Aezanis, Temple of Zeus, 117-138 AD 
  
History/Medieval Studies 303
Early Medieval and Byzantine Civilization: Constantine to Crusades

Index 

Syllabus 

Readings: 
 Book List  
 Iconoclasm 
 Discussion Topics 

Chronologies: 
 Imperial Crisis 
 Later Roman Emperors, 306-395 
 Fall of Western Empire 
 Age of Justinian 
 Islamic Caliphs 
 Byzantine Dark Age 
 Triumph of Christianity 
 Macedonian Resurgence 
 Crusades 
 Restoration and Ottoman Advance 

Handouts: 
 Population 
 Finances under Justinian 
 Byzantium c.850A.D. 

Links 

MILITARY FORCES OF MIDDLE BYZANTINE STATE
 c. 850 A.D.

The imperial army in c. 850 consisted of some 120,00+ combatants, divided into (1) the mobile tagamatic forces (four elite regiments of cavalry), various garrison forces and the imperial bodyguard, and (2) the theme or provincial armies (consisting of cavalry and infantry).  Figures for the fleet are difficult to reckon; at least 350 dromons were available for immediate action from the imperial fleet stationed at the capital or in the naval themes. 

(a) Forces in Constantinople
 
Scholae 
Excubitores 
Vigiles (or Arithmoi) 
Hikanatoi 
Infantry Units 
Wall Garrison 

TOTAL:

4,000 
4,000 
4,000 
4,000 
6,000 
2,000 

24,000

(b) Theme Armies of Anatolia
 
Anatolikon 
Armeniakon 
Cappadocia 
Charsianon 
Cibyrrhaeot (marines) 
Thracesion 
Opsikion 
Optimaton 
Buccellarion 
Paphlagonia 
Chaldia 
Seleucia 

TOTAL:

15,000 
9,000 
4,000 
4,000 
2,000 
6,000 
6,000 
4,000 
8,000 
5,000 
4,000 
7,000 

72,000

(c) Theme Armies of Europe
 
Cephallonia 
Climata (Crimea) 
Dyrrachium 
Hellas 
Macedonia 
Peloponnesus 
Sicily (lost 878) 
Thessalonica 
Thrace 

TOTAL:

2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
5,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
5,000
24,000

REVENUES AND BUDGET OF MIDDLE BYZANTINE STATE
 
Revenues:   c. 775 A.D. c. 850 A.D.
Land & Head Taxes   1,600,000 solidi 2,900,000 solidi
Commerce & Other   200,000 solidi 400,000 solidi
       
Total Revenues   1,800,000 solidi 3,300,000 solidi
       
Expenditures:      
Payroll of Army 600,000 solidi 1,400,000 solidi
Other Mil. Costs   600,000 solidi 800,000 solidi
Bureaucracy   400,000 solidi 500,000 solidi
Imperial Largess 100,000 solidi 100,000 solidi
       
Total Expenditures   1,700,000 solidi 2,800,000 solidi
       
Surplus Revenue   100,000 solidi 500,000 solidi

Based on tax lists, the average total revenues of the Abbasid Caliphs Harun ar-Raschid (786-809) and al-Mamum (813-833) are estimated as the equivalent of 33,000,000 and 22,000,000 solidi respectively.  Much of this revenue, however was collected in kind, and it is unclear how much surplus hard cash was ever available after deductions for fixed expenditures. 

Byzantine figures adapted from W. Treadgold, Byzantine State Finances (New York, 1982), pp. 104-19.  For Abbassid revenues, see P. K. Hitti, A History of the Arabs (9th ed., New York, 1968), p. 321. 

 
Dr. Kenneth W. Harl 
Office: History 211 (504)862-8621 
Fax: (504) 862-8739 
Home: (504)866-5392 
 
 Tulane University
Last updated 03/19/98
by Annette Lindblom