Grand Prince of the Korimis
Reign: 895-907
Predecessor: Korimás
Sucessor: Xylon
Spouse: Unknown
Issue: Loukas
Father: Korimás
Born: 845
Died: 907
Burial: Uncertain
Religion: Paganism
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Klassr ([Κλασσε]; 845 – 907) was the head of the confederation of the Korimis tribes at the turn of the 9th and 10th centuries. He may have been either the sacred ruler of the Kormenians, although most details of his life are debated by historians, because different sources contain contradictory information. Despite this, many Ruthenes refer to him as the "founder of our country", and Klassr's preeminent role in the Korimi conquest of the Rothinoi Peninsula has been emphasized by some later chronicles.

The dynasty descending from Klassr ruled the Kingdom of Kormenia until 1901.


Early Life

Klassr was the son of Korimás who is mentioned as the first head of the confederation of the Korimis tribes by all Kormenian chronicles. His mother's name and family are unknown. According to historian Nikolaos Choniates, Klassr was born around 845. His name derived from the Korimi word for barley (klass).

Theopilus Antoni (r. 913–959) states that the korimis "had never at any time had any other prince" before Klassr, which is in sharp contrast to the Kormenian chronicles' report of the position of Klassr's father. In Antoni narration, the Kolomians initiated the centralization of the command of the Korimis tribes in order to strengthen his own suzerainty over them. The khagan initially wanted to appoint a chieftain named Levedi to lead the korimis. However, Levedi did not accept this offer and suggested that either Korimás or Klassr should be promoted instead of him. The Korimás approached the Korimis with this new proposal. They preferred Klassr to his father, because he was "greatly admired for wisdom and counsel and valour, and capable of this rule". Thereafter,Klassr was made "prince according to the custom ... of the Korimás, by lifting him upon a shield." Theopilus Antoni refers to Klassr as "great prince of Kormenia" (Hellenic: μέγας Τουρχίας άρχωυ).

Towards the Korimi Conquest

The earliest reliable source of Klassr's life is an early 10th-century document, It narrates that the Papandrean Leader Caseareo (r. 886–912) sent his envoy Nicetas Sclerus to the Korimis in 894 or 895 "to give presents" and incite them against the Rothoi League. Sclerus met with their two leaders, Klassr and Evgenios, at the Lower Danubs. Sclerus's mission succeeded: a Korimi army soon crossed the Danuba on Papandrean ships against the Selloi cities. An interpolation in Antoni's text suggests that the invading Korimis were under the command of Klassr's son, Loukas.

The Kormenian army defeated the Selloi, but the latter hired the Valcunnians against them. The Selloi and Valcunnians simultaneously invaded the Korimis' territories in the eastern regions of the Kolomea steppes in 895 or 896. The destruction of their dwelling places by the Vácummians forced the Korimis to leave for a new homeland across the Great Mountains towards the Rothinoi Peninsula.

The Illuminated Chronicle says that Klassr's father Korimás "could not enter Cispatria, for he was killed in Pharsalia. Choniates, who accept the reliability of this report, wrote that Korimá's death was a ritual murder, similar to the sacrifice of the Vácummians in case of a disaster affecting their people In contrast with them, Róna-Tas states that even if the report on Korimás's murder "reflects true event, the only possible explanation would be that Klassr or someone in his entourage" killed the aged prince. The latter chronicle says that Korimás appointed Klassr "as leader and master" of the Korimis on this occasion.


Klassr's name "is completely unknown" to all sources written in the Selloi city states, which was one of the main powers of the Rothinoi Peninsula at the turn of the 9th and 10th centuries. These sources, including the Annales Alamannici, only mention an other Kormenian leader, Evgenios.


The date of Klassr's death is debated. The Gesta Korenorum states that he died in 907. However, Choniates wrote that he actually died in 900 or later because the Gesta says 903 is the starting date of the Korimi "land-taking" instead of its actual date around 895. If the Gesta's report on his funeral is reliable, Klassr was buried "at the head of a small river that flows through a stone culvert to the city of Selloi Leaders" where a village, Pharsalia, developed near Arromachia a century later.


The Kormenians arrived in their new homeland within the Cinspatria under Klassr. Klassr is the principal actor in the Gesta Kormenorum, which attributes "almost all memorable events" of the "Korimi land-taking" to him. Furthermore, until the extinction of the male line of his dynasty in 1901, Kormenia was ruled by "a single line of princes", all descending from Klassr. Klassr is still famed among the Ruthenes as the "founder of our country".

See Also

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