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Cardinal: title for the highest church officials after the pope in the Western Church.
Carlo I Tocco: Palatine count of Kephalenia, Zakynthos and Ithaca, duke of Leukas and despotes of Ioannina and Arta (1375/6-1429).
Catalan Grand Company: Military organisation founded in Catalonia in the 13th century by the Catalans, and joined by various adventurers. The men of the Company served various sovereigns, including the Byzantine emperor Andronikos II, as mercenaries. Following their rebellion against the Byzantines, they raided Thrace, Macedonia and Thessaly, then turned to eastern Greece in 1311 where they settled until 1387.
Catherine of Courtenay (ca. 1274-1308): Titular empress of the Latin Empire of Constantinople.
Centurione II Zaccaria: The last prince of Achaia (1404-30).
Cesarini Juliano (1389-1444): Italian cardinal and diplomat.
Chalkokondyles, Laonikos (1423 or ca. 1430-1490): Athenian historian of whom we know very little, except that in 1447 he was a student of Plethon at the court of Mistra and that he lived somewhere in the region of the Aegean.
Chandax: present-day Herakleion, in Crete.
Charles I of Anjou: King of Naples (1265-84) and son of Louis VIII of France, founder of the Angevin dynasty. He seized the Kingdom of Naples from the Hohenstaufen dynasty. He was the main supporter of the restoration of the Latin empire in Constantinople and the main rival of Michael VIII. But the uprising known as the Sicilian Vespers in 1282 lost the French the Kingdom of Naples and Charles himself died shortly afterwards, in 1285.
Charles VI the Well-Beloved or the Mad: King of France (1380-1422).
Chartophylax: high ecclesiastical official in Constantinople and the provinces, usually a deacon, who in the 6th century, had archival and secretarial duties, but who, after the 10th century, served as the main assistant to the Patriarch and his representative with regard to the rest of the clergy and the laity.
Chioniades Gregory (1240/50- ca. 1320): Astronomer, physician, teacher and bishop who lived mostly in Trebizond. He was specialised in Persian Mathematics and Astronomy, which he translated into Greek, as well as in the function of the astrolobe. He taught these subjects in Constantinople from 1302 to 1305.
Chnoubis: a non-Christian symbol of a deity or a demon that was engraved on charms. It had the shape of a curled-up reptile with the head of a lion and a bright halo with rays. It was surrounded by the seven planets or the twelve houses of the zodiac circle. It was supposed to offer protection during childbirth.
Choniates, Michael: Writer and metropolitan of Athens (1182-1204), brother of Niketas Choniates. He was an opponent of the civilian aristocracy, which he criticised for its attitude towards the provinces, and wrote exceptionally vivid and original works.
Choniates, Niketas (1155/7-1217): Government official, historian and theologian, younger brother of Michael Choniates. His History is the most important source of information on the period between 1118 to 1206.
Chora Monastery and School: Monastery in the north-western quarter of Constantinople, which became a mosque between 1481 and 1512 and is today known as the Kariye Camii. Legendary tradition dates its foundation to the 6th or more probably the 7th century. During the Palaiologan period it housed the finest library of the time as well as a School frequented by scholars such as Maximos Planoudes, Nikephoros Gregoras and Theodore Metochites himself.
Chortasmenos, John (1370-ca. 1439): A monk and bibliophile. He was a notary in the patriarchal chancery, the metropolitan of Selymbria, the teacher of Mark Eugenikos, Bessarion and George Gennadios and a writer of epistles, poems, epigrams, philological, historical and philosophical works. Many of the manuscripts that survive today appear to have belonged to his personal library.
Choumnos, Nikephoros (1250 or 1253-1327): State official and intellectual. He was appointed to important posts in the Byzantine administration and was the founder of the Theotokos Gorgoepekoos monastery in Constantinople. A student of Gregory II of Cyprus, he was an ideological opponent of Theodore Metochites and wrote rhetorical, philosophical, cosmological and theological works, as well as 172 letters.
Chrysokephalos, Makarios: Metropolitan of Philadelphia from 1336 to 1382, of noble descent and famous as an orator and a writer.
Chryssokokkes, George: Astronomer and physician, famous in Constantinople and Trebizond around 1335 to 1350.
Chrysobull (gold seal): imperial document of the Byzantine state which was so named, because it bore the gold seal (bulla) of the emperor.
Chrysoloras, Demetrios (ca. 1350-1415): Diplomat and teacher of Italian humanists in Florence, Constantinople, Venice, Padua, Spain, Paris, London, Bologna and Rome.
Cloisonne masonry: a technique, common in the area of southern Greece, in which ashlar blocks are framed with bricks on their four sides.
Codex: the form of the Byzantine book, similar to the modern book, which was made of sheets of papyrus, parchment or paper and facilitated the copying of texts. It had horizontal lines in order to guide the writer's hand (as in notebooks today). It was also known as deltos, pyktion or teuchos.
Constantine the Great: Augustus from 306 to 337 and the first Christian Roman emperor. He instituted important administrative and military reforms and established Constantinople as the new capital of the Roman Empire.
Constantine Tich: Bulgarian tsar (1257-77).
Constantine XI Palaiologos Dragas: The last Byzantine emperor (1448-53). His heroic resistance against the Ottomans marked the last tragic moments of the Byzantine Empire.
Copying of manuscripts: Any individual who wished to possess a "book", in the Byzantine period, had to order a manuscript copy of the original from craftsmen, and to pay dearly for it. He often had to pay for the materials - the parchment, papyri or paper, the ink - as well as for the copying work. The manuscripts were written by "scribes" and were richly decorated by specialised painters with illustrations that were directly related to the content of the text. Until the 13th century, the scribes were monks, because the copying of the manuscripts was such a time-consuming task that it could not possibly be performed by laymen, and almost every monastery in Byzantium had a manuscript workshop. Lay scribes who worked in secular workshops, the so-called scriptoria, made their appearance in the 13th century; in other cases, they were scholars or teachers who wished to supplement their personal income.
Cosimo di Medici: Member of the Italian bourgeois family of the Medici who ruled over Florence and later Tuscany during the greater part of the period between 1434 and 1737. In 1442 he founded and set up the Accademia Platonica in Florence following a recommendation made by the cardinals Bessarion and George Gemistos Plethon.
Crete under Venetian domination (1209/10-1669): This large and important island of the empire became a Venetian possession after the Fourth Crusade, until the Turks seized it in 1669.
Cross-in-square church: a type of church in which the structuring of the interior spaces and of the roof form the shape of a cross and are inscribed into the square ground plan. Depending on the supports of the dome, the church may be a two-columned or distyle construction if it rests on two columns or piers to the west and on the piers of the chancel to the east, or a four-columned church when it is based on four columns.
Crusader art: Western influences were imported into the Latin states created in the East after the Crusades, such as the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem, Syria and Cyprus. From the beginning of the 12th century it blended with Byzantine tradition and practice to produce a new artistic form known as "crusader" art.
Crusade - crusaders: Four military operations, which were initially set in motion by popes in order to recover the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem (First crusade: 1096-99, Second crusade: 1147-49, Third crusade:1189-92). The last one (1202-1204) led to the capture and sacking of Constantinople by the crusaders and to the break-up of the Byzantine Empire.
Cumans: Nomad people of Turkish origin. Around the 10th century they moved towards the northwest from the southern regions of the Caspian Sea. From the 11th century on they began to invade and plunder Byzantine territory.