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Constantine Kabasilas, bishop of Grebenon (twelfth century)

Accession number BZS.1958.106.256
Diameter 26 mm
Condition Struck off-center.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 15.1.
Laurent, Corpus V/2, no. 1509. See also Wassiliou-Seibt, Siegel mit metrischen Legenden II, no. 2174.


Bust of the Virgin holding Christ. Sigla: ̅ΘΥ̅ : Μήτηρ Θεοῦ. Circular inscription along the circumference: ΗΣΣ....ΤΙΣΑ. See the commentary for a possible explanation of this epithet. Border of dots.


Inscription of seven lines. Border of dots.


Σκέποις, Πάναγνε, τὸν Γρεβενοῦ ποιμένα Κωνσταντῖνόν με Καβάσιλαν ἐκ γένους.


Σκέποις, Πάναγνε, τὸν Γρεβενοῦ ποιμένα Κωνσταντῖνόν με Καβάσιλαν ἐκ γένους.

May you, all holy One, watch over me, the bishop of Grebena Constantine, Kabasilas by descent.


The reverse inscription consists of two twelve syllable verses. Laurent rightly surmised that the last letter on line 2 (rev.) is a ligature of Γ and Ρ.

In the circular inscription of the obverse, four to five letters were left beyond the field. As the letter after the Ω at left is curved and should be read as Σ (or, with less probability, Θ), the reading, Σωσθενιώτισσα, may be proposed, that is, of Sosthenion in Constantinople, where a church of the Virgin is attested (Janin, Eglises, 231-32). The ending compares with Στυπειώτης or Μοναστηριώτης (Psaltes, Grammatik, 250-51).

The bishop of Grebenon Constantine Kabasilas is not known from other sources, and we find no valid reason to identify him with other members of the Kabasilas family named Constantine who occupied other episcopal sees (an attempt in this direction has been made by Laurent, Corpus V/2, 338).

The bishopric of Grebenon (at present-day Grebena, some 35 miles southwest of Kozani), a suffragan of the archbishopric of Ohrid, appears to have been established in the 12th century, about the year 1100. See Laurent, Corpus V/2, 337.