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The Greek term baioulos (βαΐουλος) was used in the Byzantine empire to refer to a preceptor or tutor. Although it clearly derives from the Latin term baiulus, in the 12th century the theologian Theodore Balsamon claimed that it came from baion (palm leaf) because the preceptor was charged with supervising the growth of young minds.
In the 9th century, Theophanes the Confessor used the term to refer to the emperor's personal preceptor. By the 10th century, the title megas baioulos (grand preceptor) had been created for Basil Lekapenos, tutor of the future Romanos II. The 14th-century Pseudo-Kodinos did not know where the megas baioulos fell in the Byzantine hierarchy, but other contemporaries place it immediately above the kouropalates.
- A. P. Kazhdan, "Baioulos", in A. P. Kazhdan, ed., The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium (Oxford University Press, 1991 [online 2005]).
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