Basil Lekapenos

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Basil Lekapenos (Basil the Nothos ("bastard") (born c. 925 - died c. 985)[1] was the parakoimomenos (chief administrator) of the Byzantine Empire from 945 until 985.

An illegitimate son of the emperor Romanos I Lekapenos, he was castrated when young.

In about 945, around the time his father was deposed, Basil was appointed parakoimomenos by Emperor Constantine VII, his brother-in-law.[2][3] He retained this position under emperors Romanos II, Nikephoros II, John Tzimisces.

As head of the Imperial administration, he amassed a large personal fortune. Reportedly, this led to tension with John Tzimisces shortly before the Emperor's death in 976. According to some sources, Basil poisoned the Emperor.

He continued in office in the early reign of Basil II but in 985 the young Emperor - wishing to assume the government himself after being dominated by regents and caretaker emperors for thirty years - accused him of sympathizing with the rebel Bardas Phokas and removed Basil from power. All his lands and possessions were confiscated and all laws issued under his administration were declared null and void. Basil Lekapenos himself was exiled and died shortly afterwards.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Basil The Nothos" in The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Oxford University Press, New York & Oxford, 1991, p. 270. ISBN 0195046528
  2. ^ John Julius Norwich, Byzantine: The Apogee, New York, Alfred P. Knopf, 1992, p. 167.
  3. ^ Ring of Basil Lekapenos bearing his seal as parakoimomenos. schlumberger.126 (http://medaillesetantiques.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/c33gbrsgh), Gustave Schlumberger collection, BnF