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Caradja, Karatzas (Greek: Καρατζάς), is a Scythian family known to exist for over 1000 years.

The oldest person known is the Byzantine Army Commander Argyros Karatzas, born after 1020 [1].

About a century later, we have Ioanna Karatzas marrying the Protovestario Emmanuel Laskaris, the Patriarch of the Laskaris family.

The family “blossomed” after the fall of Constantinople, with numerous members of the family serving in high positions including two Voivodes (Prince) of Wallachia:

Prince Nikolai Caradja Prince of Wallachia 1782-1783 and Prince Ioan Caradja Prince of Wallachia 1812-1818.

They were one of the Phanariot families[2]. The name translated from Turkish means "Dark Skin" (Greek: Μαυριδερος)


  1. The Alexiad of Anna Comnena. Penguin Classics; ISBN 0 14 04 4215 4
  2. Byzance apres Byzance, by N. Iorga. Bucurest 1971.