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Deesis: iconographic theme, an image of intercession for the salvation of the human race, which represents Jesus as the central figure, between the Virgin and St. John the Baptist.
Demetrios Palaiologos: Despotes of Mistra (1449-60), fifth son of the emperor Manuel II Palaiologos.
Dentil course: decoration usually surrounding apertures in churches, over windows or on the upper parts of walls, made of bricks forming a band .
Despotes: title which appeared in the 12th century, referring to the position of second in the hierarchy after the emperor and co-emperor. From the 14th century on this title was held by the rulers of the Byzantine Morea.
Despotate of Epiros: The independent state founded by Michael I Angelos, with Arta as its capital, after the fall of the Byzantine empire to the crusaders (1205).
Diaconicon: the chamber or sacristy on the south side of the bema.
Differences between the political attitude of the Eastern and Western Churches: The differences turn on two points. First, the Eastern Church was only interested in the preservation of its sphere of influence and not in bringing the West under its control, whereas the popes of Rome did not cease to persistently demand the creation of a unified Church under the control of Rome. Second, the Byzantine Church never succeeded in becoming independent from the Byzantine emperors, whereas the popes had been independent from Byzantium since the 8th century. In fact, in time, they had built up such a position of power for themselves, that they often controlled the secular rulers.
Dikaiophylax: Title of a subaltern judge, which from the 11th century was given by the emperor to churchmen as well as to laymen. Since the reign of Michael VIII the title was exclusively given to clerics and involved legal ecclesiastical duties.
Dodekaorton: The twelve important Great Feasts of the liturgical year: the Annunciation, the Nativity, the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, the Baptism of Christ, the Transfiguration, the Entry into Jerusalem, Raising of Lazarus, Crucifixion, the Resurrection, the Ascension, the Dormition of the Virgin and Pentecost .
Domed edifices: churches topped by one or two domes.
Domed octagon: type of church, in which the dome is held up by eight supports, thus forming an octagon on the ground plan inscribed in the central square of the main part of the church. The dimensions of this type of church are large and the dome is imposing, as it covers almost the entire building.
Dominicans: Religious order founded by St. Dominic in 1215; the order sooon undertook serious missionary activity in the East. It also counted among its members certain Byzantine scholars and monks who had converted to Catholicism, such as Manuel Kalekas.
Doukas (ca. 1400-1462): Historian, of whom we know little. He was a secretary of the Genoese governor of Nea Phokaia, Giovanni Adorno, and was sent by the Gattilusi of Lesbos on missions to various cities as a diplomatic envoy .
Doukas: governors of Themes, the size of which became increasingly reduced in the Late Byzantine period. They gradually replaced the generals who ruled over the Themes during the Middle Byzantine period.
Duchy of Athens: Frankish duchy set up in Athens after the fall of Constantinople to the Latins and the parcelling out of the Byzantine territories. It was granted as a fief to the Burgundian knight Otto de la Roche in 1205. French domination lasted until 1311.