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Peter imperial protospatharios, domestikos of the Optimatoi and katepano of the Iberians (tenth century)

Accession number BZS.1958.106.5410
Diameter 24 mm
Field diameter 21 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 71.11.

Obverse

Cross potent on three steps. Within concentric circles of dots a circular inscription beginning at seven o'clock.

ΚΕΟΗΘ,ΤΣΔΟΥΛ

Κ(ύρι)ε βοήθ(ει) τῷ σῷ δούλῳ

Reverse

Inscription of five lines, rows of four pellets above and below. Border of dots.


+ΠΕΤΡ
ΣΠΘΔ
ΤΩΝΟΠΤΙΜ,
ΚΤΕΠΝ
ΟΙΕΡΟΝ

Πέτρῳ β(ασιλικῷ) (πρωτο)σπαθ(αρίῳ) (καὶ) δ(ομεστίκῳ) τῶν Ὀπτιμ(άτων) (καὶ) κατεπάνο Ἰβέρον

Translation

Κύριε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Πέτρῳ βασιλικῷ πρωτοσπαθαρίῳ καὶ δομεστίκῳ τῶν Ὀπτιμάτων καὶ κατεπάνο Ἰβέρον.

Lord, help your servant Peter, imperial protospatharios and domestikos of the Optimatoi and katepano of the Georgians.

Commentary

This unusual combination of domestikos of the Optimatoi and katepano of Georgian soldiers probably the result of exceptional circumstances. Given the date of the seal, it is possible that as domestikos of the Optimatoi, Peter also received command of a separate company of Georgian mercenaries on campaign, as both Armenian and Georgian auxiliaries (σύμμαχοι) are known to have taken part in Phokas' expeditions (cf. Skylitzes, 268). The more likely explanation, however, is that Peter was given command of a number of the Georgian troops sent by King David in 979 to aid Basil II against the rebel Bardas Skleros. Since the imperial forces were withdrawn to the areas near the capital after Skleros' initial victories, which included the capture of Nicaea (Skylitzes, 323), it would appear that a contingent of Georgians, other than the main army that fought the decisive battle in the Charsianon (Iviron I, 23), was dispatched to help Constantinople and stationed in the Optimaton under the command of the domestikos. Perhaps, too, a Georgian chieftain was also appointed domestikos of the Optimatoi. Cf. BZS.1951.31.5.1003.

Accession number BZS.1958.106.5410
Diameter 24 mm
Field diameter 21 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 71.11.

Notes

Accession number BZS.1958.106.5410
Diameter 24 mm
Field diameter 21 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 71.11.

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