Perboundos 1

Prosopography of the Byzantine Empire
FloruitM/L VII
Dates675 (taq) / 676 (ob.)
PmbZ No.5901
Thessalonike (residence);
Bizye (Thrace)
TitlesKing, Rhynchinoi (office)
Textual SourcesMiracula Sancti Demetrii, in Les plus anciens recueils des Miracles de saint Démétrius et la pénétration des Slaves dans les Balkans, ed. P. Lemerle, 2 vols. (Paris, 1979-81) (hagiography)

Perboundos 1 was the king of the Rhynchinoi (τοῦ τῶν Ῥυγχίνων ῥηγός, τοὔνομα Περβούνδου), living in Thessalonike (ἐν τῇ πόλει διάγοντα), probably in 675/676 (see below), when he was accused of plotting against Thessalonike; the prefect of Thessalonike (Anonymus 557) reported the matter to the emperor and Perboundos 1 was arrested and taken to Constantinople in fetters: Mir. Dem. II 4, 231. Embassies were sent to Constantinople from the Slavenoi of Rhynchinos and Strymon seeking his pardon and release, and the emperor promised to do so when the current war against the Arabs was over: Mir. Dem. II 4, 232. Perboundos 1 was well-treated but, when peace was restored, before he could be released, an unnamed hermeneutes (Anonymus 555) persuaded him to escape and take refuge on his estate in Thrace, from where in a few days he could be escorted to his own country (εἰς τὸν οἰκεῖον τόπον): Mir. Dem. II 4, 233-234. King Perboundos 1, dressed in Greek costume and speaking Greek, masqueraded as a citizen of Constantinople and passed out through the Gate of Blachernai to the interpreter's country estate, where he hid (cf. Anonymus 556): Mir. Dem. II 4, 235 (ὁ ῥὴξ Περβοῦνδος, ὡς φορῶν ῥωμαῖον σχῆμα καὶ λαλῶν τῇ ἡμετέρᾳ διαλέκτῳ, ὡς εἷς τῶν πολιτῶν ἔξεισι τῆς ἐν Βλαχέρναις πύλης, καὶ εἰς τὸ τοῦ ἑρμηνευτοῦ προάστειον ἄπεισιν). The emperor made desperate efforts to find him and issued a warning to Thessalonike to be prepared for an attack from the Slavenoi: Mir. Dem. II 4, 235- 237. Perboundos 1 was then discovered, hiding among reeds on the interpreter's estate near the city of the Bizytanoi, when the man's wife (Anonyma 53) was seen taking him food; he could easily have found freedom among neighbouring Slav tribes: Mir. Dem. II 4, 238. He was taken back to Constantinople, where he disclosed details of his escape, and the interpreter (Anonymus 555), his wife (Anonyma 53) and family were executed, while Perboundos 1 was again placed under guard: Mir. Dem. II 4, 239. He planned to escape again, but this time was caught, and he confessed that his intention was to wage outright war on the Christians: Mir. Dem. II 4, 240-241. He was executed, and Thessalonike now came under attack from the Slav tribes of the Strymon and Rhynchinos as well as the Sagoudatai: Mir. Dem. II 4, 242. The chronology of this affair is discussed by Lemerle, Les plus anciens recueils, Vol. II, pp. 128-133. From the allusions to the war with the Arabs he dates the affair of Perboundos 1 to the years 675/676, with the ensuing siege of Thessalonike in 676 to 678, and the attack on Thessalonike in July 677.

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