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Nikoulitzas Delphinas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nikoulitzas Delphinas (Greek: Νικουλιτζάς Δελφινάς[a] was an 11th-century Byzantine magnate and local lord of Larissa, in Thessaly. He took part in a revolt initiated by the Vlachs of Thessaly in 1066.

He was the grandson of Nikulitsa, the governor of Servia and archon of the Vlachs of Hellas.[1] The younger Nikoulitzas bore the rank of protospatharios, but is not known to have had any official position.[2]

Nikoulitzas had his own fortress with a garrison of men, and was one of the most powerful lords of Thessaly.[3] The Vlachs and Slavs of the region started planning a revolt in 1065, prompted by the taxation increases and corruption in the same area. When Nikoulitzas heard this from his spies[4] he went to Constantinople to warn the Emperor Constantine X Doukas, but the Emperor dismissed him and no measures were taken.[3]

Upon returning to Larissa Nikoulitzas saw the growing movement and tried to talk the rebels out of it. They insisted on Nikoulitzas becoming their leader, as he had a fort and a private army. Nikoulitzas declined, as his two sons were in Constantinople, fearing they would come in harm's way. The rebels however forced Nikoulitzas to take a leadership position and the revolt began.[3]

The revolt ended by negotiation, but the Emperor captured Nikoulitzas and imprisoned him in Amaseia, on the Black Sea coast of Asia Minor.[1] His son-in-law was the writer Kekaumenos, whose Strategikon is the only source on him and the revolt.[1][5]


  1. ^ His first name is a Hellenization of the Slavic Nikulitsa or Nikolitsa. Other variations of his surname are Delphinus and the shortened version Delphin.


  1. ^ a b c Curta (2006), p. 280
  2. ^ Cheynet (1996), p. 72
  3. ^ a b c Fine (1991), p. 216
  4. ^ The Scottish review, Volume 29, page 50
  5. ^ Cheynet (1996), pp. 168, 392


  • Cheynet, Jean-Claude (1996), Pouvoir et contestations à Byzance (963–1210) (in French), Publications de la Sorbonne, ISBN 978-2-85944-168-5
  • Curta, Florin (2006), Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500–1250, Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-81539-0
  • Fine, John V. A., Jr. (1991) [1983]. The Early Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Sixth to the Late Twelfth Century. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press. ISBN 0-472-08149-7.
This page was last edited on 6 July 2020, at 19:34
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