De Administrando Imperio

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De Administrando Imperio is the Latin title of a script by the Byzantine emperor Constantine VII ( Middle Greek Πρὸς τὸν ἴδιον υἱὸν Ρωμανόν ).

Constantine was a scholar who produced a variety of writings. He wrote the work called De Administrando Imperio between 948 and 952, as a political guide for his son and successor Romanos II. The book contains advice on how to run the empire and fight attacks by enemies. The work combines two earlier works by Constantine, the Peri Ethnon , in which the history and people of the countries surrounding the Byzantine Empire are described, and the Peri Thematon , which concerned the events in the imperial provinces . Constantine's political advice to his son was added to this combination.

The work contains descriptions of the Pechenegs , Kievan Rus , Magyars , Bulgarians , Crimean Tatars , and Khazars in the north; the Arabs in the east and south and their territory as far as Spain ; and the Teutons , Lombards , Venetians , Croats , Serbs , and Moravians in the west. In addition to historical and geographical information, Constantine had also introduced advice on how the countries can be manipulated and played off against one another without the Byzantine Empire having to attack them directly. It also contains information about diplomatic events in the imperial provinces such as Armenia , Iberia , Cyprus and the Peloponnese .

The writing was not intended for the public, as it contained many state secrets, but only for the training of Romanos.

The earliest surviving copies were made for Johannes Dukas , brother of Constantine X , in the late 11th century. Two of three complete copies are in the French National Library in Paris , and the third in the Vatican Library . There is an incomplete copy in Modena . The font was first published in 1611 by Johannes van Meurs , who gave it its current Latin name. Constantine himself hadn't given her a name.


  • Klaus Belke , Peter Soustal: The Byzantines and their neighbors. The text of the Emperor Konstantinos Porphyrogennetos called De Administrando Imperio (= Byzantine historians . Vol. 19). Translated, introduced and explained. Fassbaender, Vienna 1995, ISBN 3-900538-54-9 .
  • Constantine Porphyrogenitus: De Administrando Imperio (= Dumbarton Oaks Texts. Vol. 1 = Corpus Fontium Historiae Byzantinae . Vol. 1). Greek text edited by Gy. Moravcsik . English translation by RJH Jenkins. New, revised edition, 2nd imprint. Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies, Washington DC 1985, ISBN 0-88402-021-5 .