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The oikonomos of Smyrna (eighth/ninth century)

Accession number BZS.1958.106.5031
Diameter 30 mm
Field diameter 25 mm
Condition Corroded.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 35.5.

Laurent, Corpus V/3, no. 1809; Zacos-Veglery, no. 2277.


A cruciform invocative monogram (type V); in the quarters, the inscription: .|. Wreath border.

Θεοτόκε βοήθει [τ]ῷ σῷ δούλ[ῳ]


Inscription of four lines. Wreath border.


οἰκονόμῳ Σμύρνης


Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ οἰκονόμῳ Σμύρνης.

Mother of God, help your servant, the oikonomos of Smyrna.


Zacos-Veglery explained the absence of the owner's name as a sign of his humility. See SBS 4 (1995) 71-79.

Smyrna (modern Izmir) was an important city, port, and economic center of the province of Asia, and served in the tenth century as residence of the strategos of Samos (De Them., chap. XVI, line 16). It had a hinterland with extensive agricultural production that is illustrated by our seals of horreiarioi.

At first, Smyrna was a simple bishopric of Ephesos, but then (mid-fifth century) it became an autocephalous archbishopric. Finally it is attested as a metropolis from 869 onward. This evolution is reflected in the notitiae.

See Laurent, Corpus V/1, 563; Arhweiler, Smyrne, passim; Brandes, Städte, 126-26; ODB III, 1919-20.