The prōtoierakarios or prōtohierakarios (Greek: πρωτοϊερακάριος, "first falconer"), also prōthierakarios (πρωθιερακάριος), was a Byzantine court office and honorific title in the 13th–15th centuries.

History and functions [ edit ]

The office first appears in the 13th-century Empire of Nicaea, although it clearly had earlier antecedents.[1] Hunting was a particular passion of Byzantine emperors, and falconry in became increasingly popular among the upper classes from the 11th century on, judged from the references in literary sources and the appearance of manuals on falconry.[2] In the 14th century, Andronikos III Palaiologos (r. 1328–1341) is said to have maintained over a thousand hunting dogs and over a thousand falcons.[1]

In the Book of Offices written by pseudo-Kodinos in the middle of the 14th century, the post occupies the 48th place in the imperial hierarchy, between the logothetēs tou stratiōtikou and the logothetēs tōn agelōn.[3] The French scholar Rodolphe Guilland suggested that it was closely associated with the prōtokynēgos ("first huntsman"), who was in the 41st place, and that holders of the former office were promoted to the latter.[4] According to pseudo-Kodinos, his functions were to supervise the keepers of the falcons. As a sign of this he bore a left-hand gauntlet on his belt, decorated with gold braid and purple eagles. His uniform was otherwise typical of the mid-level courtiers: a gold-brocaded hat (skiadion), a plain silk kabbadion, and a skaranikon (domed hat) covered in golden and lemon-yellow silk and decorated with gold wire and images of the emperor in front and rear, respectively depicted enthroned and on horseback.[1][5] The office could be held by more than one persons at the same time.[6]

The lowly rank and obscure charge of the position means that its holders are not often attested in the sources.[1][6]

List of known prōtoierakarioi [ edit ]

Name Tenure Appointed by Notes Refs
Theodore Mouzalon 1254–1258 Theodore II Laskaris Eldest brother of the emperor's favourite, George Mouzalon, according to Pachymeres he was raised to the rank as a sign of favour to him and his brothers, who had been companions of Theodore II as children. George Akropolites and Nikephoros Gregoras on the other hand report that he was named prōtokynēgos, perhaps reflecting a later promotion. [6] [7] [8]
Constantine Chadenos c.  1274 Michael VIII Palaiologos Previously komēs tōn basilikōn hippōn, general comptroller (megas logariastēs), Eparch of Constantinople, and pansebastos sebastos. [9] [10]
Abrampax late 13th century Andronikos II Palaiologos Possibly a rendering of the Muslim name Ibrahim. [4] [11]
Basilikos c.  1300 Andronikos II Palaiologos Unknown first name. Addressee of poems by Manuel Philes, of Turkish origin, married to the prōtoierakaria Melane. Erroneously identified by Guilland with Demetrios Palaiologos (below). [4] [12]
[Leo] Bouzenos 13th or 14th century unknown Promoted to prōtokynēgos, known solely from his seal. [13] [14]
Demetrios Palaiologos first third of 14th century Andronikos II Palaiologos (?) Manuel Philes wrote a funerary oration for him. Uncle of the renegade Seljukid prince Demetrios Soultanos. [4] [15]
Sarantenos c.  1325–1328 Andronikos III Palaiologos Unknown first name. Landowner near Berroia, relative of the skouterios Theodore Sarantenos. [16]
John Synadenos before 1341 Andronikos III Palaiologos Garrison commander of Constantinople in 1328. He served as prōtoierakarios sometime before his death in May 1341. [4] [17]
Iagoupes c.  1344 John V Palaiologos Attested as prōtoierakarios at Thessalonica in 1344. [18]
Demetrios Komes c.  1344 John V Palaiologos Attested as prōtoierakarios at Thessalonica in 1344. [19]
Theodore Strongylos 1348 John VI Kantakouzenos Attested at Constantinople in 1348. [4] [20]

See also [ edit ]

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ a b c d Guilland 1967, p. 600.
  2. ^ ODB, "Hawking" (A. Karpozilos), pp. 903–904.
  3. ^ Verpeaux 1966, p. 138.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Guilland 1967, p. 601.
  5. ^ Verpeaux 1966, pp. 162, 184.
  6. ^ a b c ODB, "Protoierakarios" (A. Kazhdan), p. 1745.
  7. ^ Guilland 1967, pp. 600, 602.
  8. ^ Macrides 2007, pp. 339, 342–343 (note 16).
  9. ^ Guilland 1967, pp. 600–601.
  10. ^ PLP, 30346. Χαδηνὸς Κωνσταντῖνος.
  11. ^ PLP, 61. Ἀβράμπαξ.
  12. ^ PLP, 2454. Βασιλικός.
  13. ^ Guilland 1967, pp. 601, 602.
  14. ^ PLP, 3016. Bουζηνός.
  15. ^ PLP, 94378. Παλαιολόγος ∆ημήτριος.
  16. ^ PLP, 24896. Σαραντηνός.
  17. ^ PLP, 27123. Συναδηνὸς Ἰωάννης.
  18. ^ PLP, 92055. Ἰαγούπης.
  19. ^ PLP, 92402. Κόμης ∆ημήτριος.
  20. ^ PLP, 26952. Στρογγύλος Θεόδωρος.

Sources [ edit ]

  • Guilland, Rodolphe (1967). "Dignitaires des XIVe et XVe siècles". Recherches sur les institutions byzantines, Tome I (in French). Berlin: Akademie-Verlag. pp. 594–607. CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Kazhdan, Alexander, ed. (1991). The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-504652-8.
  • Macrides, Ruth (2007). George Akropolites: The History – Introduction, Translation and Commentary. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-921067-1. CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Trapp, Erich; Beyer, Hans-Veit; Walther, Rainer; Sturm-Schnabl, Katja; Kislinger, Ewald; Leontiadis, Ioannis; Kaplaneres, Sokrates (1976–1996). Prosopographisches Lexikon der Palaiologenzeit (in German). Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. ISBN 3-7001-3003-1.
  • Verpeaux, Jean, ed. (1966). Pseudo-Kodinos, Traité des Offices (in French). Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
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