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John Mitylenaios, imperial protospatharios and judge of the Optimatoi (tenth/eleventh century)

 
 

Obverse

A lioness or panther. Circle of pellets within double border of dots.

Reverse

Inscription of six lines. Border of dots.

+Ι..
.ΠΘˋΡ,.
ΚΡΙΤ,ΤΝ
ΟΠΤΙΜ
Τ,ΤΜΙ
ΤΥΛΗΝ

Ἰω(άννῃ) β(ασιλικῷ) [(πρωτο)σ]παθαρ(ίῳ) [(καὶ)] κριτ(ῇ) τῶν Ὀπτιμάτ(ων) τῷ Μιτυλην(αίῳ)

Obverse

A lioness or panther. Circle of pellets within double border of dots.

Reverse

Inscription of six lines. Border of dots.

+Ι..
.ΠΘˋΡ,.
ΚΡΙΤ,ΤΝ
ΟΠΤΙΜ
Τ,ΤΜΙ
ΤΥΛΗΝ

Ἰω(άννῃ) β(ασιλικῷ) [(πρωτο)σ]παθαρ(ίῳ) [(καὶ)] κριτ(ῇ) τῶν Ὀπτιμάτ(ων) τῷ Μιτυλην(αίῳ)

Accession number BZS.1947.2.1202
Diameter 30.0 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 71.24.

Translation

Ἰωάννῃ βασιλικῷ πρωτοσπαθαρίῳ καὶ κριτῇ τῶν Ὀπτιμάτων τῷ Μιτυληναίῳ.

John Mitylenaios, imperial protospatharios and judge of the Optimatoi.

Commentary

In the DO Collection we have two more seals of a John Mitylenaios. One bears the titles of protospatharios and judge of Paphlagonia (but this is a seal with bilateral inscription). Leo of Synada, who was active shortly before and after the year 1000, addressed one of his letters to a judge Mitylenaios (no first name mentioned): Darrouzès, Épistoliers, 181. The poet Christophoros Mitylenaios had a brother named John, who died sometime in the early eleventh century (Kurtz, Mitylenaios, 26-29).

John Mitylenaios is recorded as protospatharios and judge of Cappadocia in a seal auctioned by Demos, Auction 4, 09/26/2021, lot 770.

Other judges of the Optimatoi known from their seals: Sig., 245; Zacos, Seals II, nos. 558, 692.

Bibliography

  • Sigillographie de l’Empire byzantin (Open in Zotero)
  • Byzantine Lead Seals, Vol. 2 (Open in Zotero)
  • Documents de sigillographie byzantine: La collection C. Orghidan (Open in Zotero)
  • Les listes de préséance byzantines des IXe et Xe siècles (Open in Zotero)
  • Byzantinische Rang- und Ämterstruktur im 8. und 9. Jahrhundert: Faktoren und Tendenzen ihrer Entwicklung (Open in Zotero)
  • Die byzantinische Armee im 10. und 11. Jahrhundert: Studien zur Organisation der Tagmata (Open in Zotero)