Thursday, June 26, 2008

Comes Orientis - The Count of the East

Antioch had its many moments of Imperial visitations of lesser or greater degree. Its status fluctuated over the years from administering diminished versions of Syria to much larger units. Its strongest governmental status came with the creation of the title of Comes Orientis by Constantine. This official had his official residence in Antioch. By some accounts the Museion was converted for this purpose.

One interesting publication of the late Empire was the Notitia Dignitatum a sort of Who's Who at least of official titles. In it one can find not only the Comes Orientis but also his sub-officials and a flock of other titles for positions of the Imperial bureaucracy that may have sometimes been located in Antioch.

Above we have the "insignia" of the Count as reproduced in a 16th century copy of the work. It shows the sixteen provinces that reported to the holder of the title.

Below is a list of functionaires that reported to the Count:
  • Principem, qui de scola agentum in rebus ducenarius adorata clementia principali cum insignibus exit.(Chief of Cabinet)
  • Cornicularium (sub-Chief)
  • Commentariensem (daily record-keeper)
  • Adiutorem (Aide)
  • Ab actis (Archivist)
  • Numerarios (Accountants)
  • A libellis (Petition manager)
  • Subadiuuas (sub-Aide)
  • Exceptores et ceteros officiales.(secretaries & other official)

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