Pinkernes (Greek: πιγκέρνης), sometimes also epinkernes (ἐπιγκέρνης), was a high Byzantine court position. The term, deriving from the Greek verb ἐπικεράννυμι ("to mix [wine]"), signified the Byzantine emperor's cup-bearer.[1] The position is attested in Philotheos's Klētorologion of 899, where a pinkernes of the Byzantine emperor (Greek: πιγκέρνης τοῦ δεσπότου) and of the Augusta (Greek: πιγκέρνης τῆς Αὐγούστης) are listed amongst the eunuchs of the palace staff.[2] The position was also imitated in the staff of the Patriarch of Constantinople and in the households of great magnates. In literary sources, the more descriptive terms oinochoos ("wine-pourer") and kylikiphoros ("bearer of the kylix") are often used instead.[1] In the Komnenian period, the post ceased to be restricted to eunuchs, and gradually became a title of distinction, even awarded to the Byzantine emperor's relatives. Several senior generals of the Palaiologan period, such as Michael Tarchaneiotes Glabas, Alexios Philanthropenos and Syrgiannes Palaiologos, were awarded the title.[1]


  1. 1 2 3 Kazhdan 1991, p. 1679.
  2. Bury 1911, p. 128.


Further reading

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