The Byzantine Castle of SantAniceto also San Niceto is an Eastern Roman Empire castle built in the early 11th century on a hill in Motta San Giovanni, now in the province of Reggio Calabria, southern Italy.It is one of the few examples of High Middle Ages architecture in Calabria, as well as one of the few well-preserved Byzantine fortifications in the world. The name derives from that of St. Nicetas, a Eastern Roman admiral who lived in the 7th-8th centuries.
The castle is one of the few Byzantine fortifications subjected to the work of restoration and recovery.The castle has an irregular shape, which resembles the shape of a ship with the bow facing the mountain and the stern to the sea.Near the entrance are visible and two square towers at the foot of a short climb which connects it with the plain below there is a church equipped with a painted dome with a painting of Christ Pantocrator , subject typical of Byzantine art.The walls have a height varying from 3 to 3.5 meters , a thickness of about one meter and are still in excellent condition. The construction materials used are mostly made of stone square, brick and mortar.
The themes or themata were the main administrative divisions of the middle Byzantine Empire. They were established in the mid-7th century in the aftermath of the Muslim conquests of Byzantine territory and replaced the earlier provincial system established by emperors Diocletian and Constantine the Great.
In their origin, the first themes were created from the areas of encampment of the field armies of the East Roman Army, and their names corresponded to the military units they had resulted from. The theme system reached its apogee in the 9th and 10th centuries, as older themes were split up and the conquest of territory resulted in the creation of new ones. The original theme system underwent significant changes in the 11th and 12th centuries, but the term remained in use as a provincial and financial circumscription, until the very end of the Empire.