The logothetes tou stratiotikou (Greek: λογοθέτης τοῦ στρατιωτικοῦ), rendered in English as the Logothete of the Military or Military Logothete, was a Byzantine imperial official in charge of the pay and provisioning of the Byzantine army. The office appears in the late 7th century and is mentioned until the 14th century.

History and functions

This duty was originally exercised by the praetorian prefecture, but the military chest (το στρατιωτικόν, to stratiotikon) was eventually detached and formed as a separate logothesion (department). The first attested logothetes tou stratiotikou was Julian, the "most glorious apo hypaton and patrikios" in 680.[1][2]

The exact sphere of duties of the Military Logothete is somewhat obscure. The only direct evidence as to his functions comes from the De Ceremoniis of Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos (r. 913–959), according to which he oversaw the imposition and exemption from taxes on the households of soldiers. It is also known that by the 11th century, he exercised some juridical functions.[2] Several scholars (notably Ernst Stein) have argued that the Military Logothete supervised military affairs in general, such as the levying of troops, the construction of fortifications and the overall military expenditure. This hypothesis, however, cannot be proved.[2]

Subordinate officials

The subordinates of the logothetes tou stratiotikou were:

List of known logothetai tou stratiotikou

Name Tenure Appointed by Notes Refs
Julian c. 680 Constantine IV Apo hypaton and patrikios, only known as an attendant of the Sixth Ecumenical Council. [5]
Eustathios probably 7th century unknown Known only from his lead seal of office. [6]
John c. 787–790 Irene of Athens A eunuch servant of Irene, he is mentioned as attending the Second Council of Nicaea, with the rank of imperial ostiarios and the office of "logothetes of the military logothesion". By c. 790 he was also sakellarios, and led an expedition to Italy in support of the former King of the Lombards Adelchis, who intended to recover his realm from Charlemagne. The expedition was defeated by the Franks, and John was captured and killed. [5]
John 8th/9th century unknown Known only from his lead seal of office. [6]
George c. 829–843 Theophilos Logothetes tou stratiotikou under Theophilos. [5]
Marinos c. 869 Basil I the Macedonian Patrikios and a senator, only known as an attendant of the Council of Constantinople in 869. [5]
Theodore Daphnopates before 959 Romanos II The patrikios Theodore Daphnopates, a "former logothetes tou stratiotikou" (ἀπὸ στρατιωτικῶν), was promoted by Romanos II to Eparch of Constantinople. [7]
Nicholas c. mid-11th century unknown Michael Psellos provided a funeral oration for him. [6]
Michael VI Bringas until 1056 Theodora A career army administrator of advanced years, Michael was raised by the palace eunuchs to the throne upon the death of Empress Theodora in 1056, and reigned until deposed in 1057. [5]
Paul unknown unknown Known only from his lead seals of office as protospatharios, epi tou Chrysotriklinou, judge of the Hippodrome, and stratiotikos logothetes. [6]
Michael 11th/12th century unknown Known only from his lead seals of office as patrikios, anthypatos, vestes and vestarches, and stratiotikos logothetes. [6]
Theodosios 12th century unknown Known only from his lead seals of office as hypatos, protospatharios and logothetes tou stratiotikou. [6]
Hyaleas (?) c. 1315/16 Andronikos II Palaiologos An inscription from 1316 mentions the pansebastos, logothetes tou stratiotikou, and kephale of Thessalonica "Hyalsou", in all likelihood a misspelling of the genitive "Hyaleou". Guilland suggests a possible identity with the megas adnoumiastes Alexios Hyaleas. [5][8]
Meliteniotes c. 1325 Andronikos II Palaiologos Mentioned in a legal document at Constantinople in 1325. [9]
Theodore Kabasilas c. 1327 Andronikos II Palaiologos A sebastos and former megas dioiketes. Eulogized by John Kantakouzenos as a man held in high esteem by both Andronikos II and Andronikos III, he tried to mediate between the two during the Byzantine civil war of 1321–1328. [5][10]

Rodolphe Guilland also lists some 6th-century officials, who served under Justinian I and were in charge of the army pay chest, as predecessors of the later office of logothetes tou stratiotikou: Alexander "Scissors", active in Greece and Italy in c. 540–541;[11][12] the patrikios and former praetorian prefect Archelaus, who accompanied Belisarius as his quartermaster in the Vandalic War;[11][13] and the senator Symmachus, who was sent to Africa as praetorian prefect and quartermaster for Germanus in 536–539.[6][14]


  1. ^ a b c Bury 1911, p. 90.
  2. ^ a b c ODB, "Logothetes tou stratiotikou" (A. Kazhdan), p. 1248.
  3. ^ ODB, "Legatarios" (A. Kazhdan), p. 1202.
  4. ^ a b c d Bury 1911, p. 91.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Guilland 1971, p. 30.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Guilland 1971, p. 31.
  7. ^ Guilland 1971, pp. 29–30.
  8. ^ PLP, 29465. Ὑαλέας.
  9. ^ PLP, 94143. Μελιτηνιώτης.
  10. ^ PLP, 10090. Καβάσιλας Θεόδωρος.
  11. ^ a b Guilland 1971, p. 29.
  12. ^ Martindale 1992, pp. 43–44.
  13. ^ Martindale 1980, pp. 133–134.
  14. ^ Martindale 1992, p. 1213.