Kleisoura (Byzantine district)

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In the Byzantine Empire, a kleisoura (Greek : κλεισούρα, "enclosure, defile") was a term traditionally applied to a fortified mountain pass and the military district protecting it. [1] By the late 7th century, it came to be applied to more extensive frontier districts, distinct from the larger themata , chiefly along the Empire's eastern border with the Caliphate along the line of the Taurus-Anti-Taurus mountains (in the West, only Strymon was in its early days termed a kleisoura). [1] A kleisoura or kleisourarchia was an autonomous command, under a kleisourarches (Greek: κλεισουράρχης). Eventually, most kleisourai were raised to full themata, and the term fell out of use after the 10th century (in late Byzantine times, droungos had a similar meaning). Its Islamic counterpart in Cilicia and Mesopotamia was the al-thughūr . [1]


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  1. 1 2 3 Kazhdan 1991 , p. 1132; Glykatzi-Ahrweiler 1960 , pp. 1–111.