Pronoia: the beneficiaries
he original nature of the institution of pronoia was mainly related to the military organisation of
the state. To deal with the problem of the lack of government funds and with the need to meet military expenses in some way, the state would grant soldiers a pronoia to provide them with a means of subsistance, while they, in return, would offer military service. In the late Byzantine period, however, this institution assumed a far greater importance and the system was very widely used. It was particularly common in the Empire of Nicaea, as well as in the
The question of the social status of the pronoiars has been extensively discussed. These beneficiaries might belong either to the higher or to the lower nobility, depending on their financial situation. It is probably worth noting that the holders of large military pronoiai did not serve as simple soldiers but as officers.