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Stephanos monk and bishop of Proussa (eleventh century)

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.865
Diameter 15 mm
Condition Struck off-center.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 67.4a.
Laurent, Corpus, V/1, no. 381.


Bust of St. Michael holding scepter and globus. On either side the inscription: ΜΧ: Μ(ι)χ(αήλ). Border of dots.


Inscription of five lines. Border of dots.


Κ(ύρι)ε β(οή)θ(ει) Στεφ(ά)ν(ῳ) (μον)αχ(ῷ) (καὶ) ἐπισκόπῳ Προύσης


Κύριε βοήθει Στεφάνῳ μοναχῷ καὶ ἐπισκόπῳ Προύσης.

Lord, help Stephanos, monk and bishop of Proussa.


Note the seal from the same boulloterion: BZS 1955.1.4674.

Proussa (modern Bursa at the foot of Mount Olympus in Bithynia), a suffragan of Nikomedeia (but situated in the Opsikion theme), was represented at the Council of Nicaea in 325 and is mentioned as such in all notitiae until the twelfth century. In early times, it was also called Θεούπολις: cf. Zacos-Veglery II, no. 1096. After its conquest by the Turks in 1326, it became a metropolis (about 1359). See Laurent, Corpus V/1, 273; Janin, Grands centres, 174-75; ODB III, 1750. 

We note that St. Michael is usually represented on the seals of the bishops of Proussa, allowing us to hypothesize that the episcopal church of the city may have been dedicated to the Archangel. Cf. SBS 4 (1994) 22.