Bandon (Byzantine Empire)

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The bandon (Greek: βάνδον) was the basic military and territorial administrative unit of the middle Byzantine Empire. Its name derived from Latin bandum, "ensign, banner", which in turn had a Germanic origin. The term was used already in the 6th century as a term for a battle standard, and soon came to be applied to the unit bearing such a standard itself. In the Byzantine army of the 8th–11th centuries, the bandon formed the basic unit, with five to seven banda forming a tourma, the major subdivision of a Byzantine theme, a combined military-civilian province. Each bandon was commanded by a komes ("count"), with infantry banda 200–400 strong and cavalry banda 50–100 strong. Unlike other middle Byzantine administrative and military terms, the bandon survived well into the late Byzantine period, and remained the basic territorial unit of the Empire of Trebizond until its fall.