Basil Bronze-Hand

Basil Bronze-Hand


Date of birth unknown; died circa 932. Leader of the peasant uprising that erupted in about 932 in Byzantium in the theme (district) of Opsicia located in northwest Asia Minor.

Information about Basil Bronze-Hand is scanty. He came from Macedonia and adopted the name of Constantine Ducas, a Byzantine general who headed an unsuccessful rebellion in Constantinople in 913. The immediate cause of the uprising led by Basil was the famine of 928. The insurgents seized the fortress of Plataea. After the uprising was smashed by imperial troops, Basil was publicly burned in Constantinople. It is possible that his uprising forced Emperor Romanus I to publish a Novel in defense of peasant landholding.


Kazhdan, A. P. “ ‘Velikoe vosstanie’ Vasiliia Mednoi ruki.” In Vizantiiskii vremennik, vol. 4. Moscow, 1951.