Kephale (Byzantine Empire)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In the late Byzantine Empire, the term kephale (Greek: κεφαλή, kephalē, "head") was used to denote local and provincial governors.

It entered use in the second half of the 13th century, and was derived from the colloquial language. Consequently, it never became an established title or rank of the Byzantine imperial hierarchy, but remained a descriptive term.[1] In essence, the kephalē replaced the Komnenian-era doux as the civil and military governor of a territorial administrative unit, known as a katepanikion (κατεπανίκιον, katepaníkion),[2] but also termed a kephalatikion (κεφαλατίκιον, kephalatíkion). In size, these provinces were small compared to the earlier themata, and could range from a few villages surrounding the kephale's seat (a kastron, "fortress"), to an entire island.[1] This arrangement was also adopted by the Second Bulgarian Empire (as Bulgarian: кефалия, kefaliya) and Serbian Empire (as Serbian: кефалиja, kefalija).

In the 14th century, superior kephalai were appointed (katholikai kephalai, "universal heads") overseeing a group of provinces under their respective [merikai] kephalai ("[partial] heads"). The former were usually kin of the emperor or members of the senior aristocratic clans. By the late 14th century, with the increasing decentralization of the Empire and the creation of appanages in the form of semi-independent despotates, these senior posts vanished.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c Kazhdan 1991, p. 1122.
  2. ^ Not to be confused with the very different katepanates of the 10th-11th centuries.

Sources

  • Kazhdan, Alexander, ed. (1991). The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. New York, New York and Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-504652-6.
Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Kephale_(Byzantine_Empire)&oldid=821971460"
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kephale_(Byzantine_Empire)
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Kephale"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA