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The bishop of Arkadioupolis (eleventh century)

Accession Number:

Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 8.1.

Laurent, Corpus V/1, no. 293 (the seal illustrated is the Dumbarton Oaks specimen; the reading is based on a similar seal from the Mordtmann Collection which has been published several times, including Sig., 160); cf. Laurent, Corpus V/2, 455 (to no. 293).


18 mm
16 mm
Struck off-center.


The bishop of Arkadioupolis (eleventh century)

The Virgin standing, orans, with the medallion of Christ before her. Sigla: ̅-θυ : Μ(ήτη)ρ Θ(εο)ῦ. Border of dots.


The bishop of Arkadioupolis (eleventh century)

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


Θ(εοτό)κε β(οή)[θ(ει)] τῷ ἐπισ[κ(ό)]πο Ἀρκαδ(ιου)πόλεο(ς)


Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ ἐπισκόπο Ἀρκαδιουπόλεος.

Mother of God, help the bishop of Arkadioupolis.



Altering the transcriptions of Mordtmann and other editors, Laurent read the first two letters of line 2 of the reverse inscription as ι̅ω. As he notes in his corrigenda, the letters τω are quite distinct on the Dumbarton Oaks specimen, and the seal could be considered anonymous. But the formula, as it appears on the seals, is quite unusual. Consequently one wonders if this is not an engraver's error who misunderstood the bar above ι̅ω, indicating the abbreviation by contraction, as the horizontal bar of a tau. If so, the name of the bishop could well have been Ἰωάννης.

The bishopric of Arkadioupolis in Asia Minor (modern Arakcilar) a suffragan of Ephesus is mentioned in all notitiae and is well attested from the fifth to the eighth centuries. See Laurent, Corpus V/1, 206; Culerrier, Suffragants d'Ephèse, 154; ODB I, 173. This seal belongs to this see, and not to the more famous Arkadioupolis of Thrace, because the latter had become an archbishopric by the eighth century (Laurent, Corpus V/1, 640)


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