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Argyropoulos (Greek: Αργυρόπουλος). The family is also known by the nickname Agiostephanites (Greek: Αγιοστεφανίτες).

Very old Byzantine family dating back over 1000 years. Allegations that the family "Argyropoulos" evolved from the family Argyros, may not be true. The following very old Greek "story" explains the name:

«Οι ανωθι ωνομασθησαν Αργυροπουλοι και Αγιοστεφανιτες, διοτι ο βασιλευς ο Μακεδων, δια το σημαδι οπου ιδε, ετυπωσε ενα αετον αργυρον εις τα φλαμπουρα του και ωνομασθη αργυροπουλος, και οταν παλιν ασυγχωρησε του υιου του του Λεοντος, δια την συκοφαντιαν του Σανταβαρινου, και εχρισε τον βασιλεα, τον εστεφανωσε με το στεφανι της Υπεραγιας Θεοτοκου των Βλαχερνων, και ωνομασεν τον υιον Στεφανιτου τον Πορφυρογεννητον». [1].

Freely translated: "The above were named Argyropouloi and Agiostephanites because the King "the Macedonian", after the sign he did see, printed a silver eagle on his "flag" and was named "Argyropoulos", and when he did forgive his son Leon, for the slander of Santavatino, christen the King and crowned him with the "crown' of the holiest mother of God of Vlacherno, and named the son "Stefanitou the Porphyrogeniton".

The family Argyropoulos appears in Constantinople before the 12th century and they were called “Agiostephanites”, maybe because they were the benefactors of the Monestry of Agio Stefanos. They were influential, represented in the Senate and must have had a private army serving the needs of the Emperor of the day at a fee.

In 1182, the Emperor Alexios B' Komnenos (1180-1183)[2] choose the following 12 "Archons" (Phokas, Skordylis, Gavalas, Kafatos, Archoleos, Chortatzis, Moussouros, Varouchas, Melissinos, Litinos, Argyropoulos, and Vlastos) to migrate and resettle the island of Crete. Phokas and Skordyllis were co-leaders of the expedition. The purpose of the expedition: To increase the Christian population, defend the island from Arabs and Pirates, and collect taxes. Allegedly, it took 850 ships to transport the 12 families, their soldiers and supplies and horses to Crete.

The leader of the Argyropoulos family was the Senator (Εντιμος και ευγενης αρχων) Ioannis (born c. 1160), and with him were his father Nikiforos, and his brothers Stefanos, Georgios, Nikolaos, Vasilios, Menas and Nikitas.

In Crete, they settled in the Eastern side of the island, in the area known as Mirambello and Sitia and were known as “Agiostephanites”. It did not take long for the family to become the "Lords" Eastern part of Crete.

In 1206, Stefanos and his wife donated some Cretan vineyards to a Monastery (Saint John Theologos) in Patmos.

In 1211, “Agistephanites” were the first family to organize a revolt against Venetian Rule. The Venetian Duke of Crete, Jacopo Tiepolo, unable to confront the “Rebels”, requested help from the Duke of Archipelagos Marco Sanudo. Final outcome, the Venetians won and among others, Theotokis Agiostephanitis was killed (1212).[3].

Successful Argyropouloi can be found (under the names Argyros, Argyropoulos and Argyrakis) in almost everywhere: Crete, Athens, Salonica and in Constantinople (before 1500), and in Phanar after 1700.

Prominent Members of the Argyropoulos family

Ioannis Argyropoulos (ca. 1415-1487) Logios.

Isaac Argyropoulos Musician (son of the Above)

Vasilios Argyropoulos (1894-1953) Actor

Jacob Argyropoulos (1774-1850) Logios, Diplomat, Dragoman

Michael Argyropoulos (1862-1949) Poet and Polititian.

Athanasios Argyros (1859-1945) Lawyer, Polititian

Uberto Argyros (1877-1963) Painter

Loucas Argyropoulos Ban of Craiova 1818;

Pericles Argyropoulos (1881-1966)Gov. of Macedonia, Greek Foreign Minister; Ambassador to Paris, etc.

Unfinished: To continue


  1. Ενα νεο χειρογραφο για τα δωδεκα αρχοντοπυλα της Κρητης. Αλεξανδρος Ν. Τσουρδαλακης. Κρητολογικα Γραμματα. 11. Ρεθυμνο 1995, 287-304.
  2. Ενα νεο χειρογραφο για τα δωδεκα αρχοντοπυλα της Κρητης. Αλεξανδρος Ν. Τσουρδαλακης. Κρητολογικα Γραμματα. 11. Ρεθυμνο 1995, 287-304.
  3. Κρητη. Ιστορια και Πολιτισμος. Vol. 2; Second Printing; 1988. By Nikolaos Panagiotakis, Vikelaia Public Library, Heraklion, Crete