Byzantine exiles 1081-1453: The persons, the reasons, the places of exile.

Doctoral Dissertation uoadl:2916741 24 Read counter

Department of History and Archaeology
Library of the School of Philosophy
Deposit date:
Liakaki Maria
Dissertation committee:
Μέλη Τριμελούς Επιτροπής:
Τριανταφυλλίτσα Μανιάτη- Κοκκίνη, Επιβλέπουσα, Επίκ. Καθηγήτρια Βυζαντινής Ιστορίας, Τμήμα Ιστορίας και αρχαιολογίας ΕΚΠΑ,
Αθηνά Κόλια- Δερμιτζάκη, Ομότιμη Καθηγήτρια Βυζαντινής Ιστορίας, Τμήμα Ιστορίας και Αρχαιολογίας ΕΚΠΑ.
Ειρήνη Χρήστου, Αναπλ. Καθηγήτρια Βυζαντινής Ιστορίας, Τμήμα Ιστορίας και Αρχαιολογίας ΕΚΠΑ,
Μέλη Επταμελούς Επιτροπής:
Κατερίνα Νικολάου, Αναπλ. Καθηγήτρια Ιστορίας του Βυζαντινού Κράτους, Τμήμα Ιστορίας και Αρχαιολογίας ΕΚΠΑ,
Σοφία Μεργιαλή- Σαχά, Αναπλ. Καθηγήτρια Ιστορίας του Βυζαντινού Κράτους, Τμήμα Ιστορίας και Αρχαιολογίας ΕΚΠΑ,
Ταξιάρχης Κόλιας, Καθηγητής του «Βίου και του πολιτισμού των Βυζαντινών», Τμήμα Φιλολογίας, Τομέας Βυζαντινής Φιλολογίας και Λαογραφίας ΕΚΠΑ.
Αντωνία Κιουσοπούλου, Καθηγήτρια Βυζαντινής Ιστορίας, Τμήμα Ιστορίας και Αρχαιολογίας ΕΚΠΑ
Original Title:
Βυζαντινοί εξόριστοι 1081-1453: Τα πρόσωπα, τα αίτια, οι τόποι εξορίας.
Translated title:
Byzantine exiles 1081-1453: The persons, the reasons, the places of exile.
Exile means the forcible removal of a person by the command of the central authority. The Greek term ἐξορία derives from the words ἐξ (out) and the word ὅριον (limit), which means one who lives outside the boundaries of a city or state.
During the Roman period the penalty of exile divided into two forms: relegation (ἐξορία), the mildest form of removal, and deportation (περιορισμός), the heavier form, which entailed the loss of subject's citizenship and property. Accordingly, deportation belonged in death penalties. From the middle byzantine period, the two forms were unified and exile ceased to belong in death penalties and appears in byzantine legal texts as a punishment for crimes of medium gravity.
In ancient Greece, the Athenians accustomed to banish for ten years, with the procedure of ostracism, those citizens that were regarded to be dangerous for the City. Furthermore, Romans exiled prominent citizens in remote places, such us the famous poet Ovidius, who created a tradition of exile letters. This tradition was maintained until the end of the Byzantine empire, as it is demonstrated in the present study.
Byzantines usually applied the penalty of exile not only for punitive, but also for political reasons. Thus, exile as a practice of deporting unwanted persons for central power, was practiced throughout the Byzantine period. As a result a number of prominent persons, specifically emperors and empresses, successors and prospective successors, patriarchs, generals, military and political officials, powerful courtiers were exiled, since their power was considered or proved in practice dangerous for the political authority.
Τhe present research examines eminent Byzantines, who banished from Constantinople or other major cities of the Empire, the reasons and the exile places from 1081 to 1453. However, exile during the early and middle Byzantine period, was also examined, in order to be able to draw conclusions. The study focuses on the exiles’ political, social, ecclesiastical and military environment before and during their banishment, in order to clarify the causes of their exile, as well as the conditions at the exile place. Therefore, additionally to the historiographical sources, the instruments of research were letters, official documents, will and Saints biographies, inscriptions, epigrams, poems, stamps, coins and works of art.
The main part is divided into two major chapters. The first one studies exiles from the period of 1081 up to 1204 and includes the exiles of the Comnene period and that of Angelos dynasty. The second chapter studies exiles of the post 1204 period up to the reign of the Paleologians. Τhe exiles were presented separately, chronologically and correspondingly to each emperor. Like so, the causes of their exile could be illuminated, since their life, work, and action were directly related to their life time events, in which they sometimes played the leading part.
Exile places have been examined, along with the reasons that these places were selected by the central government. It was found, that some of them were favorite exile places during the past, as well as, in the late Byzantine period, together with others that were used for the first time. The changes that have been taken place during this period, due to the war events, the loss of territories and the important provinces of the empire, have gradually led to a lack of available places of exile, mainly in the last centuries (end of 14th – first half of 15th ) where the state was confined to Constantinople and the surrounding areas, Despotate of Mystras in the southern Peloponnese and to some islands in the northern Aegean. For this reason probably references considering exiles could not be found, during this period of time, where the research is taking place. Since the end of 14th century until the end of the empire in 1453, no exiles have been recorded. This is justified, in my opinion, by the lack of exile places and by the war events, since communication between the few remaining areas was almost impossible and would not allow the transportation of exiles.
To provide better understanding of the above, maps have been designed and cited at the end of the study. These maps present the places of exile and simultaneously the remaining byzantine territories until late 1453.
Due to the lack of sufficient exile places, the exiles often were enclosed in fortresses and sometimes they were even imprisoned in the place of their exile, during the last byzantine period. Most of the exiles never returned and some others managed not only to come back, but also to play an important role in subsequent political evolvements.
Tables, in which the exiles, the reasons and the place of their exile have been recorded, can be found at the end of the present study.
Main subject category:
Exile, places of exil, Komnenos dynasty Angelos dynasty, Palaiologos dynasty.
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