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Basil Xeros, protospatharios, grand chartoularios and judge of the Boukellarioi (eleventh century)

Accession number BZS.1955.1.3404
Diameter 31 mm
Condition Overstruck on the reverse by a large R (almost 7 mm tall); the relation of the understrike to the overstrike is 90 degrees.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 4, no. 1.9a.

Obverse

Bust of St. Mark holding book. Vertical inscription on either side: |Μ|Α|ΡΚ|Ο|Σ : Ὁ ἅ(γιος) Μᾶρκος. Circular inscription within a border of dots:

κύριεβοήθειτσΔΟΥΛ

[Κ(ύρι)ε βοή]θει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ

Reverse

Inscription of six lines, a decoration above. Border of dots.


RΑΣΙΛ,
ΑˋΣΠΑΘ,
ΧΑΡΤΛ,S
ΚΡΙΤ,ΤΝ
RΚΕΛ,Τ
ΞΗΡ

Βασιλ(είῳ) (προτο)σπαθ(αρίῳ), μ(ε)γ(άλῳ) χαρτουλ(αρίῳ) (καὶ) κριτ(ῇ) τῶν Βουκελ(λαρίων) τῷ Ξηρῷ

Translation

Κύριε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Βασιλείῳ προτοσπαθαρίῳ, μεγάλῳ χαρτουλαρίῳ καὶ κριτῇ τῶν Βουκελλαρίων τῷ Ξηρῷ.

Lord, help your servant Basil Xeros, protospatharios, grand chartoularios and judge of the Boukellarioi.

Commentary

Basil Xeros is known from many seals: see DO Seals 2, no. 8.16 and DO Seals 4, no. 59.1.

This seal and its three related specimens seem to be exact copies of each other and probably come from the same boulloterion, except for DO Seals 4, no. 1.9b, on which Saint Mark is depicted with slight differences (see the triangular opening of the shirt). The readings of this seal and the three listed below have been combined.

This seal has been stamped on the reverse by the R-shaped beta. Despite appearances, this letter does not belong to the double-loop type (which had disappeared after the first half of the ninth century). This single letter, lying on the side and away from the seal’s channel must have been impressed on the finished seal (otherwise, the R would not seal anything as it would have left the channel open and intact). The form and the size bring to mind ninth century seals of the imperial sakelle (Zacos-Veglery, no. 483), but our R cannot come from a boulloterion as there is no trace left on the other side. We suspect that it was made with a uniface counterstamp, and suggest that the letter beta might stand for "basileus" or for "basilikos."

Accession number BZS.1955.1.3404
Diameter 31 mm
Condition Overstruck on the reverse by a large R (almost 7 mm tall); the relation of the understrike to the overstrike is 90 degrees.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 4, no. 1.9a.

Notes