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A courtier ( // ) is a person who is often in attendance at the court of a monarch or other royal personage. The earliest historical examples of courtiers were part of the retinues of rulers. Historically the court was the centre of government as well as the residence of the monarch, and the social and political life were often completely mixed together.
Monarchs very often expected the more important nobles to spend much of the year in attendance on them at court. Not all courtiers were noble, as they included clergy, soldiers, clerks, secretaries, agents and middlemen with business at court. All those who held a court appointment could be called courtiers but not all courtiers held positions at court. Those personal favourites without business around the monarch, sometimes called the camarilla, were also considered courtiers. As social divisions became more rigid, a divide, barely present in Antiquity or the Middle Ages, opened between menial servants and other classes at court, although Alexandre Bontemps, the head valet de chambre of Louis XIV, was a late example of a "menial" who managed to establish his family in the nobility. The key commodities for a courtier were access and information, and a large court operated at many levels: many successful careers at court involved no direct contact with the monarch.
The largest and most famous European court was that of the Palace of Versailles at its peak, although the Forbidden City of Beijing was even larger and more isolated from national life. Very similar features marked the courts of all very large monarchies, including in India, Topkapı Palace in Istanbul, Ancient Rome, Byzantium or the Caliphs of Baghdad or Cairo. Early medieval European courts frequently travelled from place to place following the monarch as he travelled. This was particularly the case in the early French court. But, the European nobility generally had independent power and was less controlled by the monarch until around the 18th century, which gave European court life greater complexity.
The earliest courtiers coincide with the development of definable courts beyond the rudimentary entourages or retinues of rulers. There were probably courtiers in the courts of the Akkadian Empire where there is evidence of court appointments such as that of cup-bearer which was one of the earliest court appointments and remained a position at courts for thousands of years.Two of the earliest titles referring to the general concept of a courtier were likely the ša rēsi and mazzāz pāni of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. In Ancient Egypt we find a title translated as high steward or great overseer of the house.
The courts influenced by the court of the Neo-Assyrian Empire such as those of the Median Empire and the Achaemenid Empire had numerous courtiersAfter invading the Achaemenid Empire, Alexander the Great returned with the concept of the complex court featuring a variety of courtiers to the Kingdom of Macedonia and Hellenistic Greece.
The imperial court of the Byzantine Empire at Constantinople would eventually contain at least a thousand courtiers.The court's systems became prevalent in other courts such as those in the Balkan states, the Ottoman Empire and Russia. Byzantinism is a term that was coined for this spread of the Byzantine system in the 19th century.
In modern English, the term is often used metaphorically for contemporary political favourites or hangers-on.
In modern literature, courtiers are often depicted as insincere, skilled at flattery and intrigue, ambitious and lacking regard for the national interest. More positive representations include the role played by members of the court in the development of politeness and the arts.[ citation needed ]
Examples of courtiers in fiction:
Anatolia is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region is bounded by the Turkish Straits to the northwest, the Black Sea to the north, the Armenian Highlands to the east, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, and the Aegean Sea to the west. The Sea of Marmara forms a connection between the Black and Aegean seas through the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits and separates Anatolia from Thrace on the Balkan peninsula of Southeast Europe.
Byzantium or Byzantion; was an ancient Greek city in classical antiquity that became known as Constantinople in late antiquity and Istanbul today. The Greek name Byzantion and its Latinization Byzantium continued to be used as a name of Constantinople sporadically and to varying degrees during the thousand year existence of the Byzantine Empire. Byzantium was colonized by the Greeks from Megara in 657 BC, and remained primarily Greek-speaking until its conquest by the Ottoman Empire in AD 1453.
The history of Bulgaria can be traced from the first settlements on the lands of modern Bulgaria to its formation as a nation-state, and includes the history of the Bulgarian people and their origin. The earliest evidence of hominid occupation discovered in what is today Bulgaria date from at least 1.4 million years ago. Around 5000 BC, a sophisticated civilization already existed which produced some of the first pottery, jewellery and golden artifacts in the world. After 3000 BC, the Thracians appeared on the Balkan peninsula. In the late 6th century BC, most of what is nowadays Bulgaria came under the Persian Achaemenid Empire. In the 470s BC, the Thracians formed the powerful Odrysian Kingdom which lasted until 46 BC, when it was finally conquered by the Roman Empire. During the centuries, some Thracian tribes fell under Ancient Macedonian and Hellenistic, and also Celtic domination. This mixture of ancient peoples was assimilated by the Slavs, who permanently settled on the peninsula after 500 AD.
Theodore I Laskaris or Lascaris was the first Emperor of Nicaea—a successor state of the Byzantine Empire—from 1205 to his death. Although he was born to an obscure Byzantine aristocratic family, his mother was related to the imperial Komnenos clan. He married a younger daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Alexios III Angelos in 1200. He received the title of despot before 1203, demonstrating his right to succeed his father-in-law on the throne.
Theodore II Doukas Laskaris or Ducas Lascaris was Emperor of Nicaea from 1254 to 1258. He was the only child of Emperor John III Doukas Vatatzes and Empress Irene Laskarina. His mother was the eldest daughter of Theodore I Laskaris who had established the Empire of Nicaea as a successor state to the Byzantine Empire in Asia Minor, after the crusaders captured the Byzantine capital, Constantinople, during the Fourth Crusade in 1204. Theodore received an excellent education from two renowned scholars, Nikephoros Blemmydes and George Akropolites. He made friends with young intellectuals, especially with a page of low birth, George Mouzalon. Theodore began to write treatises on theological, historical and philosophical themes in his youth.
A royal court is an extended royal household in a monarchy, including all those who regularly attend on a monarch, or another central figure. Hence the word court may also be applied to the coterie of a senior member of the nobility. Royal courts may have their seat in a designated place, several specific places, or be a mobile, itinerant court.
The Empire of Nicaea or the Nicene Empire is the conventional historiographic name for the largest of the three Byzantine Greek rump states founded by the aristocracy of the Byzantine Empire that fled after Constantinople was occupied by Western European and Venetian forces during the Fourth Crusade. Like the Empire of Trebizond and the Empire of Thessalonica, it claimed to be the continuation of the Roman Empire.
The Arameans were an ancient Semitic-speaking people in the Near East, first recorded in historical sources from the late 12th century BC. At the beginning of the 1st millennium BC, a number of Aramean states were established throughout the Levant and Upper Mesopotamia. Local Aramean kingdoms were subsequently conquered by the Neo-Assyrian Empire. During the period of Assyrian rule, policy of population displacement and relocation, that was applied throughout the Assyrian domains, also affected Arameans. As a result of wider dispersion of Aramean communities, speaking areal of Aramaic language was also widened, gradually gaining significance and eventually becoming the common language of public life and administration, particularly during the periods of Neo-Babylonian Empire (612–539), and later Achaemenid Empire (539–330). As a result of linguistic aramization, a wider Aramaic-speaking areal was created throughout the central regions of the Near East, exceeding the boundaries of Aramean ethnic communities. During the later Hellenistic and Roman periods, minor Aramean states emerged, most notable of them being the Kingdom of Osroene, centered in Edessa, the birthplace of Edessan Aramaic, that later came to be known as Syriac language.
Byzantinism, or Byzantism, is the political system and culture of the Byzantine Empire, and its spiritual successors the Orthodox Christian Balkan countries of Greece and Bulgaria especially, and to a lesser extent Serbia and Orthodox countries in Eastern Europe. The term byzantinism itself was coined in the 19th century. The term has primarily negative associations, implying complexity and autocracy.
The First Bulgarian Empire was a medieval Bulgar-Slavic and later Bulgarian state that existed in Southeastern Europe between the 7th and 11th centuries AD. It was founded in 681 when Bulgar tribes led by Asparuh moved to the northeastern Balkans. There they secured Byzantine recognition of their right to settle south of the Danube by defeating – possibly with the help of local South Slavic tribes – the Byzantine army led by Constantine IV. At the height of its power, Bulgaria spread from the Danube Bend to the Black Sea and from the Dnieper River to the Adriatic Sea.
The Byzantine Greeks were the Greek-speaking Eastern Romans of Orthodox Christianity throughout Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. They were the main inhabitants of the lands of the Byzantine Empire, of Constantinople and Asia Minor, the Greek islands, Cyprus, and portions of the southern Balkans, and formed large minorities, or pluralities, in the coastal urban centres of the Levant and northern Egypt. Throughout their history, the Byzantine Greeks self-identified as Romans, but are referred to as "Byzantine Greeks" in modern historiography. Latin speakers identified them simply as Greeks or with the term Romei.
Eber-Nari, also referred to as Transeuphratia by modern scholars, was a region of Western Asia and a satrapy of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, Neo-Babylonian Empire and Achaemenid Empire. The Akkadian Eber-Nari is referred to as Athura or Athuriya in Old Persian, and Aššur in the Elamite. The Targum Onkelos lists Nineveh, Calah, Reheboth, and Resen as being in the jurisdiction of Athura.
Autokratōr is a Greek epithet applied to an individual who is unrestrained by superiors. It has been applied to military commanders-in-chief as well as Roman and Byzantine emperors as the translation of the Latin title imperator. Its connection with Byzantine-style absolutism gave rise to the modern terms autocrat and autocracy. In modern Greek, it means "emperor", and its feminine form is autokrateira.
The kanikleios, more formally chartoularios tou kanikleiou or epi tou kanikleiou was one of the most senior offices in the Byzantine imperial chancery. Its holder was the keeper of the imperial inkstand, the kanikleion, which was shaped as a little dog and contained the scarlet ink with which the Byzantine emperor signed state documents. The office first appears in the 9th century, and was usually held in tandem with other government offices. In the Kletorologion of 899 it is ranked among the "special dignities", following the synkellos and preceding the protostrator. In the overall order of precedence, he ranked behind the chartoularios tou vestiariou and before the protostrator, and is recorded as usually holding the rank of protospatharios.
Nikephoros Choumnos was a Byzantine scholar and official of the early Palaiologan period, one of the most important figures in the flowering of arts and letters of the so-called "Palaiologan Renaissance". He is notable for his eleven-year tenure as chief minister of emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos, his intense intellectual rivalry with fellow scholar and official Theodore Metochites, and for building the monastery of the Theotokos Gorgoepēkoos in Constantinople.
The Matranga was an Albanian noble family during 13th and 15th centuries. Members of this family include local rulers, Byzantine officials and writers. After the occupation of Albania by the Ottoman Empire, part of the family emigrated to Italy and settled in the Arbëresh villages of Southern Italy, where they have continued to preserve the Albanian language.
The Bulgarian–Serbian wars of 917–924 were a series of conflicts fought between the Bulgarian Empire and the Principality of Serbia as a part of the greater Byzantine–Bulgarian war of 913–927. After the Byzantine army was annihilated by the Bulgarians in the battle of Achelous, the Byzantine diplomacy incited the Principality of Serbia to attack Bulgaria from the west. The Bulgarians dealt with that threat and replaced the Serbian prince with a protégé of their own. In the following years the two empires competed for control over Serbia. In 924 the Serbs rose again, ambushed and defeated a small Bulgarian army. That turn of events provoked a major retaliatory campaign that ended with the annexation of Serbia in the end of the same year.
King of the Universe, also interpreted as King of Everything, King of the Totality, King of All or King of the World, was a title of great prestige claiming world domination used by powerful monarchs in ancient Mesopotamia. The etymology of the title derives from the ancient Sumerian city of Kish, the original meaning being King of Kish. Although the equation of šar kiššatim as literally meaning "King of the Universe" was made during the Akkadian period, the title of "King of Kish" is older and was already seen as particularly prestigious, as the city of Kish was seen as having primacy over all other Mesopotamian cities. In Sumerian legend, Kish was the location where the kingship was lowered to from heaven after the legendary Flood.
Blasius Mataranga was an Albanian prince of the Matranga noble family.
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