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Georgios Sphrantzes or how to become an archon in Byzantium in the XV century

Author(s): Nikolić Maja

Journal: Zbornik Radova Vizantološkog Instituta
ISSN 0584-9888

Volume: 2010;
Issue: 47;
Start page: 277;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: Sphrantzes | archon | oikeios | oikos | ospition | aristocrat | ambassador | kephale

The historical work by Georgios Sphrantzes, his Memoirs, illustrates, through information on his life and career, the way in which a person could enter the higher social circles in XV century Byzantium. Usually, these persons were referred to in sources as "archons" and some of them as the emperor’s "oikeioi", which involved a specific kind of personal and close relationship with the ruler and, in this case, a dynasty. Furthermore, "Sphrantzes" work provides data on some late Byzantine phenomena, for instance, not only the imperial "oikos", but those of the emperor’s brothers as well, and indicates the existence of the same hierarchy in the "ospitia" of the despotai.
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