Alliances and rivalries in the byzantine imperial family (867-1204 A.D.)

Doctoral Dissertation uoadl:2916248 18 Read counter

Department of History and Archaeology
Library of the School of Philosophy
Deposit date:
Makopoulos Konstantinos
Dissertation committee:
Επιβλέπουσα: Ειρήνη Χρήστου, αναπληρώτρια καθηγήτρια ΕΚΠΑ
Μέλος: Αικατερίνη Νικολάου, αναπληρώτρια καθηγήτρια ΕΚΠΑ
Μέλος: Αθηνά Κόλια-Δερμιτζάκη, ομότιμη καθηγήτρια ΕΚΠΑ
Μέλος: Αντωνία Κιουσοπούλου, καθηγήτρια ΕΚΠΑ
Μέλος: Σοφία Μεργιαλή-Σαχά, αναπληρώτρια καθηγήτρια ΕΚΠΑ
Μέλος: Μαρία Λεοντσίνη, κύρια ερευνήτρια ΙΙΕ/ΕΙΕ
Μέλος: Γεράσιμος Μέριανος, κύριος ερευνητής ΙΙΕ/ΕΙΕ
Original Title:
Συμμαχίες και αντιπαλότητες στη βυζαντινή αυτοκρατορική οικογένεια (867-1204)
Translated title:
Alliances and rivalries in the byzantine imperial family (867-1204 A.D.)
The purpose of this dissertation is to describe and analyse the network of the emperor's relations with his family and relatives, in order to emphasize the particular socio-political characteristics of the imperial house. In particular, were investigated the causes and effects of solidarity and co-operation among the blood and by marriage relatives about specific cases. On the other hand, were sought the reasons for competition and conflict among them and the impact on their interpersonal relations or ties with the emperor. Although in Byzantium the role of the throne possessor’s relatives was always increased, with few exceptions of emperors who distanced themselves from them, from the 11th c. and the emergence of the Komnenian dynasty the imperial family gained particular value as a kind of social organization to the point of being a distinctive group.
One of the ways that the emperor often used to strengthen his power, especially if he had acquired the throne by unjust means, was to promote his relatives to key positions in the state apparatus, even creating new titles. Imperial relatives not only took command of the army and navy but also took over the provincial government, the tax collection, the administration of justice and the diplomatic missions. The emperor's power, to some degree, derived from his family, but in fact his relatives were not only his support, as there were cases in which they turned against him, claiming the imperial office or part of his power through the creation of autonomous territories. Despite the emperor's privileges over his relatives, the latter proved to be ignorant and they sought more by using every means to achieve their goal (conspiracies, revolts, assassinations, intrigues). As to the emperors, the family unity was a priority for them, despite the events that disrupted it, while those tried to maintain it because instability would lead to their downfall. Others took drastic measures and others were moderate, depending on what their interests dictated.
Main subject category:
Byzantine empire, 9th century, 10th century, 11th century, 12th century, Macedonian dynasty, Doukai, Komnenoi, Angeloi, imperial family, relatives, family relationships, networks, conspiracies, revolts, politics, administration, society.
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