The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a feudal institution in Byzantium. The charistikion was the income received from a monastery by a layman who had been granted the right to manage the monastery’s property and control its revenue. The charistikion could be granted only by the emperor or the patriarch. The layman, or charisticary, received the charistikion either for life or for two or three generations. The practice of granting charistikia appears to have existed as early as the late ninth century; it was widespread in the 11th and 12th centuries and had nearly disappeared by the 13th century.

The charistikion helped subordinate the small monasteries founded by rural communities to the feudal system. The grants also served to create a stratum of people who benefited from the sovereign and were thus personally beholden to him. The charistikia cost the emperor nothing since the money derived not from the state treasury but from the revenue of church lands.


Litavrin, G. G. Bolgariia i Vizantiia v XI–XII vv. Moscow, 1960. Pages 110–28.
Ahrweiler, H. “Charisticariat.” In Zbornik radova vizantološkog instituta, vol. 10, 1967.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.