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rests, is such an arbitrary hypothesis that we must seek some other means of forming a rough evaluation. We are told that in the twelfth century the island of Corcyra yielded 1500 pounds of gold or £64,800 to the Imperial treasury.1 The total area of the Imperial territory in the reign of Theophilus (counting Sicily as lost, and not including Calabria, Dalmatia, Cyprus, or Cherson) was about 546,000 kilometres.2 The area of Corcyra is 770, so that if its contribution to the treasury was as large in the ninth as in the twelfth century, and was proportional to its size, the amount of the whole revenue would be about £46,000,000. But the population of the islands was undoubtedly denser than in most regions of the mainland, and it is probably an insufficient set-off to have left out of account Calabria and some other outlying Imperial possessions, and to have made no allowance for the vast amount contributed by Constantinople. Yet this line of calculation suggests at least that the Imperial revenue may have exceeded thirty millions and was nearly half as large again as the revenue of the Caliphs.3

If we accept £25,000,000 as a minimum figure for the revenue arising from taxation of all kinds, we must add a considerable sum for the profits arising from the Imperial Estates in Asia Minor. Disregarding this source of income, which we have no data for estimating, we must remember that the weight of gold which if sent to the mint to-day would be coined into twenty-five million sovereigns represented at Byzantium a far higher purchasing power. It is now

generally assumed that the value of money was five times as great, and this is probably not an exaggeration.* On this hypothesis the Imperial revenue from taxation would correspond in real value to £125,000,000.

It is impossible to conjecture how the expenditure was

1 John of Brompton, Chronicon, p. 1219 (Twysden's Hist. Angl. scriptores X. vol. i., 1652), states that the island of Cunfu (Corfu) yielded

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quintallos auri purissimi quindecim annuatim; et pondus quintalli est pondus centum librarum auri" (A.D. 1290).

2 Í have based this on the figures given by Beloch in his Bevölkerung der griechisch-römischen Welt (1886).

3 See below p. 236. The statement

of Nicephorus Gregoras, viii. 6, p. 317 (ed. Bonn), that in A.D. 1321 the revenue was increased by special efforts (of the τελῶναι and φορολόγοι) to the sum of one million nomismata (£600,000), cannot be utilized. The conditions of the time were exceptional. I do not understand why Zachariä v. Lingenthal (Zur Kenntniss, 14) refers this statement to the land-tax only.

4 See Paparrhegopulos, loc. cit.; Diehl, loc. cit.; Andreades, 7.

apportioned. Probably a sum of more than £1,000,000 was annually spent on the maintenance of the military establishment, not including the cost of campaigns. The navy, the civil service in all its branches, religious foundations, doles to charitable institutions, liberal presents frequently given to foreign potentates for political purposes, represented large claims on the treasury, while the upkeep of a luxurious Court, and the obligatory gifts (evoeẞía) on stated occasions to crowds of officials, consumed no small portion of the Emperor's income. Theophilus must have laid out more than a million a year on his buildings.1 It is only for the army and navy that we possess some figures, but these are too uncertain and partial to enable us to reconstruct a military budget.

Perhaps the most striking evidence of the financial prosperity of the Empire is the international circulation of its gold currency. "In the period of 800 years from Diocletian to Alexius Comnenus the Roman government never found itself compelled to declare bankruptcy or stop payments. Neither the ancient nor the modern world can offer a complete parallel to this phenomenon. This prodigious stability of Roman financial policy therefore secured the "byzant" its universal currency. On account of its full weight it passed with all the neighbouring nations as a valid medium of exchange. By her money Byzantium controlled both the civilised and the barbarian worlds." 2

§ 2. Military and Naval Organization

I. Under the Amorian dynasty considerable administrative changes were made in the organization of the military provinces into which the Empire was divided, in order to meet new conditions. In the Isaurian period there were five great Themes in Asia Minor, governed by stratêgoi, in the following order of dignity and importance: the Anatolic, the Armeniac, the Thrakesian, the Opsikian, and the Bukellarian. This system of "the Five Themes," as they were called, lasted till the reign of Michael II., if not till that of

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Theophilus.1 But it is probable that before that time the penetration of the Moslems in the frontier regions had rendered it necessary to delimit from the Anatolic and Armeniac provinces districts which were known as kleisurarchies,2 and were under minor commanders, kleisurarchs, who could take measures for defending the country independently of the stratêgoi. In this way the kleisurarchy of Seleucia, west of Cilicia, was cut off from the Anatolic Theme, and that of Charsianon from the Armeniac.3 Southern Cappadocia, which was constantly exposed to Saracen invasion through the Cilician gates, was also formed into a frontier province. We have no record of the times at which these changes were made, but we may suspect that they were of older date than the reign of Theophilus.

This energetic Emperor made considerable innovations in the thematic system throughout the Empire, and this side of his administration has not been observed or appreciated. In Asia Minor he created two new Themes, Paphlagonia and Chaldia.5 Paphlagonia seems to have been cut off from the Bukellarian province; probably it had a separate existence already, as a "katepanate," for the governor of the new Theme, while he was a stratêgos, bore the special title of katepano, which looks like the continuation of an older arrangement.

1 Cont. Th. τῶν πέντε θεμάτων τῶν κατὰ τὴν ἀνατολήν, A.D. 803; and Theodore Stud. Epp. ii. 64, p. 1284 ἐπὶ γὰρ τῶν π. Θ. τέθειται, A.D. 819 (both these passages record the temporary commission of these Themes to a superior μονοστράτηγος ; cp. above, p. 10). As it is tolerably certain

that no additional Themes were created in the last year of Leo or during the revolt of Thomas, it follows that A.D. 824 is a higher limit for the creation of the two or three new Themes which existed in A.D. 838. Other considerations make it probable that Theophilus was the innovator.

2 The kleisurai of Asia Minor were the passes of the Taurus, and, when the Saracens had won positions north of the Eastern Taurus, also of the Antitaurus.

3 The existence of the kleisurarchies of Charsianon and Seleucia at the beginning of the reign of Michael III. is proved by Ibn Khurdadhbah, 78. The former appears duly in the Taktikon Uspenski, 123; the omission

of Seleucia is probably due to corruption.

4 This also is omitted in our text of Takt. Usp., doubtless a scribe's error. It appears as a kleisurarchy in Ibn Fakih's list: Brooks, Arabic Lists, 75 (Koron was the seat of the governor).


Takt. Usp.111-113 enumerates seven Asiatic stratêgoi, including those of Paphlagonia and Chaldia. This agrees with Ibn Fakih, ib. 73-76; and is borne out by Euodios (Acta 42 Mart. Amor. 65), who, referring to A. D. 838, mentions "the Seven Themes. The author of the Vita Theodorae imp. (9) speaks of στρατηγοὶ ὀκτώ at Amorion in that year. This (whether anachronism or not) cannot be pressed. Cp. Nikitin's note on Euodios (p. 244). He is wrong in supposing (p. 246, n.) that Cappadocia was a Theme at this time, though he might have quoted Cont. Th. 120 T σтрат. Kажπ., which, in view of the other evidence, must be explained as an anachronism.

6 Constantine, De adm. imp. 178; Cer. 788. The simplest explanation

The rise of Paphlagonia in importance may be connected with the active Pontic policy of Theophilus. It is not without significance that Paphlagonian ships played a part in the expedition which he sent to Cherson, and we may conjecture with probability that the creation of the Theme of the Klimata on the north of the Euxine and that of Paphlagonia on the south were not isolated acts, but were part of the same general plan. The institution of the Theme of Chaldia, which was cut off from the Armeniac Theme (probably A.D. 837), may also be considered as part of the general policy of strengthening Imperial control over the Black Sea and its coastlands, here threatened by the imminence of the Moslem power in Armenia. To the south of Chaldia was the duchy of Koloneia, also part of the Armeniac circumscription.3 In the following reign (before A.D. 863) both Koloneia and Cappadocia were elevated to the rank of Themes.*

The Themes of Europe, which formed a class apart from those of Asia, seem at the end of the eighth century to have been four in number-Thrace, Macedonia, Hellas, and Sicily. There were also a number of provinces of inferior rank— Calabria, under its Dux; Dalmatia and Crete, under governors who had the title of archon; 5 while Thessalonica with the adjacent region was still subject to the ancient Praetorian

is that Paphlagonia was a katepanate before it acquired the rank of a stratêgia. Michael, Vita Theod. Stud. 309, referring to the reign of Michael II., speaks of τὸ θέμα τῶν Παφλαγόνων, but the use of Oéμa in such a passage cannot be urged as evidence for the date.

1 See below, p. 416.

2 The circumstances are discussed below, p. 261. Chaldia may have also existed already as a separate command of less dignity under a Duke. For Takt. Usp., which mentions the stratêgos, names also in another place (119) ὁ δοὺξ Χαλδίας. I explain this as a survival from an older official list, which the compiler neglected to eliminate. In the same document aρxovтes of Chaldia are also mentioned. These were probably local authorities in some of the towns, like the archons of Cherson.

3 The evidence for a Dux of Koloneia under Theophilus is in an account of the Amorian martyrs dating from

A.D. 845-847 (Acta 27, 29). The Emperor before his death directed that Kallistos Melissenos should be sent to Koloneia καὶ τὴν τοῦ δουκὸς διέπειν ἀρχήν. Kallistos is called a turmarch in Simeon, Add. Georg. 805; Koloneia was doubtless a turmarchy in the Armeniac Theme. Koloneia is not mentioned by the Arabic writers who depend on Al-Garmi or in the Takt. Usp. I conclude that till after the death of Theophilus it had not been separated from the Armeniac Theme, or, in other words, that Kallistos was the first Dux. Another inference may be that the Taktikon represents the official world immediately after the accession of Michael III.

4 Cont. Th. 181. Cp. Brooks, op. cit. 70, for Masudi's evidence.


5 Calabria: Gay, L'Italie mér. Takt. Usp. 124. Dalmatia: ὁ ἄρχων A., ib. Crete: ib. 119 ò &рxwv K. (which I interpret as a case, like that of Chaldia, where an older office is retained in the list).

Prefect of Illyricum, an anomalous survival from the old system of Constantine.1 It was doubtless the Slavonic revolt in the reign of Nicephorus I. that led to the reorganization of the Helladic province, and the constitution of the Peloponnesus as a distinct Theme,2 so that Hellas henceforward meant Northern Greece. The Mohammadan descent upon Crete doubtless led to the appointment of a stratêgos instead of an archon of Crete, and the Bulgarian wars to the suppression of the Praetorian prefect by a stratêgos of Thessalonica.* The Theme of Kephalonia (with the Ionian Islands) seems to have existed at the beginning of the ninth century;5 but the Saracen menace to the Hadriatic and the western coasts of Greece may account for the foundation of the Theme of Dyrrhachium, a city which probably enjoyed, like the communities of the Dalmatian coast, a certain degree of local independence. If so, we may compare the policy of Theophilus in instituting the stratêgos of the Klimata with control over the magistrates of Cherson."


It is to be noted that the Theme of Thrace did not include the region in in the the immediate neighbourhood of Constantinople, cut off by the Long Wall of Anastasius, who had made special provisions for the government of this region. In the ninth century it was still a separate circumscription, probably under the military command of the Count of the Walls, and Arabic writers designate it by the curious name Talaya or Tafla."

A table will exhibit the general result of all these changes:

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