Konstantin Porfirogenet: The Byzantine Emperor Who Wrote About Croatian History
Konstantin Porfirogenet, also known as Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, was a Byzantine emperor who ruled from 913 to 959. He is best known for his literary works, especially his treatise O upravljanju carstvom (On the Administration of the Empire), which he wrote for his son and successor Romanus II.
Konstantin Porfirogenet O Upravljanju Carstvom Pdf 12
O upravljanju carstvom is a valuable source of information about the history, geography, culture and politics of the Byzantine Empire and its neighboring peoples in the 10th century. Among them are the Croats, who had settled in the region of Dalmatia after migrating from their original homeland in Central Europe.
In chapters 29 to 36 of his treatise, Konstantin Porfirogenet gives a detailed account of the origin, migration, settlement, religion, customs and social organization of the Croats and other South Slavic tribes. He also describes their relations with the Byzantines, the Franks, the Bulgarians and other neighboring peoples. He records the legend of the five brothers and two sisters who led the Croats to their new homeland, as well as the names of their early rulers and their provinces.
Konstantin Porfirogenet's treatise is one of the most important sources for Croatian early medieval history and toponymy. It is also a testimony of the cultural and political influence of Byzantium on Croatia and other Slavic lands. Although some of his data may be inaccurate or contradictory, they reflect the level of knowledge and interest that the Byzantine emperor had about his subjects and allies.
The original manuscript of O upravljanju carstvom is preserved in the Vatican Library. The first printed edition was published in Latin by Johannes Meursius in 1611. The first Croatian translation was made by Ivan KukuljeviÄ Sakcinski in 1856. The treatise has been translated into many other languages and studied by numerous scholars.
If you want to read more about Konstantin Porfirogenet and his treatise on Croatian history, you can download a PDF version of his work from this link[^2^]. You can also visit this Wikipedia page[^1^] for more information.
Konstantin Porfirogenet was born in Constantinople on 17 or 18 May 905, as the only son of Emperor Leo VI and his fourth wife Zoe Karbonopsina. He was named after his grandfather, Constantine VII, who had died in 886. He was also a nephew of his predecessor Alexander, who died in 913. [^1^]
Konstantin was crowned co-emperor at the age of two, but he did not exercise any real power until 945, when he became the sole ruler after the death of his brother-in-law and co-emperor Romanos Lekapenos. During his minority, he was under the regency of his mother Zoe, who faced opposition from various factions and generals. He was also overshadowed by his elder brother Basil II, who was a successful military leader and conqueror. [^1^]
Konstantin's reign was marked by internal stability and cultural flourishing. He reformed the administration and the army, improved the coinage and the tax system, patronized arts and sciences, and promoted education and literacy. He also maintained good relations with foreign powers, such as the Holy Roman Empire, the Bulgarian Empire, the Fatimid Caliphate and the Kievan Rus'. He was especially interested in the history and culture of the Slavic peoples, who were either allies or subjects of Byzantium. [^1^]
Konstantin Porfirogenet is best known for his literary works, which reflect his erudition and curiosity. He wrote or commissioned several books on various topics, such as history, geography, ceremonies, agriculture and zoology. His most famous work is O upravljanju carstvom (On the Administration of the Empire), which he wrote for his son Romanos II as a guide for ruling the empire and dealing with foreign peoples. It contains valuable information about the history and customs of many nations, such as the Croats, Serbs, Bulgarians, Rus', Arabs, Turks and others. [^1^]
Another important work by Konstantin is De ceremoniis (On Ceremonies), which describes in detail the rituals and ceremonies of the Byzantine court and church. It also includes historical anecdotes and legends about previous emperors and events. It is a rich source of information about Byzantine culture and society in the 10th century. [^1^]
Konstantin also wrote or compiled De thematibus (On Themes), which is a geographical survey of the provinces (themes) of the Byzantine Empire in Asia Minor and Europe. It gives information about their history, geography, administration and military organization. It also mentions some neighboring peoples and regions. [^1^]
A fourth work attributed to Konstantin is Vita Basilii (Life of Basil), which is a biography of his brother Basil II. It praises his achievements and virtues as a ruler and a warrior, and criticizes his enemies and rivals. It also contains some personal anecdotes and observations about Basil's character and habits. However, some scholars doubt that Konstantin was the author of this work, as it differs in style and tone from his other works. [^3^]