Moisi Golemi known as Moisi of Dibra, was an Albanian nobleman and a commander of the League of Lezhë. In 1443–44 he captured all Ottoman holdings in the area of Debar. For a brief period in the 1450s he joined the Ottomans, but soon abandoned them and returned to the League, he died in 1464, when he was executed publicly in Constantinople after being captured by the Ottoman army. In Albanian folk tradition, Golemi became a popular hero through the Song of Moisi Golemi. Born in the vicinity of modern Debar he was the only son of Muzakë Arianiti, son of Komnen Arianiti and brother of Gjergj Arianiti. In 1445 he was married to Zanfina Muzaka after her divorce with Muzakë Thopia, married to Skanderbeg's sister Maria, they had four daughters, two of which died at an early age. His firstborn son Çezar Arianiti had one daughter named Giovanna Comminata, who lived in Naples and was married to patrician Paulo Brancaccio, his second son Aranit Arianiti was married to Gjon Muzaka's sister and had only one daughter Helena, married to a Venetian commander.
One of this daughters, Despina was married to Stanisha II Kastrioti, son of Stanisha I Kastrioti and nephew of Skanderbeg, while his other daughter Helena was first married to Nikollë IV Dukagjini, son of Lekë Dukagjini. After his death she was married to Sinan bey Muzaka; when Skanderbeg came in Albania, Moisi allied with him and became commander of the border guard. Golemi was first distinguished in the battle of Torvioll in 1444, he oversaw the capture of the crucial castle of Svetigrad in modern-day Macedonia. After the debacle of the Siege of Berat, growing envious of the fame Skanderbeg had accumulated over the years, he betrayed his commander in chief and went over to the Ottomans. However, Albanian border troops did not follow him. Instead the command of border troops was passed to Dhimiter Berisha. One year he returned at the head of a fifteen thousand men-strong army, but was promptly defeated by Skanderbeg, he retreated first to Macedonia and to Constantinople, where he was left ignored by the Ottoman authorities.
Soon thereafter, he went back to Skanderbeg, who reinstated him. He got back the position of a commander of the Albanian border troops. Moisi devoted the rest of his life to the Albanian struggle, but in 1464 he fell prisoner to Ballaban Badera, an Albanian-born Ottoman sanjakbey of the Sanjak of Ohrid at the Battle of Vaikal. Dispatched hastily to Constantinople along with other Albanian princes and captains, he was skinned alive publicly, in Constantinople. Muzakë Arianiti's domains extended in areas of Mokër and Çermenikë. Gjon Muzaka mentions Librazhd, Qukës, Dorëz, Gur among others as parts of his personal demesne. Apart from the areas inherited by his father Golemi was acknowledged as lord of Dibra by Skanderbeg as he led the expedition against the Ottomans in that region. Golemi's son Aranit is mentioned in contemporary sources as the lord of a barony in Çermenikë. In Albanian folk tradition, Golemi became a popular hero through the Song of Moisi Golemi, an epic of the Arbëreshë in southern Italy.
Musa Kesedžija His given name is equivalent to Moses. Janus-Jacobus Boissard called him Moises Dibriota. Notes SourcesShuteriqi, Dhimitër. Zana Prela, ed. Aranitët: Historia-Gjenealogjia-Zotërimet. Toena. ISBN 978-99943-1-729-5. Buda, Aleks. Shkrime historike. Shtëpia Botuese "8 Nëntori". ISBN 9789992716519. Retrieved 8 September 2012. Media related to Moisi Arianit Golemi at Wikimedia Commons
Gjergj Arianiti or George Aryaniti was an Albanian lord who led several campaigns against the Ottoman Empire. He was the ally of Scanderbeg, as well as great uncle of Moisi Arianit Golemi. Gjergj Arianiti is enumerated in Albanian folk tellings. Gjergj Arianiti was Skanderbeg's ally within League of Lezhë only for a short period of time because he abandoned their alliance after the defeat in Berat in 1450. Robert Elsie emphasizes that Arianiti was Skanderbeg's rival who allied with the Kingdom of Naples in 1446, left his alliance with Skanderbeg by 1449 and allied with Venice in 1456, his name is most known in the Albanian form, Gjergj Arianiti, in English George Aryaniti or George Aryaniti. His full name in English is spelled George Aryaniti Thopia Comneni in Fan Noli's translated work, he calls himself "Komninovic" in a letter to the king of Naples. His name appears in Slavic form as "Golem Arianit Komnenovic", a 1452 document referring to him as "Golemi Arenit Comninovich de Albania"; the word golem is Slavic and means "large".
Another form of his surname, was used in a French document of the Charles VII era. His father was Komnen Arianiti. Gjergj was the oldest of three sons, his two brothers being Vladan, he married Maria Muzaka, from this he acquired a territory from Mallakastra to Vlorë. His territories reached northwards to Debar; the center of his dominions were located between Elbasan. Since 1423 he fell under Ottoman suzerainty and resided at the sultan's palace as hostage to secure loyalty of his tribesmen. In 1427 he returned to Albania; the Ottoman conquest of Albania brought Ottoman legal and economic systems into the country, threatening to destroy the feudal system and autonomy of the people. These reforms took away much of Gjergj's power; these drastic changes encouraged revolts against the Ottomans, of which Gjergj Arianiti was one of the main leaders. In the spring of 1432, after the first phase of the reforms ended, an Albanian revolt erupted which spread to much of Albania; the first revolts began in central Albania when Andrea Thopia revolted against Ottoman rule and defeated a small Ottoman unit in the mountains of central Albania.
His victory inspired other chieftains to revolt Arianiti. Gjergj was at first apprehensive, but saw an opportunity to save the dominions left to him by his father. Upon hearing of the rebellions, many political enemies of Gjergj, who had become sipahi returned from Edirne to Albania. Upon reaching Albania, Gjergj banished them, he was to lead the armed rebellion, started by the peasants. Durrës, the Tirana region, Nicholas Dukagjini in the north joined the revolt. Although Skanderbeg was summoned home by his relatives when Gjergj Arianiti and other chiefs from the region between Vlorë and Shkodër had organized the rebellion, Skanderbeg did nothing, remaining loyal to the Sultan; the Porte responded by sending an army of fresh troops in Albania under experienced commanders. Dagno in northern Albania fell. After a strong counterattack by Arianiti, the Ottomans were soon defeated; this victory strengthened the revolt in southern Albania in Kurvelesh. Murad II headed for Albania and chose to camp at Serez in Macedonia, from where he sent out a force of 10,000 into Albania under Ali Beg.
The army of Ali Beg, in the winter of 1432–33, went through the tight valleys of the Shkumbin. Arianiti observed and maneuvered against the Ottomans while encouraging his men leading to an Ottoman rout; this victory further strengthened the Albanian cause and gave hope to the Europeans who feared a major Ottoman invasion. The Byzantine chronicler, wrote: "In this battle, Arianit Komneni won a glorious victory." Arianit used the classic tactic of "Pulling the enemy in, preparing the trap and striking suddenly." Arianiti destroyed a second army sent by Ali Beg, leaving hundreds dead in the valleys of Kuç all the way to Borsh. The failure of the second Ottoman expedition became known throughout Europe, used to hearing about Christian defeats in the East; the joyful states of Europe - Pope Eugene IV, Alfonso V, Emperor Sigsimund and Ragusa - promised aid. In his third battle, in order to recapture Vlorë and Kanina, Arianiti used numbers and his tactics. Arianiti was known as the "protector of freedom" throughout the European kingdoms.
During the Ottoman campaigns of 1435 and 1436 Ali Beg, together with Turakhan Beg, effected a partial submission of the Albanians led by George Arianiti. In August 1443 Arianiti again rebelled against Ottomans urged by pope Eugene IV or instigated by the news of defeat of Sihàb ed-Dîn Pasa. During the fall of 1443 and the winter of 1444 he led an army deep into Macedonia. During the same time, the Ottomans were routed at Niš and Skanderbeg deserted the Ottoman army and began another rebellion. Skanderbeg allied with Gjergj Arianit and some other nobles from Albania and Zeta through the League of Lezhë. At the beginning of 1449, Skanderbeg and Arianiti approached the Venetians requesting their protection from the Ottomans. Venice opted for neutral approach, not to jeopardize peace with Ottomans, refused their request. By 1449 Gjergj Arianiti left his alliance with Skanderbeg; when Krujë was besieged by the Ottomans, the sixty-seven-year-old Gjergj Arianiti joined the battle and fought fiercely.
Along with 3,000 warriors, he joined the anti-Venetian force which defeated the Venetian army at
Komnenos, Latinized Comnenus, plural Komnenoi or Comneni, is a noble family who ruled the Byzantine Empire from 1081 to 1185, as the Grand Komnenoi founded and ruled the Empire of Trebizond. Through intermarriages with other noble families, notably the Doukai and Palaiologoi, the Komnenos name appears among most of the major noble houses of the late Byzantine world. Michael Psellos reports that the family originated from the village of Komne in Thrace—usually identified with the "Fields of Komnene" mentioned in the 14th century by John Kantakouzenos—a view accepted by modern scholarship; the first known member of the family, Manuel Erotikos Komnenos, acquired extensive estates at Kastamon in Paphlagonia, which became the stronghold of the family in the 11th century. The family thereby became associated with the powerful and prestigious military aristocracy of Asia Minor, so that despite its Thracian origins it came to be considered "eastern"; the 17th-century scholar Du Cange suggested that the family descended from a Roman noble family that followed Constantine the Great to Constantinople, but although such mythical genealogies were common—and are indeed attested for the related Doukas clan—the complete absence of any such assertion in the Byzantine sources argues against Du Cange's view.
The Romanian historian George Murnu suggested in 1924 that the Komnenoi were of Aromanian descent, but this view too is now rejected. Modern scholars consider the family to have been of Greek origin. Manuel Erotikos Komnenos was the father of Isaac I Komnenos and grandfather, through Isaac's younger brother John Komnenos, of Alexios I Komnenos. Isaac I Komnenos, a Stratopedarch of the East under Michael VI, founded the Komnenos dynasty of Byzantine emperors. In 1057 Isaac was proclaimed emperor. Although his reign lasted only till 1059, when his courtiers pressured him to abdicate and become a monk, Isaac initiated many useful reforms; the dynasty returned to the throne with the accession of Alexios I Komnenos, Isaac I's nephew, in 1081. By this time, descendants of all the previous dynasties of Byzantium seem to have disappeared from the realm, such as the important Scleros and Argyros families. Descendants of those emperors lived abroad, having married into the royal families of Georgia, France, Italy, Poland, Bulgaria and Serbia.
Upon their rise to the throne, the Komnenoi became intermarried with the previous Doukas dynasty: Alexios I married Irene Doukaina, the grandniece of Constantine X Doukas, who had succeeded Isaac I in 1059. Thereafter the combined clan was referred as "Komnenodoukai" and several individuals used both surnames together. Several families descended from the Komnenodoukai, such as Palaiologos, Angelos and Laskaris. Alexios and Irene's youngest daughter Theodora ensured the future success of the Angelos family by marrying into it: Theodora's grandsons became the emperors Isaac II Angelos and Alexios III Angelos. Under Alexios I and his successors the Empire was prosperous and stable. Alexios moved the imperial palace to the Blachernae section of Constantinople. Much of Anatolia was recovered from the Seljuk Turks, who had captured it just prior to Alexios' reign. Alexios saw the First Crusade pass through Byzantine territory, leading to the establishment of the Crusader states in the east; the Komnenos dynasty was much involved in crusader affairs, intermarried with the reigning families of the Principality of Antioch and the Kingdom of Jerusalem - Theodora Komnene, niece of Manuel I Komnenos, married Baldwin III of Jerusalem, Maria, grandniece of Manuel, married Amalric I of Jerusalem.
Remarkably, Alexios ruled for 37 years, his son John II ruled for 25, after uncovering a conspiracy against him by his sister, the chronicler Anna Komnene. John's son Manuel ruled for another 37 years; the Komnenos dynasty produced a number of branches. As imperial succession was not in a determined order but rather depended on personal power and the wishes of one's predecessor, within a few generations several relatives were able to present themselves as claimants. After Manuel I's reign the Komnenos dynasty fell into conspiracies and plots like many of its predecessors; the Angeloi were overthrown during the Fourth Crusade in 1204, by Alexios Doukas, a relative from the Doukas family. Several weeks before the occupation of Constantinople by crusaders in 1204, one branch of the Komnenoi fled back to their homelands in Paphlagonia, along the eastern Black Sea and its hinterland in the Pontic Alps, where they established the Empire of Trebizond, their first'emperor', named Alexios I, was the grandson of Emperor Andronikos I.
These emperors – the "Grand Komnenoi" as they were known – ruled in Trebizond for over 250 years, until 1461, when David Komnenos was defeated and executed by the Ottoman sultan Mehmed II. Mehmed himself claimed descent from the Komnenos family via John Tzelepes Komnenos; the Trapezutine branch of the Komnenos dynasty held the name of Axouchos as descendants of John Axouch, a Byzantine nobleman and minister to the
The Shkumbin commonly Shkembi, is a river in Southern and Southeastern Europe. It is 181 km long and its drainage basin is 2,444 km2, its average discharge is 61.5 m3/s. The river originates in the eastern Valamara Mountains between Maja e Valamarës and Gur i Topit in Southeastern Albania. After descending from the Valamara's, it flows northwards through Proptisht and Qukës with many deep gorges and canyons and passes the Gora Mountains. A significant inflow comes from Gur i Kamjës southwest of Pogradec. Over the course, it flows inside a syncline between the Mokra and Shebenik Mountains in the east and the Polis Mountains in the west. Close to Librazhd the river joins the Rapun stream. At the end the river cross the Myzeqe Plain and forms a small delta in Karavasta Lagoon, the direct proximity of the Adriatic Sea; the river is considered to be the dividing line between the Tosk and Gheg dialects. Furthermore, the ancient Via Egnatia followed the river, giving the river the role of a strategically important corridor between orient and occident.
On various historical periods it was considered the northernmost natural boundary of Epirus, while during the 5th and 6th centuries it was the cultural border between the Illyrian and the Greek world. Geography of Albania Central Mountain Range Rivers of Albania
George Castriot, known as Skanderbeg, was an Albanian nobleman and military commander who led a rebellion against the Ottoman Empire in what is today Albania and North Macedonia. A member of the noble Castriot family, he was sent to the Ottoman court as part of the Devshirme, where he was educated and entered the service of the Ottoman sultan for the next twenty years, he rose through the ranks, culminating in the appointment as sanjakbey of the Sanjak of Dibra in 1440. In 1443, he deserted the Ottomans during the Battle of Niš and became the ruler of Krujë, Modrič. In 1444, he was appointed the chief commander of the short-lived League of Lezhë that consolidated nobility throughout what is today Northern Albania. Thus, for the first time Albania was united under a single leader. Skanderbeg's rebellion was not a general uprising of Albanians, because he did not gain support in the Venetian-controlled north or in the Ottoman-controlled south, his followers included, apart from Albanians Slavs and Greeks.
Despite this military valor he was not able to do more than to hold his own possessions within the small area in nowadays northern Albania where all of his victories against the Ottomans took place. His rebellion was a national rebellion; the resistance led by him brought Albanians of different regions and dialects together in a common cause, helping define the ethnic identity of the Albanians. Skanderbeg's military skills presented a major obstacle to Ottoman expansion, he was considered by many in western Europe to be a model of Christian resistance against Muslims. For 25 years, from 1443 to 1468, Skanderbeg's 10,000 man army marched through Ottoman territory winning against larger and better supplied Ottoman forces, for which he was admired. Skanderbeg always signed himself in Latin: Dominus Albaniae, claimed no other titles but that in documents. In 1451, he recognized de jure the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Naples over Albania through the Treaty of Gaeta, to ensure a protective alliance, although he remained a de facto independent ruler.
In 1460–61, he participated in Italy's civil wars in support of Ferdinand I of Naples. In 1463, he became the chief commander of the crusading forces of Pope Pius II, but the Pope died while the armies were still gathering. Together with Venetians he fought against the Ottomans during the Ottoman–Venetian War until his death in January 1468, he ranks high in that military history, as the most persistent opponent of the Ottoman Empire in its heyday, ever-victorious. The original, Latin form of the surname, Castrioti, is rendered in modern Albanian historiography as Kastrioti. In correspondence with Slavic regions, Đurađ and Đorđe are used for his first name. In 1450 his full name was written in Old Slavic Cyrillic as Đurađ Kastriot. Gjergj is the Albanian equivalent of the name George. Charles du Fresne, writing in Latin, used Georgius Castriotus Scanderbegus in his work. C. C. Moore in his biographical work on Skanderbeg used Castriot; the surname is derived from the Latin castrum via the Greek word κάστρο.
According to Fan Noli, the surname is a toponym, of Kastriot in modern northeastern Albania. The Ottoman Turks gave him the name اسکندر بگ İskender bey or İskender beğ, meaning "Lord Alexander", or "Leader Alexander", rendered as Scanderbeg or Skanderbeg in the English versions of his biographies, Skënderbeu is the Albanian version. In the 1450 letter in Slavic and Cyrillic sent to Ragusa by Skanderbeg, he was signed as "Скедерь бегь", in 1459 as "Скендьрь бегь". Latinized in Barleti's version as Scanderbegi and translated into English as Skanderbeg, the combined appellative is assumed to have been a comparison of Skanderbeg's military skill to that of Alexander the Great. In 1463, his name was written in Latin as Zorzi Castrioti. There have been many theories on the place. One of the main Skanderbeg biographers, Frashëri, among other, interpreted Gjon Muzaka's book of genealogies, sources of Raffaele Maffei, the Ottoman defter of 1467, placed the birth of Skanderbeg in the small village of Sinë, one of the two villages owned by his grandfather Paul Castriot.
Fan Noli's placement of the year of birth in 1405 is now agreed upon, after earlier disagreements, lack of birth documents for him and his siblings. His father John Castriot held a territory between Lezhë and Prizren that included Mat, Mirditë and Dibër in north-central Albania, his mother was Voisava. The most common view holds that she was a Slavic princess from the Polog region, interpreted as her being a possible member of the Serbian Branković family or a local Bulgarian noble family. Skanderbeg had three older brothers, Stanisha and Constantine, five sisters, Jelena, Angelina and Mamica. According to the geopolitical contexts of the time, John Castriot changed allegiances and religions when allied to Venice as a Catholic and Serbia as an Orthodox Christian. John Castriot became a vassal of the Sultan since the end of the 14th century, and, as a consequence, paid tribute and provided military services to the Ottomans. In 1409, he sent Stanisha, to be the Sultan's hostage. According to Marin Barleti, a primary source and his three older brothers, Reposh and Stanisha, were taken by the Sultan to his court as hostages.
However, according to do
Basil II, nicknamed the Bulgar Slayer, was a Byzantine Emperor from the Macedonian dynasty whose effective reign—the longest of any Byzantine monarch—lasted from 10 January 976 to 15 December 1025. He had been associated with the throne since 960 as a junior colleague to a succession of senior emperors: his father Romanos II, his step-father Nikephoros II Phokas, John I Tzimiskes. In addition to these emperors, Basil's influential great-uncle Basil Lekapenos held power for several decades until he was overthrown in 985. From 962, Basil II's brother Constantine, who succeeded him as Constantine VIII, was nominal co-emperor; the early years of Basil's reign were dominated by civil wars against two powerful generals from the Anatolian aristocracy. Basil oversaw the stabilization and expansion of the eastern frontier of the Byzantine Empire and the complete subjugation of the First Bulgarian Empire, its foremost European foe, after a prolonged struggle. Although the Byzantine Empire had made a truce with the Fatimid Caliphate in 987–988, Basil led a campaign against the Caliphate that ended with another truce in 1000.
He conducted a campaign against the Khazar Khaganate that gained the Byzantine Empire part of Crimea and a series of successful campaigns against the Kingdom of Georgia. Despite near-constant warfare, Basil distinguished himself as an administrator, reducing the power of the great land-owning families who dominated the Empire's administration and military and filling its treasury, he left the Empire with its greatest expanse in four centuries. Although his successors were incapable rulers, the Empire flourished for decades after Basil's death. One of the most important decisions taken during his reign was to offer the hand of his sister Anna Porphyrogenita to Vladimir I of Kiev in exchange for military support, thus forming the Byzantine military unit known as the Varangian Guard; the marriage of Anna and Vladimir led to the Christianization of the Kievan Rus' and the incorporation of successor nations of Kievan Rus' within the Byzantine cultural and religious tradition. Basil is seen as a Greek national hero but as a despised figure among Bulgarians.
The courtier and historian Michael Psellos, born towards the end of Basil's reign, gives a description of Basil in his Chronographia. Psellos describes him as a stocky man of shorter-than-average stature, an impressive figure on horseback, he had light-blue eyes arched eyebrows, luxuriant sidewhiskers—which he had a habit of rolling between his fingers when deep in thought or angry—and in life a scant beard. Psellos states that Basil was not an articulate speaker and had a loud laugh that convulsed his whole frame. Basil is described as having ascetic tastes and caring little for the pomp and ceremony of the Imperial court wearing a sombre, dark-purple robe furnished with few of the gems that decorated imperial costumes, he is described as a capable administrator who left a well-stocked treasury upon his death. Basil despised literary culture and affected scorn for the learned classes of Byzantium. According to the 19th century historian George Finlay, Basil saw himself as "prudent and devout.
For Greek learning he cared little, he was a type of the higher Byzantine moral character, which retained far more of its Roman than its Greek origin". The modern historian John Julius Norwich wrote of Basil, and it is hardly surprising: Basil was ugly, coarse, boorish and pathologically mean. He was in short un-Byzantine, he cared only for the greatness of his Empire. No wonder that in his hands it reached its apogee". Basil II was born c. 958. He was a porphyrogennetos, as were his father Romanos II and his paternal grandfather Constantine VII. Basil was the eldest son of Romanos and his Laconian Greek second wife Theophano, the daughter of a poor tavern-keeper named Krateros and may have originated from the city of Sparta, he may have had an elder sister named Helena. Romanos succeeded Constantine VII as sole emperor upon the latter's death in 959. Basil's father crowned him as co-emperor on 22 April 960, his brother Constantine in 962 or 963. Only two days after the birth of his youngest child Anna, Romanos II died on 15 March 963 at 24 years of age.
His unexpected death was thought at the time to be the result of poisoning with hemlock. Basil and Constantine were too young to rule in their own right when Romanos died in 963. Therefore, although the Byzantine Senate confirmed them as emperors with their mother as the nominal regent, de facto power passed for the time into the hands of the parakoimomenos Joseph Bringas. Theophano did not trust Bringas and another enemy of the powerful parakoimomenos was Basil Lekapenos, an illegitimate, eunuch son of Emperor Romanos I – Basil's great-grandfather. Lekapenos himself had been parakoimomenos to Constantine VII and megas baioulos to Romanos II, yet another enemy of Bringas was the successful and popular gene
Sebastos was an honorific used by the ancient Greeks to render the Roman imperial title of Augustus. The female form of the title was sebastē. From the late 11th century on, during the Komnenian period, it and variants derived from it, like sebastokrator, protosebastos and sebastohypertatos, formed the basis of a new system of court titles for the Byzantine Empire; the term appears in the Hellenistic East as an honorific for the Roman emperors from the 1st century onwards, being a translation of the Latin Augustus. For example, the Temple of the Sebastoi in Ephesus is dedicated to the Flavian dynasty; this association was carried over to the naming of cities in honor of the Roman emperors, such as Sebaste and Sebastopolis. The epithet was revived in the mid-11th century—in the feminine form sebaste—by Emperor Constantine IX Monomachos for his mistress Maria Skleraina, to whom he accorded quasi-imperial honours. A number of individuals were qualified as sebastoi thereafter, such as Constantine Keroularios, or Isaac Komnenos and his brother, the future emperor Alexios I Komnenos.
When the latter assumed the Byzantine throne in 1081, he set about to reorganize the old system of court dignities, with sebastos as the basis for a new set of titles—sebastokrator and protosebastos, sebastohypertatos and protosebastohypertatos—which signalled the closeness of their holders' familial relationship to the emperor, either by blood or by marriage. This process profoundly transformed the nature of Byzantine aristocracy, with the imposition of an entire class of imperial relatives and associates superimposed on the "traditional" administrative system and the higher officialdom that constituted the Senate. I the words of historian Paul Magdalino, this move further isolated the imperial family from the common people and made them "partners in, rather than executives of, imperial authority". In this context, the scholar L. Stiernon calculated that in the period from the late 11th to the end of the 12th century, 30% of all sebastoi belonged to the ruling Komnenos family, 20% to the allied Doukai, another 20% to other families of the high aristocracy who intermarried with the Komnenoi, the remaining 10% encompassing both Byzantines as well as foreigners who either intermarried with the imperial family or received the title as an honorific distinction.
The sebastoi formed the basis of this new familial aristocracy, with sons of a sebastokrator, a panhypersebastos, or a sebastos being sebastoi themselves. The sebastoi were further divided in two groups: the sebastoi gambroi; the latter were members of various aristocratic families tied to the emperor via marriage to his female relatives. The sebastoi gambroi thus formed the upper layer of the sebastoi class, but should not be confused with the imperial gambroi, the actual sons-in-law of the emperor, who were higher in the hierarchy, ranking above the cousins and nephews and just below the sebastokratores; the forms pansebastos, pansebastos sebastos are found in seals and correspondence of the period, but they are rhetorical augmentations of the original title sebastos, do not, as was believed by earlier scholars like Gustave Schlumberger, represent distinct and superior ranks. It is notable that among Byzantine sebastoi, their precedence was not determined by the offices they might bear, but by the degree of their kinship to the emperor.
The title was conferred to foreign rulers, spread to neighboring, Byzantine-influenced states, like Bulgaria, where a sebastos was the head of an administrative district, Serbia, where the title was employed for various officials. In Byzantium itself, the title lost its pre-eminence in the late 12th century, in the following centuries the sebastos was a title reserved for commanders of ethnic units. By the time pseudo-Kodinos wrote his Book of Offices, shortly after the middle of the 14th century, the sebastos occupied one of the lowest rungs in the imperial hierarchy, coming 78th between the droungarios and the myrtaïtes, his court dress was a white skiadion with embroideries, a long kabbadion of "commonly used silk", a skaranikon covered in red velvet and topped by a small red tassel. He bore no staff of office. Earlier lists of offices, such as the appendix to the Hexabiblos, give different ranks, placing him above the governor of a fortress and of the droungarios, after the megas myrtaïtes.
Kazhdan, Alexander, ed.. The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-504652-8. Magdalino, Paul; the Empire of Manuel I Komnenos, 1143–1180. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-52653-1. Stiernon, Lucien. "Notes de titulature et de prosopographie byzantines: Sébaste et gambros". Revue des études byzantines. 23: 222–243. Doi:10.3406/rebyz.1965.1349. Verpeaux, Jean, ed.. Pseudo-Kodinos, Traité des Offices. Paris: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. Maksimović, L.. "Sevasti u srednjovekovnoj Srbiji". Zbornik radova Vizantološkog instituta. 32: 137–147