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Byzantine fortifications and defensive system in the west Black Sea area

Author(s) : Kostova Rossina (4/15/2008)

For citation: Kostova Rossina, "Byzantine fortifications and defensive system in the west Black Sea area", 2008,
Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World, Black Sea
URL: <http://www.ehw.gr/l.aspx?id=10650>

Byzantine fortifications and defensive system in the west Black Sea area (1/15/2011 v.1) Βυζαντινές οχυρώσεις και δίκτυο άμυνας στα δυτικά παράλια του Εύξεινου Πόντου - has not been published yet 



Term that designates a governor in general. When it is not used in a technical sense, it denotes members of the aristocracy, high officers of the byzantine empire and it is even used for independent princes.

(lat., pl.: burgi) Roman watch-tower; small fortified site with lesser military functions.

(from "epano","above") Governor of a katepania. Title that from the end of the 10th century characterized the commanders of large provinces as Italy or Mesopotamia and from the 11th century, it was used also in the regions of Bulgaria, Antioch etc.

(and kleisouriarch) a Byzantine term denoting the commander of a kleisoura or a kleisarchy. These were military units responsible for the defence of mountain passes; the term is also used to desifnate an administrative unit smaller than the theme.

The latin noun limes (pl.: limites), meaning the boundary line or marker, usually denotes a fortified frontier or border defence system along the boundaries of the Roman Empire.

The Principate is the first period of the Roman Empire, beginning with the monocracy of Augustus (r. 27 BC - AD 14) and extending the 3rd century and the crisis that brought about the Tetrarchy of Diocletian. The Roman Emperors of the Principate strived to preserve the illusion of the formal continuance of the Roman Republic.

proteichisma (forewall)
The proteichisma or forewall was an outer wall, smaller than the actual wall curtain, which strengthened the fortifications in plain sites. The forewalls were designed especially against highly organized attackers, who could construct siege-ramps and bring big machines into action against the defences. Defences provided with proteichismata were constructed in the late Roman and Byzantine periods. The most impressive and best preserved example still standing is the land wall of Constantinople.

strategos ("general")
During the Roman period his duties were mainly political. Οffice of the Byzantine state´s provincial administration. At first the title was given to the military and political administrator of the themes, namely of the big geographic and administrative unities of the Byzantine empire. Gradually the title lost its power and, already in the 11th century, strategoi were turned to simple commanders of military units, responsible for the defence of a region.

lat. for the tower; fortified city.


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