David Arianites

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David Arianites or Areianites (Greek: Δαυίδ Ἀρ[ε]ιανίτης) was a high-ranking Byzantine commander of the early 11th century.

The origin of the surname is uncertain and different theories have been proposed ranging from various anthroponomastic and toponymic derivations of the Indo-European word arya to the name of a minor Illyrian tribe the Arinistae/Armistae.[1] The family is hence variously considered to have been of possibly Albanian[2] or Iranian[3] origin. David is generally considered to be the first member of the Arianiti clan active in late medieval Albania, but the connection can't be verified due to lack of sources.[1]

David initially held the title of patrikios, and became a senior general under Basil II. In 1017 Basil II invaded Bulgaria with a large army including Rus' mercenaries. His objective was the town of Kastoria which controlled the road between Thessaly and the coast of modern Albania. He sent parts of his army under the commanders Constantine Diogenes and David Arianites to loot Pelagonia. Basil II himself managed to capture several minor Bulgarian castles but all attempts to seize Kastoria remained futile.[4][5]

Basil II installed David Arianites as strategos autokrator of Bulgaria, implying powers of command over the other regional strategoi in the northern Balkans (Sirmium with Ras and Dyrrhachium).[6] He was seated in Skopje.[7]

Constantine Arianites, the magistros and doux of Adrianople was possibly his son or close relative.[8]


  1. ^ a b Shuteriqi, Dhimitër (2012). Zana Prela, ed. Aranitët: Historia - Gjenealogjia - Zotërimet. Toena. pp. 20–9, 50–1. ISBN 978-99943-1-729-5. 
  2. ^ Schramm, Gottfried (1994). Anfänge des albanischen Christentums: die frühe Bekehrung der Bessen und ihre langen Folgen. Rombach. ISBN 9783793090830. Retrieved 30 August 2012. "Ja, schon früher war einer arbanitischen Familie offenbar der Aufstieg in die Reichsaristokratie gelungen, wenn mit Recht aus dem Namen der Familie der Arianitai auf albanischen Ursprung geschlossen wurde. Der Patrikios David Arianites sah sich ..." 
  3. ^ Polemis, Demetrios I. (1968). The Doukai: A Contribution to Byzantine Prosopography. London, United Kingdom: The Athlone Press. p. 103. 
  4. ^ Златарски, История на българската държава, Том I, Част II, с. 725-728 (взето на 17.1.2008)
  5. ^ Гръцки извори за българската история - ГИБИ, том VI, с. 289-290 (17.1.2008)
  6. ^ Stephenson, Paul (2003). The Legend of Basil the Bulgar-Slayer. Cambridge University Press. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-521-81530-7. 
  7. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=nYbnr5XVbzUC&pg=PA528
  8. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=vGE8Xq832A0C&pg=PA429&dq=david+arianite&hl=en&ei=vaRWTeLzM4KSOo2npNgE&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=arianites&f=false
Preceded by
Nikephoros Ouranos
Governor (doux) of Thessalonica
Next known title holder:
Theophylact Botaneiates (ca. 1014)