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. 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). 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 .
The themes or thémata were the main military/administrative divisions of the middle Byzantine Empire. They were established in the mid-7th century in the aftermath of the Slavic invasion of the Balkans and Muslim conquests of parts of Byzantine territory, and replaced the earlier provincial system established by Diocletian and Constantine the Great. In their origin, the first themes were created from the areas of encampment of the field armies of the East Roman army, and their names corresponded to the military units that had existed in those areas. The theme system reached its apogee in the 9th and 10th centuries, as older themes were split up and the conquest of territory resulted in the creation of new ones. The original theme system underwent significant changes in the 11th and 12th centuries, but the term remained in use as a provincial and financial circumscription until the very end of the Empire.
The tagma is a military unit of battalion or regiment size, especially the elite regiments formed by Byzantine emperor Constantine V and comprising the central army of the Byzantine Empire in the 8th–11th centuries.
The logothetēs tou genikou, often called genikos logothetēs or simply ho genikos, and usually rendered in English as the General Logothete, was in charge of the "general financial ministry", the genikon logothesion of the middle Byzantine Empire.
The logothetēs toū stratiōtikou, rendered in English as the Logothete of the Military or Military Logothete, was a Byzantine imperial official in charge of the pay and provisioning of the Byzantine army. The office appears in the late 7th century and is mentioned until the 14th century.
Longobardia was a Byzantine term for the territories controlled by the Lombards in Italy. In the 9th-10th centuries, it was also the name of a Byzantine military-civilian province known as the Theme of Longobardia located in southeastern Italy.
Topotērētēs was a Byzantine technical term, meaning deputy or lieutenant. As such, it was used in different ways throughout the Empire's history. In the 9th-11th centuries, the topotērētēs was the deputy of senior military commanders of the themata, the tagmata and the Byzantine navy. The topotērētēs was usually placed in command of one half of the respective unit. In the early 12th century, topotērētai are found as commanders of small regions and fortresses, while in the late Palaiologan period, the term was used for representatives of the Patriarch of Constantinople in sees that now lay outside the Byzantine Empire's borders.
Charsianon was the name of a Byzantine fortress and the corresponding theme in the region of Cappadocia in central Anatolia.
The Akritai is a term used in the Byzantine Empire in the 9th–11th centuries to denote the army units guarding the Empire's eastern border, facing the Muslim states of the Middle East. Their exploits, embellished, inspired the Byzantine "national epic" of Digenes Akritas and the cycle of the Acritic songs.
A turma was a cavalry unit in the Roman army of the Republic and Empire. In the Byzantine Empire, it became applied to the larger, regiment-sized military-administrative divisions of a thema. The word is often translated as "squadron" but so is the term ala, a unit that was made up of several turmae.
The katepánō was a senior Byzantine military rank and office. The word was Latinized as capetanus/catepan, and its meaning seems to have merged with that of the Italian "capitaneus". This hybridized term gave rise to the English language term captain and its equivalents in other languages
In the late Byzantine Empire, the term kephale was used to denote local and provincial governors.
Droungos or drungus is a late Roman and Byzantine term for a battalion-sized military unit, and later for a local command guarding mountain districts. Its commander was a "droungarios" or "drungarius" (δρουγγάριος), anglicized as "Drungary".
The Gasmouloi or Vasmouloi were the descendants of mixed Byzantine Greek and "Latin" unions during the last centuries of the Byzantine Empire. As the Gasmouloi were enrolled as marines in the Byzantine navy by Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos, the term eventually lost its ethnic connotations and came to be applied generally to those owing a military service from the early 14th century on.
The Melingoi or Milingoi were a Slavic tribe that settled in the Peloponnese in southern Greece during the Middle Ages. In the early decades of the 7th century, Slavic tribes (Sclaveni) settled throughout the Balkans following the collapse of the Byzantine Empire's defense of the Danube frontier with some groups reaching as far south as the Peloponnese. The Sclaveni often settled in small groups and their demographic impact in mainland Greece was both weak and diffuse. Of these, two groups are known by name from later sources, the Melingoi and the Ezeritai, of whom the Melingoi settled on the western slopes of Mount Taygetos. The origin and etymology of the name Melingoi is unknown.
The allagion was a Byzantine military term designating a military unit. It first appeared in the mid-to-late 10th century, and by the 13th century had become the most frequent term used for the Byzantine army's standing regiments, persisting until the late 14th century.
The Theme of Samos was a Byzantine military-civilian province, located in the eastern Aegean Sea, established in the late 9th century. As one of the Byzantine Empire's three dedicated naval themes, it served chiefly to provide ships and troops for the Byzantine navy.
The Theme of the Aegean Sea was a Byzantine province in the northern Aegean Sea, established in the mid-9th century. As one of the Byzantine Empire's three dedicated naval themes, it served chiefly to provide ships and troops for the Byzantine navy, but also served as a civil administrative circumscription.
Neokastra was a Byzantine province (theme) of the 12th–13th centuries in north-western Asia Minor.
Toparchēs, anglicized as toparch, is a Greek term for a governor or ruler of a district and were later applied to the territory where the toparch exercised his authority. In Byzantine times came to be applied to independent or semi-independent rulers in the periphery of the Byzantine world.
Abydikos was a Byzantine official charged with overseeing maritime traffic.
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