Alternate Byzantine Titles Project


– Hypatissa Anna Dokeianina Syrakousina, East Kingdom: Initial Research

– Centurion Ioannes Dalassenos, Kingdom of Ansteorra: Documentor Extraordinaire

– Nobilissima Konstantia Kaloethina, Kingdom of Calontir: Consulting Herald

–  Fru Margreþa la Fauvelle, East Kingdom: Greek Translator


This is an ongoing project that the three of us have started on. Please note that THIS HAS NOT YET BEEN APPROVED BY THE COLLEGE OF HERALDS. We are in the process of compiling the documentation and packet in order to do so. Please be patient while we make sure that the SCA has the best options ever.

The Eastern Roman Empire was known for its heavily bureaucratic nature and a variety of offices. After doing some research, we’ve discovered that the current list of Greek titles offered by the College of Heralds is insufficient should somebody be interested in a Byzantine persona. These are some alternate titles that may be better suited for the system of SCA nobility, mostly from the time period of Constantine Porphyrogennetos and his Book of Ceremonies, and they have been documented to at least the 9th through 12th Centuries. Due to the changing nature of the bureaucracy over time, it would be impossible to list all possibilities for every persona. We feel, however, that this list is an excellent compromise to allow for the Byzantine persona to bear a title that would have been used in period.

Title Greek Title Explanation
Lord Kyrios
Lady Kyria
Honorable Lord Kyriotatos Superlative form of Kyrios. Meaning “Best Born.” Versus “Well born.”
Honorable Lady Kyriatate
Court Baron Hypatos This was a title used originally as the Greek equivalent of the Latin “consul”, but later became an honorary title. Perfect for a court barony.
Court Baroness Hypatissa
Landed Baron Anthypatos Greek for “proconsul.” Elected governor of a province for a set term.
Landed Baroness Anthypatissa
Master Magister or Maistor Replacing Despotes as Master in the “Master of a Guild” sense or “Master Craftsman” isn’t Magistros or Magister, but Maistor, attested to as meaning “teacher” and expanded to the leader of a team of artisans, applied to Gerontios, a woodworker and ‘the best of his profession’ by Theodoret of Cyrrhus. They are referred to as having appprentices. The head of a guild is termed a protomaistor. John Koukouzeles is frequently cited as ‘the maistor’. Also used as Maistor ton rhetoron, “Master of the Rhetoricians” in the Patriarchal School in Constantinople. (ODB, p. 1269)
Mistress Magistrissa or Maistor (Same suffix for both genders) Maistor is gender neutral.
Sir Spatharios This is a term used for “sword bearer.” Any man could be a sword-bearer, but to be one directly for the Emperor was a high honor.
Dame (should they chose the feminine) Spatharea
Master/Mistress of Arms Spatharios/Spatharea
Viscount Katapano Literally a commander or governor of a frontier district.
Viscountess Katapan0 (same suffix for both genders)
Count Archiotes
Countess Archiotissa
Duke Doux Should be self-explanatory. A direct derivative of the Latin “Dux.” Meaning “duke.”
Duchess Douka
Heir to a principality Protosebastos This was a title that was given to close members of the emperor’s family, including the sons of the Sebastokrator. Even though heirs did not work that way in period, and certainly don’t work that way in the SCA, this is a viable option for those that wish to not go by an Irish title. (Tainists.)
Heiress to a principality Protosebastē
Territorial Prince Despotes This term was used to refer to the heir apparent during the later Middle Ages. Territorial rulers of principalities under a kingdom still must fall under the hierarchy of the Crown.
Territorial Princess Despotissa
Crown Prince (Heir to the Crown) Sebastokrator This is a title that basically meant “2nd to the Emperor”, and may have been reserved for the heir-apparent, especially if it was next of kin.
Crown Princess (Heiress to the Crown) Sebastokratissa
King Basileus
Queen Basilissa
Emperor Augoustos or Autokrator
Empress Autokratera

Bonus Terms:

Peers – Dynatoi

Head of Entourage – Parakoimomenos

Kingdom Seneschal – Megas Logothetes

Kingdom Treasurer – Sakellarios

Kingdom Earl Marshal – Archistrategos

Majordomo: Megas Domestikos

Mistress of the Robes (head retainer for Queen): Zoste Patrikia