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Alexios Gidos, sebastos and grand domestikos of the West (twelfth century)

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.490
Diameter 36 mm
Previous Editions

Laurent, Corpus II, no. 944; DO Seals 1 no. 1.14. Cf. Wassiliou-Seibt, Siegel mit metrischen Legenden II, no. 2585.


St. George standing, holding a spear, his left hand on a shield resting on ground. Inscription in two columns: ο||γι|ο|σγε|ρ|γι|ο|Σ:  Ὁ ἅγιος Γεώργιος. Border of dots.


Inscription of seven lines. Border of dots.


Σφραγὶς μεγάλου Δύσεως δομεστίκου Γίδου σεβαστοῦ τῶν γρα[φ]ῶν Ἀλεξίου


Σφραγὶς μεγάλου Δύσεως δομεστίκου Γίδου σεβαστοῦ τῶν γραφῶν Ἀλεξίου.

Seal of the letters of the Alexios Gidos, sebastos and the grand domestikos of the West.


The inscription consists of two twelve-syllable verses. Laurent published another seal of this man in Corpus II, no. 943; in this specimen the two verses of the inscription are reversed in order.

The owner of this seal was undoubtedly the well-known Alexios Gidos, who is mentioned by Eustathios of Thessalonica as ὁ τῶν ἀνατολκῶν μέγας δομέστικος at the time of the Norman seizure of Thessalonica (1185) and who is described by Choniates as τὸν τῆς δύσεως δομέστικον in 1189 (Choniates, 403.62; cf. Guilland, Recherches I, 408-409). In 1194, at the time of the Bulgarian uprising and disastrous battle of Arkadioupolis, he was in charge of the troops of the East while the troops of the West were commanded by Basil Batatzes (Choniates, 446.65-66). Laurent, Corpus II, 508, along with Guilliand, ibid., 408, believed that Alexios Gidos, although leading the "tagmata" of the East into battle, was still in fact the grand domestikos of the West, an assertion that is unwarranted in light of the specific wording of Choniates' text. It is clear that at different times Alexios Gidos occupied both positions.