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John (imperial) kourator of Cyprus (eleventh century)

Accession number BZS.1958.106.4486
Diameter 22 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 38.10.

Obverse

Bust of St. John the Baptist holding long cross. Inscription in two columns: Ο|Ι̅|ΟΠΡ: Ὁ ἅγιος Ἰωάννης ὁ Πρόδρομος. Obscure circular inscription. No border visible.

Reverse

Inscription of four lines. Border of dots.

Ι̅
.ΚΟΥΡΑ
ΟΡ,ΚΥ
ΠΡ

Ἰωάννῃ βασιλικῷ κουράτορι Κύπρου

Translation

Ἰωάννῃ βασιλικῷ κουράτορι Κύπρου.

John imperial kourator of Cyprus.

Commentary

The office of kourator of Cyprus was already known from one seal (BZS.1958.106.4730) and from letters of Psellos addressed to such a kourator, congratulating him for having pacified the island (Psellos, Minora II, nos. 80, 159). Malamut (Iles, 320-21) deduced from these letters that the kourator was a governor of the island, appointed in order to pacify it after the revolt of the Cypriots in 1042. But the date of these letters is not known, and our seals show that the kouratoreia was a semipermanent institution, since we know of at least two kouratores. Thus we would tend to consider that, according to a well-established tradition, the kourator was at the head of a domain of the crown (kouratoreia) possibly assembled from the lands abandoned by the Arabs immediately after the capture of the island by the Byzantines in 965, much in the same way as Melitene had become a kouratoreia after its capture in 934 (Listes, 356).

Accession number BZS.1958.106.4486
Diameter 22 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 38.10.

Notes

Accession number BZS.1958.106.4486
Diameter 22 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 38.10.