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Leo higoumenos (of the monastery) tou Agrou (eleventh century)

 
 

Obverse

Bust of the Virgin with her hands held open before her. On either side the sigla: ̅-θ̅υ : Μ(ήτη)ρ Θ(εο)ῦ. Tongues of fire above the sigla and a pellet below each of them. Border of dots.

Reverse

Inscription of four lines. Border of dots.

+λε
ονηγ
μεντ
.γρ

Λέον ἡγούμεν(ος) τοῦ [Ἀ]γροῦ

Obverse

Bust of the Virgin with her hands held open before her. On either side the sigla: ̅-θ̅υ : Μ(ήτη)ρ Θ(εο)ῦ. Tongues of fire above the sigla and a pellet below each of them. Border of dots.

Reverse

Inscription of four lines. Border of dots.

+λε
ονηγ
μεντ
.γρ

Λέον ἡγούμεν(ος) τοῦ [Ἀ]γροῦ

Accession number BZS.1947.2.97
Diameter 22.0 mm; field: 17.0 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 42.2.

Laurent, Corpus V/2, no. 1236 (misread and attributed, with some hesitation, to Latros)

Translation

Λέον ἡγούμενος τοῦ Ἀγροῦ.

Leo, higoumenos (of the monastery) tou Agrou.

Commentary

Line four of the reverse: the border of the second strike runs into the initial letters and obscures them; only the last two letters (Ρ) are certain. The preceding letter appears to be upright, either τ or γ; the first visible letter seems to be triangular and hence is either α, λ, or δ. Laurent read [Λ]άτρου, but this creates an unbalanced line because there is space for only one letter at the beginning; moreover, no Leo is mentioned in the list of higoumenoi of Latros (Janin, Grands centres, 235). All these problems disappear with the reading Ἀγροῦ, which is very well supported by the traces of letters on the lead.

The monastery τοῦ Ἀγροῦ or τοῦ Μεγάλου Ἀγροῦ was founded ca. 786 by St. Theophanes the Confessor at the foot of Mt. Sigriane (near the modern Turkish village of Kursunlu) between Kyzikos and the mouth of the Ryndakos River (Laurent, Corpus V/3, 242; Janin, Grands centres, 195-99). The monastery probably suffered decline in the later eleventh century, but revived in the thirteenth century, and was still functioning in the early fourteenth century. It is porbably that it was also called the monastery of St. Theophanes.