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Michael archbishop of Bulgaria (twelfth century)

Accession number BZS.1955.1.5038
Diameter 30 mm
Field diameter 25 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 29.8.
Cf. similar seal published in Sig., 242, no. 9 = Laurent, Corpus V/2, no. 1495, with bibliography.


The Annunciation. Gabriel, holding a scepter, advances toward the Virgin; her gestures are not clearly visible; she seems to hold a spindle (cf. DO Seals 1, no. 29.7 = BZS 1951.31.5.2400). Vertical inscription in center: .Χ..ΡΕ|Τ.ΣΜ|Ο: Χαιρετισμός. Border of dots.


Inscription of five lines, decoration below. Border of dots.


τὸν Βουλγαρίας Μιχαήλ, Ἁγνή, σκέποις


Τὸν Βουλγαρίας Μιχαήλ, Ἁγνή, σκέποις.

Pure One, may you protect the (archbishop) of Bulgaria.


Acute accents only. The reverse legend forms a twelve-syllable verse. Laurent is undoubtedly correct that the seal should be attributed to Michael Maximos, who succeeded archbishop Leo in 1139 and was succeeded by John Komnenos before 1143. Before his elevation to the seat of Ohrid, he was a patriarchal ostiarios and deacon of St. Sophia (see Gelzer, Achrida, 7).