Did the Byzantine Empire ever use the SPQR flag?

Sep 2014
Did Byzantine ever use the SPQR flag? If so, did they even do it up to the Fall of Constantinople? If possible ( not necessary ), may proof or an article be provided? Sorry, I am overly curious.


Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
Byzantium did not have a senate (IIRC) and it was not based in the city of Rome, so SPQR would not have made sense in that context.
Constantinople had a senate house and Byzantium did have a senate, although it was largely ceremonial and advisory. This may be more significant than has traditionally been assumed, since the survival of a senate (even if in name only) gave Constantinople (and by extension, the emperor reigning there) a certain prestige that hearkened back to Elder Rome and thus helped to secure the position of the emperor.
Jun 2013
Constantinople had a senate house and Byzantium did have a senate, although it was largely ceremonial and advisory. This may be more significant than has traditionally been assumed, since the survival of a senate (even if in name only) gave Constantinople (and by extension, the emperor reigning there) a certain prestige that hearkened back to Elder Rome and thus helped to secure the position of the emperor.
I stand corrected.


Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
the Polis
Since the 6-7th centuries, Synkletos(as the name became) was merely an advisory body with minor judicial duties. And continued this way more or less as the court(in sources in this period is difficult to distinguish if the terms aule and synkletos(or gerousia or boule) were different.). By the end of 11th century, with Alexios Komnenos what was left from the body was abolished, and then you have the name "gerousia" or "synkletos" to describe generally the ones who had titles, from protospatharios and above.(not hereditary btw).

So you stand half corrected.
Jan 2012
Not only existed senate, but even at the end to despotate of Mistras existed [as also at Constantinople]

but the use of SPQR HAS NOT PROVED > there is an artistic refer of Piero de la Frannsesca but it does not prove anything until some other evidents enhanced that this was not just a classicist view.


Now about the refer of medieval 'Byzantines' of their 'Rome' > so lets see how to 11th century [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Psellos]Michael Psellos - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame] to his Chronographia refer :

6.153 '... καὶ τότε πρώτως ἡ τῶν Ἀλανῶν γῆ τῶν ἀπὸ τῆς ἡμετέρας Ῥώμης ἐμπέπληστο ἀγαθῶν ...'

'...Then for the first time the Alan land flooded by goods of our Rome ...'

6.192 '... Ἐμοὶ φιλίας μὲν ἀφορμαὶ καὶ πρὸς πολλοὺς ἑτέρους γεγόνασι, μάλιστα δὲ δύο τινὲ ἄνδρε ἐξ ἑτέρων πατρίδων τὴν σεβαστὴν Ῥώμην οἰκήσαντε ἐν μέσαις αὐτῶν ἡρπάκασί <με> ταῖς ψυχαῖς· ...'

'...While I had the chance to win the friendship of many people, especially two men οf other homelands, who emigrated to respectful Rome, won the depth of my soul ...'
[Psellos implies possible Ioannes Xifilinos John and Ioannes Mauropous]


It does not refer new Rome about Constantinople, but 'our Rome' (ἡμετέρας Ῥώμης) and 'respectful Rome' (σεβαστὴν Ῥώμην).

So the refer is 'Rome', and when he refer for the far past he refer :

6.73 '...τὰς τῆς πρεσβυτέρας Ῥώμης ἡγεμονίας τε καὶ πράξεις ...'

'... the of the elder Rome hegemony and actions ...'

Download the Chronographia pdf from Migne


At 13TH century a very interesting and important for the history of the Basilica of St. Demetrios in Thessaloniki temple. inscription found after the fire of 1917 and the cleansing of the temple, on the upper east side of Northwest the sanctuary. Written in black capital letters on a white background, the inscription refer:

'... Πρὸς σοὺς πόδας τί[θη]μι τὸ κράτους στέφ[ος],
Δέσποινα πάντων, Μιχαὴλ Ῥώμης ἄναξ˙ ...'
ἤμειψε λαμπρῶς Μιχαὴλ στ[εφηφόρος]

i translate as possibe can :

'... To your feet putting the state's crown
Despoina (Dominant> Mary) of all, Michael Rome's lord (king) ...'
reward brightly Michael crowner

Download the greek text pdf , also see 1) A. Rhoby, Byzantinische Epigramme auf Fresken und Mosaiken (Byzantinische Epigramme in inschriftlicher Überlieferung, Bd. 1, edition. W. Hörandner – A. Rhoby – A. Paul), Wien 2009, 196, number. 111., and 2) J. M. Spieser, Inventaires en vue d’un recueil des inscriptions historiques de Byzance. I. Les inscriptions de Thessalonique, TM 5 (1973), 171-2.

The Roman/'Byzantine' Paleologian emperor (lord,king) Michael is refer very clearly as 'Rome's lord'.


Now for the role of senate at 'The election of the emperor, from senate, people, political, military and church officers', of the Emperor Michael Palaeologus , please see my post at http://historum.com/medieval-byzant...ntine-empire-punching-below-its-weight-4.html and Download 'Annales' [original text] of [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Akropolites]George Akropolites - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame] from Index of /pgm/PG_Migne/Georgius Acropolita_PG 140
which i translated to english as possible accurate:

paragraph 76

''..... Also the representatives of the Roman people, senior political officials and the heads of the army battalions [corps], and together with them, the church hierarchy - attend and the patriarch and some of the eminent priests - confers public affairs for who would be worthy for the operated and the best settlement from that other .
Why they are considered that is not appropriate the Roman power in such position to be directed by an infant who fed with fruit and plays updo , but found that at the helm of governance to handle this that could save the ship of the Romans , at the hour that many wind blew fiercely against it ......... and proofed braved governer to deal with these suffering......

........ At that moment the territories bordering the Persian [Seljuck]territory threatened by the incursions of Tahar[Mongols] against the Persians [Seljucks]....[Romans/Byzantines at this period had alliance with the Seljucks, while Mongols attack to Asia minore].........

And ....... the western region up to the [river] Axios - whom the people call as Vardar - had subjugated the renegade Michael [ Michael_II_Komnenos_Doukas Michael_II_Komnenos_Doukas ] .....

There's also ....... and the Latin genus in Constantinople , which also happened to be hostile to the Romans , and which reigned Baldwin .
So in such plight had reached the Roman power and therefore notables sought him who proving them that is the good leader . All eyes were turned to Michael Komnenos [=Michael Palaiologos] mention of him we have done many times .
So when it's time to consult the people , to have the opinion of their will , and to ascertain the torque [= view ] of each one , the questions are asked to genera['race'?] and to taxis [= military division parts, taxis=rank/army division] done .
Chiefly asked the Romans , and all with a soul's unity , with one voice , said they wanted the Michael Komninos[=Michael Palaiologos] to be guardian and caregiver , and as his own the despot [= main, master ] to have him . and Latins respondents said , did not have to give extensive replies , but straightway Michael Komninos[=Michael Palaiologos] wanted to be chief of all . When asked the Scythians , not barbaric responded but in Hellenic [means 'in Greek', and also 'like Greek'>Helenikos='Greekly'--> ἀπεκρίνοντο ἀλλὰ καὶ Ἑλληνικῶς τε καὶ συνετῶς] and prudent, and not other better than anyone they know for kingships [ = reign ] but Michael Komninos [=Michael Palaiologos] .

But also the sacred catalogue [ = the church hierarchy ] , because saw how Michael Komninos refer deal of reluctance to take on the Romans [ power ] , as if to avoid and postpone this task, arguing as cause of the oath that recently had given [= protection of legitimate heirs ] for the child of King Theodoros [ie John]- not only gave his approval for the transaction, but also document versions , which together with the Patriarch everyone high priests signed , and there is writen that not only Michael[=Michael Palaiologos] would not respond to the impartial judgment seat of Christ for his specific action , but that will knit with sacred wreaths, because he ran out to save christianic people. So therefore, do the order the Michael Komninos[=Michael Palaiologos] to shake off his hesitation wisely and as it should ....''


paragraph 77

''..... And so Michael Komninos[=Michael Palaiologos] in match of royal authority [ power ] entering. First upload him to the post of despot . and the masterful crown [= crown of despot] surrounded his head.
[****note: Michael_VIII_Palaiologos Michael_VIII_Palaiologos is invested with the titles of megas doux first (refer of Pachymeres ) and, in November 1258, of despotēs. On 1 January 1259 Michael VIII Palaiologos was proclaimed coemperor at Nymphaion]
After a certain short period of time , anyway upload to the greatness of kingship [axiom], after repeatedly pressing of notables and those who had the responsibility of managing public affairs . And so when the senior political officials and troops officers put him over the royal shield and proclaimed him king . And because Michael[=Michael Palaiologos] needed being crowned with the royal diadem[crown] , he went to the capital of Bithynia , Nicaea , where the Patriarch Arsenius crowned him with the royal diadem ......''


So we have both the refer to Roman/'byzantine state of existence and use of 'senate'/Synkletos(as the name became) and 'Rome' terms.

To a description from the Russian pilgrim Ignatius of Smolensk who saw himself the ceremony of proclamation at 1392 of emperor Manuel Paleologos, refer of the invited communities local(Romei) and foreign (Venetian, Genoese etc) with their symbols, but not a specific refer detailed.

So there is no specific text refer found by me, about SPQR symbol use by medieval Roman/'byzantines'.

Polyptych of St Augustine: Crucifixion ,
Date: circa 1460
Made by the great [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piero_della_Francesca"]Piero della Francesca[/ame]
Down from the cross Roman soldiers and their flags.(see crescent and star and SPQR )> http://historum.com/medieval-byzantine-history/29405-flags-byzantium-5.html


ps unfortunately it does not look very well the lavarum letters to picture top right (in case that appears letters> ), or even if known that SPQR ever translated to greek>

mid 15th century Roman (byzantine) painted Roman/'Byzantine' soldiers, from the Church of Agia Paraskevi , at Geroskipou (near Paphos), Cyprus. http://www.cyprus.com/ayia-paraskevi-byzantine-church-photos.html
Helena Palaiologina (Greek: Ἑλένη Παλαιολογίνα) (3 February 1428 – 11 April 1458) is a Roman/Byzantine princess of the Palaiologos family, who became the Queen consort of Cyprus and Armenia, titular Queen consort of Jerusalem, and Princess of Antioch through her marriage to King John II of Cyprus and Armenia. She welcome and assist many Romei/Byzantine refugees in Cyprus after the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. http://historum.com/medieval-byzant...roman-byzantine-appearance-armor-fashion.html

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