that the Thrakesier originally were a turma the topic of Anatolia. Sometime after 695 they were upgraded to a topic; probably in the early years of the 7th century. Some present-day scientists like Ralph - Johannes Lilie and John Haldon but believe that the Thrakesier are the Thracianus exercitus ( " Thracian army "), which is mentioned in a decree of 687, equivalent to, and hence the Thrakesische subject of the original Anatolian themes had.

The topic name is derived from the circumstance from that in the seventh century the subjects were founded as a settlement districts for the remains of the Eastern Roman army after the Islamic expansion: in the case of Thrakesier the remains of the field army of the Master of the Soldiers by Thracias. It can be known from the vexillations 4/5 Century, as the Palatini the Equites Theodosiaci Iuniores and auxilium palatine of Victores find than the later tourmai the Theodosiakoi and Viktores in the 10th century. This continued the theme thrakesische lead some of the oldest Byzantine units in the field. This ancient origin led to the creation of legends, for example, reported emperor Constantine VII (reigned 913-959 ) in his work De Thematibus, the subject was by Thracians in the 6th century BC colonized by Alyattes II, where it have his name.

The first known strategos of the theme thrakesischen, a certain Sisinnios supported, Constantine V (reigned 740-775 ) against the usurper Artabasdos (reigned 741-742 ), but was later blinded by that very emperor because he was suspected of treason. Constantine was responsible for the appointment of some loyal strategists, like that of the iconoclastic Michael Lachanodrakon. Lachanodrakon began a bloody persecution of iconophiles, especially the monks, so he had to 772 monasticism in this topic largely eradicated. Other well-known commander of this topic are Bardanes Tourkos, who was his strategos in the 790ern 803 and rebelled against Nicephorus I (reigned 803-811 ); Konstantin Kontomytes that smote the Saracens in the Cretan mountain Latro in the year 841, and married into the imperial family; Petronas, the uncle of Michael III. (reigned 842-867 ) and a leading general of the empire between 856-863; and Symbatios who rebelled along with the strategists of the topic of Opsikion, Georgios Peganes, against Basil I, Michael's protégé.

In the 10th century, when the danger of Arab Plünderzüge waned, the soldiers of the topic seem to overseas military operations as against the Emirate of Crete in the years 911, 949 and 960 to have been involved. The subject was slow to peaceful hinterland through the same development; in 1029 appeared the appointment of Constantine Diogenes, the one imputed Thronanbitionen, for stratēgós contemporaries as degradation and attempt to limit his power.

A large part of the issue was conquered by the Seljuk Turks in the late 11th century, the area was recaptured but quickly by John Doukas as a result of the First Crusade ( 1096-1099 ). John II Comnenus (reigned 1118-1143 ) presented the topic in a reduced form under the leadership of Doux Philadelphia-based restores. The southern half of the old theme was part of the new theme of Mylasa and Melanoudion. The subject was one of the last that fell to the Anatolian Turkish Beyliks, and served for a long time as a bulwark against their Plünderzüge. In the early 14th century, it was nevertheless reduced to an area around Smyrna, to the city in 1330 and the Beylik of Aydın fell.

Geography and administration

The theme of the Thrakesier included the ancient territories of Ionia ( the late Roman province of Asia ), Lydia, the northern half of Caria and parts of Phrygia Pacatiana. In the west, the Aegean limited the subject, which stretched from Ephesus to Adramyttion, in the north the subject of Opsikion probably the border river Caicos, to the east the subject of Anatolia (somewhere east of Chonai and Laodicea on the Lycus ) and the theme of Kibyrrhaioten in the south. The issue comprised about 20 cities, many of which were, however, strongly shrunk towards their late antique expansion. Smyrna and Ephesus ( at that time as " Theologos " known) were probably the greatest among them. The Persian geographer Ibn Chordadhbeh called Ephesus the capital of the topic; it could also have been Chonae.

The strategos of the theme thrakesischen was one of the most influential within the subject system. He received a year 40 pounds of gold as Sold. The Arab geographer ibn Ja'far Qudama reported that the issue of 6,000 soldiers had while talking Ibn al -Faqih of 10,000. The coast of the subject was under the joint management of the strategos of the Thrakesier and that of the theme of Samos, who recruited from there ships and crews.