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Romanos Skleros, magistros and doux of Antioch (before June/July 1054)

Accession number BZS 1951.31.5.49
Diameter 35 mm
Field diameter 32 mm
Condition Weak strike
Previous Editions

DO Seals 5 no. 9.5. Laurent, “Gouverneurs d’Antioche,” 242 (no. 1); see idem, Vatican, no. 94 (copy); Seibt, Skleroi, 79. Parallel specimen published in Likhachev, Molivdovuly, 76, pl. LX, 9; Seyrig, no. 158.


St. George standing, holding a spear in his right hand and a shield in his left. Traces of an inscription visible on the left: Ο|Α|Γ|Ι|Ο|Σ  
Ὁ ἅγιος [Γεώργιος]. Border of dots.


Inscription of six lines followed by an ornament. Border of dots.


Κ(ύρι)ε β(οή)θ(ει) Ῥωμανῷ μαγίστρῳ (καὶ) δουκ(ὶ) Ἀντ(ι)οχίας τῷ Σκλιρῷ


Κύριε βοήθει Ῥωμανῷ μαγίστρῳ καὶ δουκὶ Ἀντιοχίας τῷ Σκλιρῷ.

Lord, help Romanos Skleros, magistros and doux of Antioch.


A similar specimen, with a slightly different inscription, is published in Spink I, no. 44.

This seal and BZS.1958.106.5699 show that while doux of Antioch Skleros rose from magistros to proedros; a letter of Michael Keroularios dated to June/July 1054, which addresses him as proedros and doux of Antioch, indicates that this promotion took place shortly before this time. Other seals, showing a change of patron saint from St. George to St. Michael, proclaim Skleros proedros, doux of Antioch, and stratopedarches of the East (REG 13 [1900]: 471–73; Likhachev, Molivdovuly, 104, pl. LXIII, 9; Seyrig, no. 159; SBS 5 [1998]: 147), but it remains uncertain whether he attained this latter office before being dismissed by the empress Theodora (between August 1055 and September 1056; cf. Laurent, Vatican, 91–92), or, as is more likely, upon his restoration as doux of Antioch early in 1057 by Isaakios Komnenos, out of gratitude for Skleros’s support of his successful rebellion against Michael VI (cf. Seibt, Skleroi, 79–82; Todt, “Region,” 298–300). Skleros’s star continued to rise under this emperor, as shown by a seal (Spink I, no. 86) that records his subsequent promotion to kouropalates.