X, 2014, 1

Salutatio: A Possible Inheritance from the Byzantine Law during the Reign of Stephen the Great | p. 127–142

ceremonial, custom, high dignitary, messenger, princely court, salutatio


One episode of the diplomatic relations between Stephen the Great’s Moldavia and the Genoese from Caffa sheds light on a ceremonial custom from the princely court of Suceava: salutatio, the obligation of messengers and foreign high dignitaries passing through Moldavia to present themselves in front of the prince as a sign of respect to him. This custom, a hallmark of the prince’s sovereignty, was also present at the princely court of Wallachia and continued to exist in both courts for the next centuries, although in shapes that evolved in relation to their own political statuses. The same custom can be found earlier, in the 13th century, in the commercial relations between the Byzantine Empire under the reign of Michael VIII Palaiologus and the Genoese merchants who had to report to the imperial court to reverence the Emperor before passing the Bosphorus. Therefore the existence of the salutatio custom in Moldavia during the reign of Stephen the Great could be a possible inheritance from the Byzantine law.