Krinitis or Krenites Arotras (Greek: Κρινίτης or Κρηνίτης Ἀροτρᾶς) was a Byzantine aristocrat and military governor in southern Greece. He is most notable for suppressing a Slavic revolt in the Peloponnese in 921/22.
Origin and appointment to the Peloponnese
Arotras was a scion of the Krenites family, an aristocratic clan of Armenian origin present in Byzantium since the early 9th century. In early 921 or 922 (earlier scholars dated this to ca. 935), when he held the rank of protospatharios, he was appointed as military governor (strategos) of the theme of the Peloponnese and tasked with suppressing the revolt of the Slavic tribes of the Melingoi and Ezeritai.
The two tribes had rebelled in the past, in 840–42, and after their defeat by Theoktistos Bryennios had been obliged to pay an annual tribute of 60 and 300 gold solidi respectively. In ca. 920, they began to disobey the commands of the strategos John Proteuon, refusing to accept the rulers ("archons") he chose for them and to be conscripted for overseas service in southern Italy against an ongoing Lombard rebellion. According to the account of Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos (r. 913–959) in his De administrando imperio, Arotras began his campaign against them in March, burning and plundering their lands around Mount Taygetos until November. The two tribes submitted again, and were condemned to pay an increased tribute of 600 solidi. Arotras was transferred (late 922 or early 923) to the neighbouring theme of Hellas and was replaced by Bardas Platypodes. Under Platypodes, strife in the Peloponnese resumed as he quarrelled with the local nobility, while another revolt by Slavic troops in the Peloponnese followed soon after, which the Melingoi and Ezeritai exploited in getting their tribute reduced to the previous amounts.
Two 10th-century seals mentioning the "imperial protospatharios and strategos of the Peloponnese Krenites" are known and probably belong to him. He has also been identified by some with a person of the same name, mentioned in the hagiography of Saint Luke of Steiris. This Krenites served as strategos of Hellas from ca. 945 until 952/955, before going on to serve as strategos of the Peloponnese. Most scholars, however, believe the two to be separate persons. Some scholars, like Steven Runciman, also equated him with another Krenites, who was used by Emperor Romanos I Lekapenos (r. 920–944) in diplomatic missions to the Armenian princes.
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- Runciman, Steven (1988) . The Emperor Romanus Lecapenus and His Reign: A Study of Tenth-Century Byzantium. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-35722-5.