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Saint Nicholas Orphanos: Three-aisled basilica, founded between 1310-20 and containing some of the most important examples of painting of the Palaiologan period in Thessalonike. It has recently been claimed that its patron was the Serb kralj Milutin.
Sakkos: the pontifical vestment par excellence of the Eastern Church. It was originally worn by the emperor at coronation ceremonies and important celebrations. In the late Byzantine years it became part of the ecclesiastical vestiary.
Sava of Serbia (1175-1235): the founder and organiser of the autocephalous Serbian Church and the youngest son of the kralj Stefan Nemanja, founder of the Nemanjid dynasty. In 1219 he was ordained first archbishop of Serbia and founded many Churches and monasteries in Serbia, Athos, Thessalonike and Constantinople. After his death he was canonised.
Schism of the Churches:The schism (division) between the two Christian churches took place in 1054 mainly for political reasons but also as a result of doctrinal differences. The political reasons were related to the foreign policies of the states to which both Churches belonged. The theoretical differences regarded two points: on one hand, the dogmatic differences as to whether the Holy Spirit proceeded from the Father alone or from both the Father and the Son (the filioque dispute), and on the other hand, conflicting opinions about the organisation and administration of the Church (the Western system was based on the pope's omnipotence whereas the Eastern system was based on a "more democratic" decision-making system through Ecumenical Councils and a pentarchy).
Scholastic philosophy: system of thought which constituted the main element of medieval Latin philosophy and theology. As a method of teaching, it subjected every problem (philosophical, theological or scientific) to a logical and dialectic consideration which was based mostly on the philosophy of Aristotle. Its aim was to investigate all issues from different points of view and to finally find, through logic, solutions that agree with rationalism as well as with the Christian faith and the tradition of the Fathers of the Church. The Byzantines considered Thomas Aquinas as the most important scholastic writer.
Sebastokrator:honorary title of the Byzantine court.
Seljuk Turks or Turks of Ikonion:the first Turkish tribe to cross Persia from the plains of Turkestan and reach the coasts of the Aegean Sea and the Hellespont, where they established a powerful state, the centre of which was Ikonion (11th century). Until the first decades of the 13th century the state enjoyed remarkable prosperity. After the defeat by the Mongols in 1243 the Seljuk state was in a a state of turmoil until the beginning of the 14th century, when it disintegrated owing to unknown circumstances. Small Turkish emirates were then founded in the former Seljuk state, such as the Caraman, Jermiyan, Medesi, Aydin, Sarouhan, Carasi and Osman, the latter of which would cause the fall of the Byzantine Empire, almost one century later.
Senator:member of the Senate. The Senate in the Byzantine period was a consultative body, whose rights and duties were not clearly defined. Its members belonged to the upper social class.Serbians-Serbian state: Medieval Balkan nation. Views differ as to their origin. The first mention of the Serb state is in a Byzantine episcopal list of the 9th century.
Sigismund:King of Hungary (1387-1437), Germany (1411-37), Bohemia (1419-37) and Italy (1431-37) and a German-Roman emperor (1433-37), the last representative of the house of Luxembourg.
Sitarkia:secondary or supplementary tax, which is known to have been levied from the 13th century, and the type of which is not defined.
Skoutariotes, Theodore:Ecclesiastical official and Metropolitan of Kyzikos (1277-82). He is believed to be the writer of an anonymous chronicle, which was copied by John Argyropoulos and was found in Venice.
Skylitzes:Historian of the second half of the 11th century. His work covers the period from 811 to 1057.
Sophonias:Monk who lived at the end of the 13th or the beginning of the 14th century and wrote paraphrased works of Aristotle.
Sources of C. Harmenopoulos: Harmenopoulos gleaned the information he used in producing the Hexabiblos from earlier Byzantine legal corpuses such as the Synopsis Basilicorum, the Epanagoge cum scholiis, the Epitome legum, the two Synopses with their annexes, the Election, the Legal Treatise of Attaleiates, the Rhopai, the Peira and the work of Julian of Askalon.
Sources on late Byzantine beliefs and superstitions:Our sources are theological, historical, philosophical, scientific or literary texts. Such works are those by Athanasios I, the monk Job, John Argyropoulos, George Pachymeres, Barlaam of Calabria, John Bekkos, Theodore Metochites, Theodora Raoulaina Kantakouzene, Nikephoros Gregoras, Maximos Planoudes, Gregory Palamas, Demetrios Kydones, George Plethon and Gennadios Scholarios as well as the late Byzantine romances Kallimachos and Chrysorrhoe and Libistros and Rhodamne.
Sources:Besides the specific sources mentioned in various works, other sources at our disposal for the tracing of a historical personage are the results of archaeological research. For instance, an inscription may be found mentioning that personage, either in his capacity of donor of a church or other public building, or as patron of the iconographic decoration or even simply because his name was found inscribed on his tombstone. In addition, we often find the lead, silver (or golden in the case of an emperor) seals which were used to seal letters and which bore the name or monogram of the writer. In the case of Byzantine emperors, an important source of information are the coins issued and placed in circulation. This is because every emperor minted his own series of coins, stamped with his name and his image (sometimes stylised, at other times more realistic), as well as with certain Christian symbols.
Sphrantzes, George (1401-1477/8): Courrtier, diplomat and historian. He served the emperor Manuel II and his son, the despotes Constantine XI, as his diplomatic envoy. He was also governor of Patras, protovestiarites and governor of Mistra.
Stefan II Nemanja:Sovereign of Serbia (1217-27) and son of the founder of the Nemanjid dynasty, Stefan. He was crowned King by a representative of the pope in 1217, which was why he was given the attribute of 'the First-Crowned'.
Stefan Uros I:Sovereign of Serbia and son of the kralj Stefan the First-Crowned. He succeeded his brother Vladislav to the throne in 1423 and died in 1276.
Stefan VI Uros II Milutin: Kralj (king) of Serbia (1281/2-1321). During his reign Serbia became one of the main regulators of political development in the Balkans.
Stefan VI Uros III Decanski: Kralj (king) of Serbia (1321-31). His victory over the Bulgars at Velbuzd in 1330 made Serbia once again a leading power in the Balkans.
Stefan VIII Uros IV Dusan:Kralj (king) of Serbia (1331-45/6) and "tsar of Serbia and Romania" (1345/6-55). Perhaps the most important Serb sovereign of the Middle Ages, he managed to extend his dominion over the greatest part of Greece.
Sticheron: ecclesiastical hymn sung during Orthros and Vespers. The name derives from the word "stichos" (verse) because certain verses from the psalms are sung before the stichera.
Strategos (General):The office of provincial administrator of the Byzantine state. Originally this title was given to the military and political administrator of a thema, that is one of the large geographical and administrative units of the Byzantine Empire. Gradually the title lost its power and by the 11th century the strategos became a simple commandant of a military unit, responsible for the defence of an area.
Synadenos, Theodore: Protostrator, member of the family of the Synadenoi from Synada of Phrygia. He was one of the main supporters of Andronikos III during the first civil war and of Kantakouzenos against John V in the second civil war. After 1342 however he sided with the latter.
Syrgiannes: Known also as Syrgiannes Palaiologos Philanthropenos. At first a supporter of Andronikos III during the first civil war, he twice shifted his alliance and ended up serving the Serb sovereign Stefan Dusan. He was murdered near Thessalonike by a Byzantine officer.