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Eustratios monk and presbyteros of the Kosmidion (twelfth/thirteenth century)

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.2095
Diameter 21 mm
Field diameter 18 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 5 no. 39.2; Laurent, Corpus 5.2: no. 1146.


Inscription of three lines followed by decoration. Circle of pellets within a double border of dots.

σ͂ο Ύ

Κ(ύρι)ε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλ(ῳ)


Inscription of four lines. Border of dots.


Εὐστρατίου (μον)αχ(οῦ) κ(αὶ) πρε(σ)βυτ(έρου) [τ]οῦ Κ(οσ)μιδίου


Κύριε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Εὐστρατίου μοναχοῦ καὶ πρεσβυτέρου τοῦ Κοσμιδίου.

Lord, help your servant Eustratios monk and presbyteros of the Kosmidion.


According to Janin (Églises, 286) the extramural church of the Kosmidion was built by a certain Paulinus, an intimate of Thedosios II. He places the Kosmidion on the western side of Eyüp, on the hillside bordering the sea. Mango, however, is dubious (see his "on the Cult of the Saints Cosmas and Damian at Constantinople," 189–192). In line with the sources (see the Chronicon pashale, Bonn ed., 713.9–10), he places it ἐν Βλαχέρναις. Since the Blachernae and the Kosmidion shared a healing bath (lousma), he favors locating the church of the Kosmidion on a hill just outside the Blachernae walls. He is inclined to attribute the construction of the church to about 480 and to Paulina, the mother of the usurper Leontios (484–488). The Avars destroyed the church in the siege of 626.

When the monastery was erected is not known. Janin places it in the sixth century. This seal shows that a monastery at Kosmidion was functioning in the eleventh century. It may belong to the period when Michael IV (1034–1041) added a bath and had the grounds renewed with a garden. He refurbished the church and had it adorned with marbles and mosaics (Janin, Églises, 287).

Laurent misread the seal and dated it much too early. It is evident from the presence of accent marks (circumflex and acute) and the use of a double loop beta that the seal dates from at least the twelfth century.