Mesogeian Bureaucracy and aristocracy

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This article refers to the Mesogeian bureaucracy and aristocracy an incredibly complex and intricate system that has existed for thousands of years.

Imperial titles

These are the most prestigious titles, used exclusively by the Emperor, Empress, and members of the Imperial Family.

Titles used by the emperor

Titles used by the empress

  • Padishah Begum: Title reserved for the senior female member of the imperial court, denoting the First lady of the Empire. Often the wife, sister, aunt, but usually the mother of a reigning monarch
  • Basilometor (Βασιλόμετρο): Title often used interchangebaly by a dowager Empress or the mother of the reigning sovereign.
  • Basilissa (Βασιλίσσα): Title reserved for the Empress consort
  • Augusta (αὐγούστα): Title used, by the Empress consort, but often granted to high ranking female members of the Imperial family.
  • Begum Sahiba: Title meaning Great lady, denoting the senior most wife or consort of the monarch, second to the Empress consort.
  • Shahbanu: Title held by all secondary consorts of a reigning Emperor.
  • Banu/Begum: Title held by all imperial concubines

Titles used by the imperial family

  • Despot (δεσπότης): the title born by the heir-apparent
  • Despotissa (δεσπότισσα): title born by the wife of the heir
  • Shahbanu: Title awarded to secondary wives of the Emperor
  • Banu/Begum: title awarded to Imperial concubines
  • Megas Basilopoulos/Megas Basilopoula : literally Grand Prince/Princess, born by male-line descendants of a sovereign
  • Basilopoula Porphyrogenita : awarded to the eldest daughter of the sovereign
  • Porphyrogennetos/Porphyrogenitus/Porphyrogenita  : honorific born by all legitimate children of the emperor
  • Panhypersebastos: Awarded to the First Grandson/Son of the Despot
  • Protosebastohypertatos : title awarded to second born sons of the emperor
  • Sebastohypertatos: title awarded to third born sons of the emperor
  • Pansebastos: title awarded to fourth born sons of the emperor
  • Protosebastos: title awarded to fifth born sons of the emperor
  • Sebastokrator : title awarded to the Emperor's brother
  • Sebastos/Sebaste : honorific born by the grandchildren of the Emperor
  • 'Protonobelissimos/Protonobelissimus': First Prince of the Blood
  • Nobilissimus/Nobelissima : a rank born by all members of the extended imperial family that can trace their line back to a reigning sovereign. The Grand Princess Penelope, Duchess of Chalcedon is heiress to the Opsikion dynasty (the most senior prince of the blood) as Princess of Opsikion in her own right.
  • Basilopais/Basilopoula : the rank of prince, traditionally assumed by female-line descendants
  • Igemon/Igemonis : rank granted to the illegitimate children of sovereign, placing them somewhere between legitimate dynasts and the members of the nobility

Court titles

Titles for the "Bearded Ones"

  • Syntrophos/Syntrophoi: foster Brother
  • Somatophylakes: (seven closest companions of the Emperor
  • Protoi Philoi: First Companion/Friend of the first rank
  • Protoi kai Protimomenoi: First and Most Honoured Men
  • Timomenoi Philoi: Honoured Friends/Honourable Men
  • Philoi: Companion
  • Proedros President
  • Magistros: Master
  • Vestarches: Senior official of the Wardrobe
  • Vestes: High official of the wardrobe
  • Anthypatos: Proconsul
  • Patrikios: Patrician (Patrician of the empire)
  • Protospatharios: First Sword-beaers
  • Dishypatos: twice Consul
  • Spatharokandidatos:
  • Spartharios: Spatha-bearer
  • Hypatos: Consul
  • Strator: groom
  • Kandidatos: guards
  • Mandator: messengers/Courier
  • Vestetor: Attendants of the Imperial wardrobe
  • Silentiarios: Keepers of Order
  • Archontopoula: Noble Pages
  • Paidopoula: Pages

Titles for the eunuchs

  • Protoi Philoi: First Companion/Friend of the first rank, highest dignity afforded to eunuchs
  • Protoi kai Protimomenoi: First and Most Honoured Companion
  • Timomenoi Philoi: Honoured Friends/Honourable Companion
  • Philoi: Eunuch Companion in close attendance to the emperor
  • Proedros: Eunuch President, usually presiding over a corps of eunuchs, with varying functions
  • Vestarches: high-ranking eunuchs
  • Patrikios: Eunuch Patrician (Patrician of the empire)
  • Vestes: mid-rank
  • Praipositos: mid-rank
  • Protospatharios: First Eunuch sword-bearer, mid-rank
  • Primikerios mid-ranking eunuchs, low-rank
  • Ostiarios: eunuch door-keepers, low-rank
  • Spartharokoubikoularios: Sword Chamberlain, low-rank
  • Koubikoularios: Eunuch Chamberlain, low-rank
  • Nipsistiarios: Eunuch hand washers

Titles for women

In Mesogeian imperial hierarchy there are two distinct parallel rank structures for women in the imperial court, the first group consists of ladies attached to the Gynaikeion, that is women who were part of a emperor' harem either as concubines or women who had potential to be apart of it but were not officialy recognized as his consorts, while the second group, ladies serving at court are not apart of the harem structure.

Ladies attached to the Gynaikeion

  • Begum: Is the traditional title reserved for all imperial concubines, that women who had provided the emperor with a child. They were futher divided into four separate ranks
    • baş ikbal: Most fortunate lady of the first rank,
    • ikinci ikbal: fortunate lady of the second rank
    • üçüncü ikbal: fortunate lady of the third rank,
    • dördüncü ikbal: fortunate lady of the fourth rank
  • Gozde: The title given to an Imperial favorite, that is imperial women attached to the harem who had shared a bed with the Emperor
  • Cariye: Title reserved for Courtesans attached to the Imperial harem. These women were primarily involved in service to higher ranking harem. They rareily if ever shared the bed of an Emperor; and after 9 years without imperial favor they were removed from the Gynaikeion. Cariyes who had shared a bed with the Emperor were promoted to the rank (Gozde), Imperial favorite.
  • Odalık : Chambermaids serving the personal needs of the Emperor's wives and concubines, many never came in contact with the Emperor and therefore this role did not constitute a sexual nature. Extraordinarily beautiful women could be promoted through the ranks to concubine and beyond, while others would often be removed from the harem after 9 years of service if they had not found favor with the Emperor.

Court Ladies serving at Court

  • Zoste Patricia: Grand Mistress of the Imperial Court, responsible for all female courtiers, the empress' daily routine, the financial accounts, all necessary purchases, and the organization of the staff list.
  • Patricia Paidagogós: Governess of the Imperial Children
  • Kouropalatissa: First Lady of Honour, responsible for the Empress' travels, the furniture furnishing her apartments, and the Empress' private apartments. Having possession of the keys to Empress' personal chambers she granted access, and audiences to the empress.
  • Protovestiaria: Mistress of the Empress' wardrobe, having responsibility over the Empress' clothing and jewelry, and the supervision of her dressing and the female staff. She was responsible for the chemises, napkins, and lace belonging to the empress.
  • Koubikoularia: Ladies in waiting, divided into two groups
    • Koubikoularia tōn Gynaikōn: Ladies of the Chamber; married ladies-in-waiting, there are a total of twelve.
    • Koubikoularia tōn Oikeiakon: Women of the Court, unmarried ladies-in-waiting; typically sixteen.
  • Vestiaria: Maid of Honour, responsible for preparing the clothes, cosmetics, and wardrobe for the dressing and undressing of the empress, a ceremony supervised by the Protovestiaria.

Offices of the Imperial Court

  • Megas Kouropalates: Lord Steward of the Palace, charged with the day to day running of the court
  • Parakoimomenos tes sphendones: Lord Chamberlain of the seal
  • Parakoimomenos tou koitonos: Lord Chamberlain of the Bedchamber
  • Count of the Stable: Master of the Horse, deputy to the Grand Master of the stables
  • Protostrator: Imperial Squire, subordinate to the Count of the stable
  • Protokynegos: Grand Huntsman, master of the hunt
  • Grand Papias: Grand Concierge of the palace
  • Epi tes katastaseos: Master of ceremonies in the palace, charged with overseeing the palace eunuchs
  • Kastresios: responsible for the provisioning of the palace and the imperial table
  • Protovestiarios: Lord keeper of the Imperial wardrobe
  • Epi tes trepezes: Chief butler, master of the Imperial table
  • Pinkernes: Chief cupbearer
  • Atriklines: Lord Master of the Triklinion
  • Kanikleios: Lord Keeper of the Imperial Inkstand
  • Skouterios: Imperial Standard Bearer
  • Protoierakarios: The Chief Falconer A direct subordinate of the Master of the Hunt
  • Megas Archon Highest officer of the Emperor's rutine
  • Tatas tes aules Keepers of the court/ Responsible for the Households of various Imperials
  • Logariastes tes aules Accountant of the court,
  • Mystikos: Private secretary to the Emperor

Imperial Guards offices

  • Domestic of the Schools: Commander of the Scholai Palatinae
  • Domestic of the Excubitors: Commander of the Excubitores
  • Droungarios of the watch: Commander of the Vigla (Arithmos) Guard units
  • Domestic of the Hikanatoi: Commander of the Hikanatoi Guards
  • Prōtovestiaritēs: Commander of the Vestiaritai Guard
  • Grand Hetaeriarch: Commander of the Hetaireiarches Guards
  • Akolouthos: Commander of the Varangian Guard.
  • Domestic of the Noumeroi: Commander of the Noumeroi Guard, known as the Domestikos ton teichon.
  • Domestic of the Athanatoi: Commander of the Athanatoi Guards.

Political offices

Great Officers of the Empire

  • Grand Master: Megas Magistros or Imperial chancellor , administrative head of the Imperial Chancellery
  • Grand Domestic: Megas Domestikos, Senior officer of the army, chief of staff
  • Grand Koiastor: Chief Imperial Judge
  • Grand Provost: Megas Praipositos or Grand Chamberlain provost of the imperial chamber, head of the Imperial Court
  • Grand Logothete: Grand Logothete of the Empire
  • Count of the Imperial Treasury: kómes tōn theíon thesaurōn, Count of the Imperial Treasury, President of the Treasury board
  • Count of the Imperial Domain: kómēs tēs idikēs parousías, is responsible for administering the estates and properties of the Crown, known as the Imperial Domain, land at the disposal of the sovereign by right of their position. His subordinate administers the sovereign's personal properties not attacted to the Imperial Domain. It should be noted that the personal estate and properties of the Imperial family are in an all together seperate organization which is directly under the Imperial Family Trust, a personal property management agency.
  • Megas Doux: Grand Admiral of the navy, president of the navy board
  • Megas Stratopedarches: Grand Master of the Camp
  • Grand Primicerius: Grand Seneschal, senior Eunuch
  • Protostratotius: Grand Master of the Stables
  • Grand Constable: Head of the military household of the Imperial Court

Administrative offices

  • Praetorian Prefect:
  • Eparch of Alexandropolis: Urban prefect of the capital
  • Exarch:
  • Legatus Augusti:
  • Praeses:
  • Praetor:
  • Kephale:
  • Mystikos:
  • Symponos:
  • Kommerkiarios:
  • Orphanotrophos:
  • Megas adnoumiastes:

Cabinet Offices

  • Logothetes tou Barbarorum: Foreign minister
  • Logothetes ton Oikeiakon: Imperial court minister responsible for cultural affairs
  • Logothetes ton Sekreton: Home minister, responsible for the Interior
  • Logothetes tou genikou: financial minister
  • Logothetes tou stratiotikou: military minister
  • Logothetes ton agelon: agriculture minister
  • Logothetes ton dromou: public works minister
  • Logothetes tou praitoriou: Justice Minister
  • Logothetes tou eidikou/Epi tou eidikou: economy minister
  • Logothetes ton philosophon : education minister
  • Logothetes ton Hydaton: healthcare minister
  • Logothetes ton Koinoi: labour minister
  • Logothetes ton Parathalassites: Trade minister

Civil Service offices

  • Chartoularios: subaltern official responsible for day to day handling of the cabinet ministries
  • Protasekretis: First Secretary, senior most official subordinate to the Chartoularios in their respective ministries
  • Asekretis: Highest ranked secretaries
  • Referendarii: mid level secretaries
  • Notarii: lowest ranking secretary in the civil service

Judicial offices

  • Grand Quaestor: ceremonial head of the Kritai Katholikoi (Supreme Court)
  • Epi ton deeseon: head of the primary court of appeal
  • Epi ton kriseon: responsible for the provincial courts
  • Nomophylax: Deputy of the Epi ton kriseon, guardian of the laws
  • Dikaiodotes Responsible for the local courts, dispenser of laws.

Military offices

Army ranks

  • Stratarches: Field Marshal
  • Merarches: General
  • Stratelates: Lieutenant General
  • Strategos: Major General
  • Taxiarch: Brigadier General
  • Tourmarches: Colonel
  • Chiliarch: Lieutenant Colonel
  • Droungarios: Major
  • Katepano: Captain
  • Kentarch/Centurion: First Lieutenant
  • Pentekontarches: Second Lieutenant
  • Dekarchos: Warrant Officer
  • Pentarches: Sergeant
  • Tetrarches: Corporal
  • Tzaousios: Private