This is one of several translated excerpts from Byzantine sources prepared and mounted by Paul Stephenson.

CONSTANTINE PORPHYROGENITUS, DE CERIMONIIS AULAE BYZANTINAE, II, 48

(ed. Reiske, pp. 686-92)

A Diplomatic Stylesheet: Protocols and Forms of Address for Foreign Potentates, II

(continued from)

c. 48 (ed. Reiske, pp. 686-92)

The protocols for letters written to foreigners (ethnikoi)

To the Pope of Rome (eis ton papan Romes). A one-solidus gold bull [seal]. "In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, our one and sole God. [Name] and [Name], Emperors of the Romans, faithful to God, to [Name] most holy Pope of Rome and our spiritual father (pneumatikon patera)." In similar terms to the Pope of Alexandria, except one does not write spiritual father. Similarly to the Patriarch of Antioch and the Patriarch of Jerusalem one does not write spiritual father, and the golden bulls are [worth] three solidi.

To the First Counsellor (protosymboulon) of the Emir of the Faithful (Amermoumnes). A four-solidus gold bull. "To the most magnificent (megaloprepestatos) and most noble (eugenestatos) and distinguished (peribleptos) [Name] First Counsellor and Guide of the Agarenes, from [Name] and [Name] faithful Autocrats, Augusti (autokratores augoustoi) and Great Emperors (basileis) of the Romans. [Name] and [Name] whose faith is in Christ the Lord, Autocrats, Augusti (autokratores augoustoi) and Great Emperors (basileis) of the Romans to the most magnificent, most noble and distinguished [Name] First Counsellor and Guide of the Agarenes."

To the Prince of Princes (archon ton archonton) of Great Armenia. A three-solidus gold bull. "Constantine and Romanos, whose faith is in Christ the Lord, Autocrats, Augusti and Great Emperors of the Romans to [Name] most renowned ruler (periphanestatos protos) of Great Armenia and our spiritual son."

To the Prince (archon) of Aspurakan, or Vaspurakan, who is now honoured as Prince of Princes. A three-solidus gold bull. "Constantine and Romanos, whose faith is in Christ the Lord, Autocrats, Augusti and Great Emperors of the Romans to [Name] most renowned Prince of Princes."

To the Prince (archon) of of Kokovit, Armenia; to the Prince of Taron, Armenia; to the Prince of Moex, Armenia; to the Prince of Auzan, Armenia; to the Prince of Syne, Armenia; to the Prince of Vaitzor, Armenia; to the Prince of Chatziene, Armenia; to the three Princes of the Servotioi, who are called black boys (maura paidia). Protocol to all the aforementioned. "Command from the Christ-loving Despots (keleusis philochriston despoton) to [Name] Prince of [Place]."

To the Kouropalates of Iberia. A two-solidus gold bull. "Command (keleusis) from the Christ-loving Despots to [Name] the most esteemed (endoxotatos) Kouropalates." The Kouropalates has four other authorities around him. To the Prince of Veriasach, Iberia; to the Prince of Karnatae, Iberia; to the Prince of Kouel, Iberia; to the Prince of Atzara, Iberia. "Command (keleusis) from the Christ-loving Despots to [Name]."

To the Exousiokrator of Alania. A two-solidus gold bull. "In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, our one and sole God. Constantine and Romanos, whose faith is God, Emperors of the Romans, to [Name] Exousiastes [sic] of Alania, our spiritual son (pneumatikon teknon). To the Exousiastes of Abasgia. A two-solidus gold bull. "Command from the Christ-loving Despots to [Name] renowned (periphanes) Exousiastes of Abasgia."

To the Prince (archon) of Albania; to the Prince of the Krevatades, also called Krevatan; to the Prince of Kedonia; to the Princes of Tzanaria; to the Prince of Sarvan, between Alania and Tzanaria; to the Princes of Azia, where the Caspian Gates are located; to the Prince of Chrysa; to the Prince ofVrezan; to the Prince of Mokan (know that the Maeotic Lake begins at Mokan). Protocol for all the aforementioned. "Command (keleusis) from the Christ-loving Despots to [Name] Prince of [Place]."

To the Katholikos of Armenia, to the Katholikos of Iberia, to the Katholikos of Albania. Protocol for the three Katholikoi. "Command (keleusis) from the Christ-loving Despots to [Name] the most pious leader of [Place]."

To the Pope of Rome. A two-solidus gold bull. "In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, our one and sole true God. Constantine and Romanos, Emperors of the Romans, faithful to God, to [Name] most holy Pope of Rome and our spiritual father." *

[* Nb. the duplication of the protocol, with an increase from a one-solidus bull, and the addition of the names of the emperors.]

To the King (rex) of Sazonia; to the King of Vaioure (this is the land of those called Nemitzoi); to the King of Gallia; to the King of Germania. Protocol for all the aforementioned. 'In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, our one and sole true God. Constantine and Romanos, Emperors of the Romans, faithful to God, to [Name] distinguished (peribleptos) King, desired spiritual brother (pepothemenos pneumatikos adelphos)."

To the Prince (prinkips) of Rome. A two-solidus gold bull. Constantine and Romanos, etc. (kai loipa) to [Name] most renowned Prince of Rome."

To the Emir of Africa. "Constantine and Romanos, whose faith is in Christ the Lord, Autocrats, Augusti and Great Emperors of the Romans to the most esteemed (endoxatatos) and most noble (eugenestatos) Exousiastes of the Muslims." A two-solidus gold bull.

To the Emir of Egypt. A four-solidus gold bull. A bull of 18 exagia was attached to the letter sent by the porphyrogennetoi Constantine and Romanos. "Constantine and Romanos, in Christ Holy Autocrats, great and high Augusti, Emperors of the Romans, to our beloved friend, the most noble (eugenestatos) Emir of Egypt."

To the Prince (archon) of Sardania. A two-solidus gold bull. "Command (keleusis) from the Christ-loving despots to the Prince of Sardania." To the Duke (doux) of Venice; to the Prince (archon) of Capua; to the Prince of Salerno; to the Duke of Naples; to the Prince of Amalfi; to the Prince of Gaeta. [Nothing more.]

To the God-appointed Prince (archon) of Bulgaria. "In the name of Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, our one and sole true God. Constantine and Romanos, Emperors of the Romans, whose faith is in God, to our desired spiritual son (pneumatikon teknon), the God-appointed Prince (archon) of the most Christian people (ethnos) of the Bulgarians." The recent formulation. "Constantine and Romanos, pious Autocrats, Emperors of the Romans in Christ who is God, to our desired spiritual son*, the lord [Name] Emperor (basileus) of Bulgaria."

[* Nb. that Tsar Symeon (c. 894-927) was addressed frequently as spiritual brother (pneumatikos adelphos) by Romanos I Lekapenos in letters drafted by the protasekretis Theodore Daphnopates.]

To the Khagan (chaganos) of Khazaria. A three-solidus gold bull. "In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, our one and sole true God. Constantine and Romanos, Emperors of the Romans, faithful to God,  to [Name] the most noble (eugenestatos) most renowned (periphanestatos) Khagan of Khazaria."

To the Prince (archon) of Rosia [Rus(sia)]. A two-solidus gold bull. "Letter (grammata) of Constantine and Romanos, Christ-loving emperor of the Romans, to the Prince of Rosia."

To the Prince (archon) of the Magyars (Tourkoi). A two-solidus golden bull. "Letter (grammata) of Constantine and Romanos the Christ-loving emperors of the Romans to the Princes of the Magyars." To the Princes (archontes) of the Pechenegs (Patzinakitai). A two-solidus gold bull. "Letter (grammata) of Constantine and Romanos the Christ-loving emperors of the Romans to the Princes of the Pechenegs." To the Prince (archon) of Croatia (Chrovatia); to the Prince of the Serbs (Servloi); to the Prince of the Zachlumi [people of Zahumlje]; to the Prince of Kanali; to the Prince of the Travuni [people of Travunija]; to the Prince of Duklja; to the Prince of Moravia. The protocol for them. "Command (keleusis) from the Christ-loving Despots to [Name] Prince of [Place]." A two-solidus gold bull.

To the King (rex) of Francia. A gold bull [unspecified value]. "In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, our one and sole God. Constantine and Romanos, faithful to God, high Augusti Autocrats and Great Emperors of the Romans, to our  beloved and desired spiritual brother (pneumatikos adelphos), [Name] most  noble and distinguished King of Francia."

To the most senior lord (hyperechon kyrios) of India. "Constantine and Romanos, faithful to Christ the Lord, Great Autocrats and Emperors of the Romans, to [Name] the most senior lord of India, our beloved friend."

To the lord (kyrios) of blessed Arabia. A gold bull [unspecified value]. "Constantine and Romanos, faithful to Christ the Lord, Great Autocrats and Emperors of the Romans, to [Name] ruler of Arabia."


Paul Stephenson
17 October 1998; revised January 2012