Surname Mangraviti and variations

The variations appearing in Italy are Mangraviti, Manglaviti, Mangravita

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The surname Mangraviti, and its variation Manglaviti, dates back to the 11th century and originates from the term Manglabites, a Byzantine officer assigned to the emperor's chosen guard. The Manglabìtes or Manglavìtes [in Greek, singular μαγ(γ)λαβίτης, plural μαγ(γ)λαβίται] was a member of a corps of bodyguards in the Byzantine Empire. The origin of the term itself is unclear: it might derive from the Arabic mijlab (= whip), or from the Latin manus (= hand) and clava (= cudgel), with reference to the weapons the corps was equipped with.


The Manglabìtai corps first appeared in the 9th century, when, along with the Hetaireia, were responsible for the personal safety of the emperor. Armed with swords, the manglabitai preceded him in ceremonies and had the task of unlocking certain gates of the Great Palace of Constantinople every morning.

A manglabìtes was usually of low origin, but their commander, the protomanglabìtes, had a high rank due to his proximity to the emperor. The manglabìtai bodyguard had disappeared by the late 11th century, though there are documents mentioning them as guards of the the Patriarchate of Constantinople up to the 13th century.

The most famous was Harald, cadet son of the Viking king, who being second in the succession to the Scandinavian throne after his brother Olaf, with five hundred knights offered his military services to Emperor Michael IV the Paphlagonian and fought bravely at Rametta and Troina during the Sicilian campaign (1038 - 1041). Traces of this corps remain in various toponyms of eastern Sicily (Pizzo Mangalaviti, Bosco and Case di Mangalaviti) and possibly Mangalavite, name of a feud in Calabria during the Middle Ages.


  • Italian White Pages: in 2020 there are about 70 listings of individuals, of them over 50 in Sicily.
  • Ellis Island: 322 arrivals for Mangraviti immigrants are recorded, mostly from Sicily.
The surname appears with about 40 listings in the Italian white pages of 2020, with over half of them in Calabria. There are about 15 records on Ellis Island. There is one record on Ellis Island of a Manglavito from Reggio Calabria, a wrong transcription of Manglaviti.
The surname is very rare, with under 10 listings in the Italian white pages of 2020, mostly from Sicily, and might be a spelling variation of Manglaviti. There are 13 arrivals on Ellis Island, mostly from Mistretta and Santa Caterina Villarmosa.
The surname is very rare, with a couple listings in the Italian white pages of 2020. There are half a dozen immigrations to the USA recorded in various sites.

Alphabetical Index

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