Structures and Administration

John F. Haldon

in The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199252466
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

Structures and Administration

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During the Roman and Byzantine times, resources were organized using a hierarchy of administrative structures such as the praetorian prefecture. When Constantine assumed power, three major prefectures were in place: Oriens (stretching from Moesia and Thrace in the Balkans around to Upper Libya in Africa); Illyricum, Italy, and Africa; and the Gauls, including Britain and Tingitana in North Africa. The praetorian prefecture, subdivided into dioceses, was responsible for the major public taxes and for the administration of justice, the maintenance of the public post, the state weapons and arms factories, and provincial public works. Complementing the prefecture in managing fiscal resources were two other finance departments, that of the sacred largesses and the res privata, the administration and structure of which underwent changes during the course of the sixth century. The administrative structures of the Byzantine Empire changed drastically during the reign of Alexios I Komnenos, which set the pattern for the imperial government until its decline in 1453.

Keywords: Byzantine Empire; administrative structures; prefectures; finance departments; sacred largesses; res privata; administration; Alexios I Komnenos; taxes; justice

Article.  4088 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Middle Eastern Languages

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