You are here:Home/Resources/ Byzantine Seals/ Search the Catalogue/ John Thylakas, patrikios, anthypatos, vestes, hypatos and judge of the Opsikion (eleventh century)

John Thylakas, patrikios, anthypatos, vestes, hypatos and judge of the Opsikion (eleventh century)

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.1224
Diameter 26 mm
Condition Oxidated and corroded.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 39.15.

Obverse

Inscription of four lines; decoration visible below. Border of dots.

πρι
ανθυπ
τ,εσ..
υπατ.
– ·

ωάννῃ πατρικίῳ, ἀνθυπάτ, βέστῃ, ὑπάτ

Reverse

Inscription of four lines; decoration visible below. Border of dots.

κριτ
.ουοψ.
.ουτ
θυλακ
·

καὶ κριτ τοῦ Ὀψικίου τῷ Θυλακ

Translation

Ἰωάνν πατρικίῳ, ἀνθυπάτῳ, βέστῃ, ὑπάτῳ καὶ κριτῇ τοῦ Ὀψικίου τῷ Θυλακᾷ.

John patrikios, anthypatos, vestes, hypatos, and judge of the Opsikion.

Commentary

A judge with the name Thylakas is mentioned in the Peira (16,9). We also know the eleventh-century seals of John Thylakas, spatharokandidatos (SBS 3 [1993] 77-78) and spatharokandidatos, asekretis and judge of Lykandos (SBS 2 [1990] 90-91). All three could be the same person as the owner of the present seal.

Opsikion was one of the earliest themes of Byzantium; its name from the term obsequium (retinue), often called "imperial obsequium guarded by God." Its territory included many provinces and initially encompassed all northwestern Asia Minor; by the mid-eighth century it was subdivided, and the new themes of the Boukellarioi and of the Optimatoi appeared. All three names show that the origins of this theme are to be sought in the regiments of the imperial guard, and according to some scholars, to the milites praesentales of the fifth century.

The commander of Opsikion traditionally bore the titles of komes, probably because initially he was identical to the comes domesticorum. He is first attested in 626 (perhaps already in 615), and, because of his proximity to Constantinople (his residence was in Nicaea), he played an important role in imperial politics. As this happened regularly with all units of the imperial guard, the tagmata (Listes, 329), the second in command of the Opsikion was called for quite some time a topoteretes (cf. Zacos-Veglery, no. 1762). The province was organized as all other themes (with tourmarchai, anagrapheis, judges, protonotarioi, chartoularioi, strateutai [Laurent, Orghidan, no. 218], etc.), and, already in the ninth century, the commander was also called a strategos (see Listes, 264, footnote 23; Zacos, Seals II, no. 850; Seyrig, no. 191).

The littoral of the Opsikion was also part of the theme of Aigaion Pelagos.

See Pertusi, in De Them., 127-30; Winkelmann, Ämsterstruktur, 72-76, 119-20; ODB III, 1528-29; Haldon, Praetorians, passim, esp. 164 ff; T. Lounghis, "A Deo conservandum imperiale Obsequium," ByzSl 52 (1991) 54-60.

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.1224
Diameter 26 mm
Condition Oxidated and corroded.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 39.15.

Notes

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.1224
Diameter 26 mm
Condition Oxidated and corroded.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 39.15.

Parallels

Related Content