• Byzantine political history from the late 3rd to the mid 15th century
o Emperors, admins, and bureaucrats
o Always an emperor in Byzantium, starting with Constantine I
o Augustus: Princeps "first citizen"
Diocletian and Constantine: dominus master, beyond princep
o Imperator commander
o Augustus majesty
o Autokrator master
Basileus great king (does stick, go back to autokrator)
o Emperor's office was sacred pontifex maximus
o Rise in notion and reality of centrality of imperial power
o Emperor as symbol of unity as only source of power and unity
o But idea wanes again as peripheries rise
o Idea of emperor still remains
o How did one become emperor?
• Acclamation people wanted someone to be emperor
• Nomination previous emperor says who he wants to be new emperor
• Dynastic succession
Emperor should be from line of the previous emperor
Brother to brother, father to son, grandfather to grandson, uncle
to nephew, etc.
Emperor is taken out (i.e. Romanos III who was drowned in his