Lucania (theme)

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Theme of Lucania
Theme of the Byzantine Empire
c. 968 – 1050s
Location of Lucania
Map of Byzantine themes in Italy (yellow) c. 1000.
Capital Tursi
Historical era Middle Ages
 •  Reorganization of Byzantine Italy c. 968
 •  Norman conquest of southern Italy 1050s

Lucania was a Byzantine province (theme) in southern Italy that was probably established c. 968, under Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas. It was situated between the two older Byzantine provinces of Longobardia in the east and Calabria in the west, and was formed to encompass the areas in the mostly Lombard-populated theme of Longobardia where Byzantine Greeks from Calabria had settled in the early 10th century (the regions of Latinianon, Lagonegro and Mercurion). Tursi was chosen as the theme's capital and also as the seat of a new metropolitan bishopric to encompass the province. The theme of Lucania was probably under the overall authority of the Catepan of Italy at Bari.

The province corresponds roughly to the modern Italian region of Basilicata.


  • Loud, G.A. (2006). "Southern Italy in the tenth century". In Reuter, Timothy. The New Cambridge Medieval History, Volume III c. 900–c. 1204. Cambridge University Press. pp. 624–645. ISBN 0-521-36447-7. 
  • Guillou, André (1965). "La Lucanie byzantine: Étude de géographie historique". Byzantion (in French). 35: 119–149.