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Theodotos Melissenos Kassiteras, patriarch of Constantinople (815–21)

Accession Number:
BZS.1947.2.3 (formerly DO 47.2.3)

Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 110.1; Zacos II: no. 2; Laurent, Corpus 5.1: no. 3 (cited as Shaw no. 1092); Oikonomides, Dated Lead Seals, no. 43. A whole specimen, from a different boulloterion, is published in Byzantine Seals from Cyprus, no. 480.


35 mm
Half of seal, with two quarters soldered together in modern times.


Theodotos Melissenos Kassiteras, patriarch of Constantinople (815–21)

Cruciform invocative monogram (indeterminate type); a cross in each quarter. Indeterminate border


Theodotos Melissenos Kassiteras, patriarch of Constantinople (815–21)

Inscription of five lines. Indeterminate border.


Θεο[δό]τῳ πα[τρι]άρχῃ [Κων]σταν[τινου]πόλ[εως].


Κύριε βοήθει Θεοδότῳ πατριάρχῃ Κωνσταντινουπόλεως.

Lord, help Theodotos, patriarch of Constantinople.



Theodotos, born in Nakoleia, was the son of the patrikios Michael Melissenos, a member of Michael I Rhangabe’s inner circle. The cognomen (“tinker”) is mentioned in Skylitzes, 16, line 39. In his civilian career Theodotos achieved the rank of spatharokandidatos and was well advanced in years when Emperor Leo V appointed him as the successor of Patriarch Nikephoros I. Upon his accession in April of 815, he convened the Second Iconoclastic Council, in which iconophile patriarchs and their supporters were anathematized. For the early history of the Melissenos family, see Cheynet, Pouvoir, 88, n. 2. For Theodotos’s career see ODB 3:2054 and Prosopographie der mittelbyzantinischen Zeit 4, no. 7954. For a discussion of the title πατριάρχης Κωνσταντινουπόλεως, see Laurent,Corpus 5.1: XVI.

Oikonomides transcribed the last line of the inscription on the reverse as ΠO, but a small portion of the lambda is visible.


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