Παρατηρήσεις σχετικά με την οικονομική διοίκηση του θέματος Βολερού, Στρυμόνος και Θεσσαλονίκης (11ος αι.)Part of : Βυζαντιακά ; No.30, 2012, pages 149-193
Observations regarding the fiscal administration of the theme of Boleron, Strymon and Thessalonike (11th century)
Αφιέρωμα στη Θεσσαλονίκη για τα 100 χρόνια από την απελευθέρωσή της
The purpose of this paper is to discuss some issues relating to the financial administration of the complex theme Boleron, Strymon and Thessalonike during the 11th century. More specifically, we examine the fiscal districts (di- oiceses) and sections (enories) formed within the triple theme, we investigate the combination of the office of the krites with the fiscal charge of anagrapheus (or of an equivalent one); finally we comment on officials of the central administration who operate in the economic region of the triple theme. Studying the abundant source material - seals, legal documents, judicial and fiscal documents, imperial documents (chrysobulls and pittakia), narrative texts and letters - we are able to draw certain conclusions:a) In the complex theme of Boleron, Strymon and Thessalonike the individual themes as fiscal districts are also called dioiceses. These districts compose temporary, even ephemeral, combinations, such as the dioicesis of Thessalonike and Serres, the dioicesis of Boleron, Strymon and Thessalonike (?) and the dioicesis of Boleron and Strymon. Among these compositions the last one seems to be more frequent and lasting.b) Due to the division of the wide administrative entity into fiscal districts (dioiceses) and their temporal and alternating connection, the themes-sections never lost their individuality. Thus, despite the fact that the complex theme existed for two centuries (early 11th-early 13th centuries), the agglomeration of the separate themes did not result in their amalgamation. c) The dioiceses comprised several enories, that is fiscal subdivisions. We can identify the enoria of Brya, of Hierissos (or Rebenikeia and Hierissos), of Ezeva, of Zavaltia and of Lykoschisma. Some administrative subdivisions of the themes, that is the archontia of Stephaniana and the banda of Peritheorion and of Mosynopolis, possibly constituted enories, as well. The same assumption can be made for the region of Kalamaria, which is inaptly called theme in an Athonite document.d) In the 11th century the supervision of the triple theme as a judicial as well as a fiscal administrative unit is assigned to the krites - whether him combining the commission of anagrapheus or not. However, we have identified six(or seven?) cases in which it is clear that the krites was also the anagrapheus of the theme. For another six kritai there are some indications which allow us to assume - although not without any reservations - that they served as anagrapheis as well. In any case, we cannot generalise and extend such a hypothesis for the remaining ten (or thirteen?) judges, for whom no fiscal office or duty is attested. On the other hand, we must bear in mind: i) that it was not uncommon for Byzantines (even for functionaries) to mention inaccurately or partly the title of an official - more often omitting the fiscal office, even in relation to fiscal or financial cases - and ii) that the 2/3 of the identified anagrapheis of Boleron, Strymon and Thessalonike are provincial judges. It is therefore likely that more kritai may have also been anagrapheis of the triple theme than those attested in the sources.e) The accumulation of the two offices seems to be more frequent from the mid-11th century on. It has already been noted that this phenomenon is related to the usual at that time practice of farming out taxes. This practice yielded considerable profits to the recipient of the right, while it served the government's effort to raise standard revenues. However, the combination of the judicial and the fiscal duties may also have facilitated the judicial system and, generally, it may have been conducive to a faster and more efficient administration in the complex theme. At any rate, it seems to prefigure the accumulation of all administrative responsibilities by the dux of Thessalonike from the early 12th century on.f) In addition to the anagrapheis of the theme, in the 10th century we notice the operation of central administration officials in the fiscal district of Boleron, Strymon and Thessalonike. We identified two megaloi chartularioi of the genikon logothesion, whose operation should probably be attributed to an imperial assignment to draw up a comprehensive register of state lands in Macedonia or in an even larger region.g) In the Athonite documents of the second half of the 11th century anagrapheis and chartularioi belonging to the arkla tes Dyseos of the genikon logothesion (or more concisely the genikon tes Dyseos) are also cited to operate in the theme of Boleron, Strymon and Thessalonike or in connection with it. The arkla tes Dyseos (= chest, archive of the West) was a section of the central fiscal service, concerned with a part of the Balkans not precisely determined. As scholars have already pointed out and we ascertained by studying relevant documents, at that time this region certainly included the theme of Boleron, Strymon and Thessalonike as well as the theme of Thrace and Macedonia. The anagrapheis of the West are attested to have been sent from Constantinople, so as to conduct a general census over a wide area. Thus, their presence in the triple theme is temporary. Accordingly, one should not exclude a simultane- ous appointment of an anagrapheus of Boleron, Strymon and Thessalonike, nor should one confuse the officials of the West with the thematic anagrapheis. As for the chartoularioi of the archive of the West, they are mainly attested providing taxpayers with isokodika, that is quasi property titles.h) In the early 12th century, we also observe a fiscal activity by officials of the central or the provincial administration, though they were not related in any way to the district of the triple theme; however, they enjoyed the absolute confidence of the emperor, who assigned them specific missions. i) Finally, on the basis of the abundant source material and taking into account conclusions and suggestions of the relevant modern studies, we have constructed two tables. The first one records the kritai who served in the theme of Boleron, Strymon and Thessalonike in the 11th century, whether some of them combined the fiscal office or not. The second list includes the attested anagrapheis or praktores of the complex theme. The tables show: i) that it would certainly be a feeble suggestion to generalise regarding the practice of com- bining the two offices in the theme, and ii) the phase in which this combination seems to be applied more often. The purpose of the catalogues is also to register new officials, not included in previous comprehensive lists. In some cases, we have also endeavoured to revise suggestions concerning the tenure of certain kritai and/or anagrapheis and to comment or even decline propositions regarding the identification of persons or their office.
Περιέχει παράρτημα και σημειώσεις