From the 9th century, the Byzantine Empire was once again able to safeguard its borders and protect its inhabitants. The sale and the exploitation of land once more became a profitable financial investment and was the preferred choice of many inhabitants. The richer purchased and exploited vast areas and, as a result, their profits increased accordingly. These areas were exploited by means of indirect cultivation: that is to say, they were given over to be farmed by dependent cultivators (tenant cultivators who did not own the land).
These large landowners formed a new social class called dynatoi (powerful), as described by contemporary Byzantine sources. In the middle of the 9th century, a member of this class, a widow called Danielis, was cited as owner of a lordly oikos (mansion) in the region of Patras. The wealth of this estate was so great that Danielis was able to offer such large amounts as gifts to the future Basil I (at that time he was a simple attendant to the imperial envoy in the Peloponnese), that by investing them in estates in Macedonia, they constituted the basis of his extensive fortune in later life. The fortune bequeathed by Daneilis to the Emperor Leo VI was recorded as comprising almost 80 proasteia, with vast tracts of land, whole villages and small towns, workshops of linen and silk textiles, carpet-weaving workshops, as well as 3000 slaves, whom the Emperor set free and sent to Italy. Shortly afterwards, in the 10th century, some landowners in Asia Minor were so rich that they could support even a private army.