World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Catapan

Article Id: WHEBN0004132685
Reproduction Date:

Title: Catapan  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Gilbert, Count of Gravina
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Catapan


The katepánō (Greek: κατεπάνω, lit. "[the one] placed at the top", or " the topmost") 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" (which derives from the Latin word "caput", meaning head). This hybridized term gave rise to the English language term captain and its equivalents in other languages (Capitan, Kapitan, Kapitän, El Capitan, Il Capitano, Kapudan Pasha etc.)

History

The katepáno first appears in the 9th century, when it was used in the generic sense of "the one in charge" by two officials: the head of the basilikoi anthrōpoi ("imperial men"), a class of low-level court functionaries, and the head of the Mardaites marine detachments of the Byzantine naval theme of the Cibyrrhaeots in southern Asia Minor.[1] In the wake of the great eastern conquests of the 960s, however, the title acquired a more specific meaning.

The newly acquired frontier zones were divided into smaller themata, and grouped together to form large regional commands, headed either by a doux ("duke") or a katepanō.[2] These were the ducates/katepanates[3] of Antioch, covering the south-eastern frontier in northern Syria, of Mesopotamia in the east around the Euphrates, and of Chaldia in the north-east.[4] During the reign of Emperor Basil II (r. 976-1025), the eastern border was further expanded, and the katepanate of Iberia was established in 1022.

In the West, the most famous katepanate, that of southern Italy, is attested in the Escorial Taktikon, a list of offices compiled circa 971-975, and after the successful conclusion of the Byzantine–Bulgarian Wars, a katepanō of Bulgaria is also attested.[4] A Serbian catepanate is also attested, which was known as the "katepano of Ras".[5]

With the catastrophic territorial losses suffered during the 11th century, the office disappears in the sense of the overall military commander, but is retained in a more local level: during the Komnenian and Palaiologan periods, the term katepanikion thus comes to denote low-level administrative areas, both in Asia Minor (including the Empire of Trebizond) and Europe.[1]

These were small subdivisions of the earlier themata, and consisted of little more than a fortified capital (the kastron) and its surrounding territory. In the Palaiologan era, the katepanikion was governed by a kephalē (Greek: κεφαλή, "head"), who had supreme civil and military authority within its bounds.[6] Like many other Byzantine institutions, the katepanikion as an administrative subdivision was also adopted in the Second Bulgarian Empire.

See also

References

Sources

Further reading

Template:Greek terms for country subdivisions

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.