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Michael Skleros, protoproedros and anagrapheus of Drougoubiteia (eleventh century)

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.1503
Diameter 26 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 21.1c.
Cf. Seibt, Die Skleroi, 99 = no. 24.


Bust of the Virgin orans with medallion of Christ on her breast. Sigla: ̅ΘΥ̅: Μήτηρ Θεοῦ. Circular inscription along border of dots.


Θεοτόκε βοήθει


Inscription of six lines. Border of dots.


Μιχαὴλ πρωτοπροέδρῳ καὶ ἀναγραφεὺς Δρουγουβιτίας τῷ Σκληρ


Θεοτόκε βοήθει Μιχαὴλ πρωτοπροέδρῳ καὶ ἀναγραφεὺς Δρουγουβιτίας τῷ Σκληρῷ.

Theotokos, help Michael Skleros protoproedros and anagrapheus of Drougoubiteia.


This specimen comes from the same boulloterion as BZS.1958.106.2360 and BZS.1951.31.5.1503.

Note the incoherent dative-nominative-dative in the formulation of the inscription. Michael Skleros is known from several other sources: while he was a protoproedros, he also became ἐξισωτὴς τῆς Δύσεως, judge of Thrace and Macedonia (1082; cf. DO Seals 1, no. 1.22), and later became kouropalates (1094/5); see the comments of Seibt, Skleroi, no. 24.

The title "strategos of Drougoubiteia" is mentioned in the Escorial Taktikon (971-975: ὁ στρατηγὸς Δρουγουβιτείας̣: Listes, 267, line 6). Since we have (1) the seal and two documents of judge Nicholas (of 995 and 996: Iviron, nos. 9-10; cf. Oikonomides, Dated Seals, no. 72) showing that the strategeia of Drougoubiteia was located north of Thessalonica and bordered on the theme of the Strymon; (2) information about a (suffragan) bishopric of Drougoubiteia, attested from 879 on, with the bishop's seat situated west of Thessalonica, near Pella (village Hagioi Apostoloi: cf. R. Janin, DHGE 14 [1960] 782-83); (3) a Slavic tribe of the Drougoubitai who lived in the tenth century somewhere between Berroia and Thessalonica (Ioannes Cameniates, 8; cf. G. Tsaras, in Βυζαντινά 13/1 [1985] 177-200); and (4) the text of Chomatianos speaking of the Drougoubitike exousia over Berroia and up to Skoplje (cf. F. Barišić and B. Ferjančić, "Vesti Dimitrija Homatijana o vlasti Druguvita," Zbor. Rad. 20 [1981] 41-58), Oikonomides (Listes, 357-58) argued that the term Drougoubiteia indicates a large zone surrounding Thessalonica from west to east and inhabited mainly by Slavs, who were eventually placed under the command of an archon (DO Seals 1, no. 21.2).