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John, asekretis and judge of Seleukeia (tenth/eleventh century)

Accession number BZS 1951.31.5.2688
Diameter 27 mm
Condition Seal is poorly engraved with a cracked channel on the obverse, and has a hole for suspension. Obverse is badly worn.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 5 no. 6.12. Parallel in Jordanov, Corpus I no. 68.1.

Obverse

Blank.

Reverse

Inscription of five lines, a decoration below. No border visible.

Ι
..ΗΚ..
..ΣΚΡΗ
..ΕΛΕΥ
..ΙΑΣ


Ἰω(άννης) [ἀσ]ηκ[ρίτι]ς (καὶ) κρη[τῃ Σ]ελευ[κε]ίας.

Translation

Ἰωάννῃ ἀσηκρίτις καὶ κρητῇ Σελευκείας.

John asekretis and judge of Seleukeia.

Commentary

Situated along the Arab frontier, Seleukeia was originally part of the maritime theme of the Kibyrrhaiotai, with a naval detachment commanded by a droungarios. After the Arabs took control of Cilicia in the eighth century, the region of Seleukeia was reorganized for the defense of the Byzantine borderlands, becoming an administrative and military kleisoura. The region was raised to the status of theme by Romanos I between 927 and 934.

The reading of this seal now differs from the first edition in DO Seals 5. The parallel seal published by Jordanov identifies the owner as John, asekretis and judge of Seleukeia. Although the obverse on our seal is so obscure as to render identification of a figure or inscription nearly impossible, the Bulgarian specimen shows that it originally depicted a bust of St. Michael, half turned to the left, holding a jewelled scepter over his right shoulder. There is an uncertain inscription of M-I-X-A or N-I-K-A at right, as well as a possible circular inscription, perhaps an invocation completed by the name in the dative case on the reverse.

The initial dating of this seal was based on the identification of the individual as a kleisouriarches; with the reading now changed, a broader dating is here adopted.

Accession number BZS 1951.31.5.2688
Diameter 27 mm
Condition Seal is poorly engraved with a cracked channel on the obverse, and has a hole for suspension. Obverse is badly worn.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 5 no. 6.12. Parallel in Jordanov, Corpus I no. 68.1.

Accession number BZS 1951.31.5.2688
Diameter 27 mm
Condition Seal is poorly engraved with a cracked channel on the obverse, and has a hole for suspension. Obverse is badly worn.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 5 no. 6.12. Parallel in Jordanov, Corpus I no. 68.1.

Notes

Accession number BZS 1951.31.5.2688
Diameter 27 mm
Condition Seal is poorly engraved with a cracked channel on the obverse, and has a hole for suspension. Obverse is badly worn.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 5 no. 6.12. Parallel in Jordanov, Corpus I no. 68.1.

Parallels

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