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Theognostos oikonomos of Ephesos (ninth century)

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Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 14.10a.

Laurent, Corpus V/3, no. 1699; Zacos-Veglery, no. 2492.


28 mm
24 mm


Theognostos oikonomos of Ephesos (ninth century)

Cruciform invocative monogram (type V). In the quarters: τ-σ|δ-λ. Small wreath border.

Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ


Theognostos oikonomos of Ephesos (ninth century)

Inscription of four lines, beginning with a cross. Small wreath border.


Θεογνώστ(ῳ) οἰκονόμ(ῳ) Ἐφ(έσου)


Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Θεογνώστῳ οἰκονόμῳ Ἐφέσου.

Mother of God, help your servant Theognostos, oikonomos of Ephesos.



This seal and BZS.1951.31.5.2189 seem to come from the same boulloterion, but this is impossible to determine with absolute certainty because of the poor state of preservation of the other seal.

Laurent assigned to BZS.1951.31.5.2189 a ninth/tenth century date, but dated this seal to the ninth century.

The ancient city of Ephesos was abandoned in the seventh century in favor of the security of the inland fortress of Theologos, where the famous basilica (and major pilgrimage center) of St. John the Evangelist stood (near modern Selçuk). The name (Ἅγιος) Θεολόγος, Theologo, Ayasoluk was currently used when speaking of the medieval town and its administrators, such as the commander of the fortress, the paraphylax, or the archon (eighth/ninth century: Zacos-Veglery, no. 2282A) and the (undoubtedly naval) droungarios (ninth century: ibid., 2561A; Konstantopoulos, no. 135). But the old name, Ephesos, also survived in civil administration: Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos informs us that the theme of Samos, which is first attested at the very end of the ninth century, had control over the tourma of Ephesos (Ἐφέσιον: De Them., chap. XVI, line 14), while we have mentions of tax collectors (dioiketes) of Ephesos (ActaSS November III, 540; Zacos-Veglery, no. 2487). We have the impression that Theologos was the local usage, while Ephesos came from the learned circles of Constantinople and was the name that prevailed alone in the ecclesiastic administration.

Ephesos was a major metropolis, with no less than 39 suffragans attached to it at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, claiming to preserve the remains of the Apostle John (whose representation appears on the obverse on some seals of metropolitans). It is mentioned in all notitiae.

See Laurent, Corpus V/1, 178; Culerrier, Suffragants d'Ephèse; ODB I, 706; W. Seibt, "Drei byzantinische Bleisiegel aus Ephesos," Litterae numismaticae vindobonenses Roberto Goebl dedicatae (Vienna, 1979), 145-54; W. Brandes, "Ephesos in byzantinischer Zeit," Klio 64 (1982) 611-22; Brandes, Städte, 83-85.


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