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John monk and archbishop of all Bulgaria (eleventh century)

Accession number BZS.1958.106.5308
Diameter 22 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 29.6a.
Laurent, Corpus V/3 no. 2016. Cf. Laurent, Corpus V/2, no. 1494. In vol. V/2 Laurent misread DO Seals 1, no. 29.6b and attributed it to the twelfth- century archbishop Leo Moungos; he corrected this mistake in his following volume 3.

Obverse

The Virgin seated on a high-backed throne with a round cushion, holding medallion of Christ before her. Sigla: ΘΥ: Μήτηρ Θεοῦ. Border of dots.

Reverse

Inscription of six lines. Border of dots.

ΘΚΕ,Θ,
ΤΣΔΛ,
.̅ΜΟΝΑΧ,
ΑΡΧΙΕΠ.Σ
ΚΠΠΑΣΗ
ΛΓΑΡ,

Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλ ωάννῃ μοναχ καὶ ἀρχιεπισκόπῳ πάσης Βουλγαρίας

Translation

Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Ἰωάννῃ μοναχῷ καὶ ἀρχιεπισκόπῳ πάσης Βουλγαρίας.

Theotokos, help your servant John monk and archbishop of all Bulgaria.

Commentary

Specimen (c) is considerably smaller than the other two parallel speciments but seems to reproduce them faithfully, including the unusual abbreviation ἀρχιεπισκόπῳ. Thus it may be considered certain that all three specimens belonged to the same individual, who must have been John of Lampe, a former monk of Mount Olympus and archbishop of Bulgaria 1064-1077/8. In the (incomplete) list of archbishops of Ohrid, published by Gelzer, Achrida, 6-7, and discussed by P. Gautier (Theophylacti, Opera, 29-37), three archbishops named John are mentioned in the eleventh century: (1) John (alias David), mentioned in 1019, the last "patriarch" of Ohrid during the reign of Samuel; demoted to archbishop by Basil II after 1018; (2) John of Lampe, the former monk; and finally (3) his successor, John Aoinos, a former abbot, who became archbishop in 1078. Laurent, for technical reasons, rightly eliminated from consideration the John of 1019 (it is true that all specimens have the ligature , which first appears on seals in the 1030s); and excluded John Aoinos on the assumption that another aniconic seal (see Corpus V/2, no. 1492) of a John archbishop of Bulgaria and former abbot, was likely to be that of John Aoinos.

Accession number BZS.1958.106.5308
Diameter 22 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 29.6a.
Laurent, Corpus V/3 no. 2016. Cf. Laurent, Corpus V/2, no. 1494. In vol. V/2 Laurent misread DO Seals 1, no. 29.6b and attributed it to the twelfth- century archbishop Leo Moungos; he corrected this mistake in his following volume 3.

Accession number BZS.1958.106.5308
Diameter 22 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 29.6a.
Laurent, Corpus V/3 no. 2016. Cf. Laurent, Corpus V/2, no. 1494. In vol. V/2 Laurent misread DO Seals 1, no. 29.6b and attributed it to the twelfth- century archbishop Leo Moungos; he corrected this mistake in his following volume 3.

Notes

Accession number BZS.1958.106.5308
Diameter 22 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 29.6a.
Laurent, Corpus V/3 no. 2016. Cf. Laurent, Corpus V/2, no. 1494. In vol. V/2 Laurent misread DO Seals 1, no. 29.6b and attributed it to the twelfth- century archbishop Leo Moungos; he corrected this mistake in his following volume 3.