Chapter 9. Court Society and Aristocracy

  1. John Haldon Professor
  1. Paul Magdalino Professor

Published Online: 12 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444305906.ch9

The Social History of Byzantium

The Social History of Byzantium

How to Cite

Magdalino, P. (2008) Court Society and Aristocracy, in The Social History of Byzantium (ed J. Haldon), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444305906.ch9

Editor Information

  1. History Department, Princeton University, USA

Author Information

  1. St Andrews University, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 12 MAR 2009
  2. Published Print: 28 NOV 2008

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405132404

Online ISBN: 9781444305906



  • court society and aristocracy;
  • imperial court - terms for court (Greek aulê – Latin aula) and palace (palation) were largely interchangeable;
  • emperor and his nuclear family, their household staff, the palace guards, and certain people who were kept in the palace more or less under duress;
  • Christmas dinner list of 899 - most generous estimate of court society appearing in Byzantine sources;
  • Attaleiates' social self-presentation - basic to understanding relationship between court and aristocracy in Byzantium;
  • court aristocracy, court and aristocracy;
  • eunuchs as domestic servants - featured large in Acheminid, Parthian, and Sassanian monarchies of Persia;
  • rank, title, and office;
  • family, kinship, and lineage;
  • wealth, income, and land


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Court Aristocracy, Court and Aristocracy

  • Rank, Title, and Office

  • Wealth, Income, and Land

  • Family, Kinship, and Lineage

  • Bibliography