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George apo hypaton. (Seal of) the apotheke of Asia, Karia, Lykia, Rhodes and Cherronesos (695/96, 696/697)

Accession number BZS.1947.2.70
Diameter 31 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 65.1.
Zacos-Veglery, no. 189.


The Emperor Justinian II standing, holding the globus cruciger. On either side the indiction years: |Θ|Η. Within an indeterminate border, a circular inscription.


νδικτιὼν ηˊ θˊ

Γεωργίου ἀπὸ ὑπάτων


Inscription of six lines. Wreath border.


Ἀποθήκης Ἀσίας, Καρίας, Λυκίας, όδου καὶ τῆς Χερονήσου


Ἰνδικτιὼν ηˊ θˊ. Γεωργίου ἀπὸ ὑπάτων. Ἀποθήκης Ἀσίας, Καρίας, Λυκίας, Ῥόδου καὶ τῆς Χερονήσου.

Indiction 7 and 8. George apo hypaton. (Seal of) the apotheke of Asia, Karia, Lykia, Rhodes, and the Cheronesos.


Zacos-Veglery held that the Emperor depicted is Leontios because they believed that kommerkiarioi seals marked with two indictions were issued during the second of these years; it has since been shown that they were obviously issued during the first year, for it was then that their owners farmed the apotheke for a period of two years (Oikonomides, Kommerkiarioi, 40). Thus we identify the emperor as Justinian II, a view very well supported by the iconography. This date is supported by the career of George apo hypaton (Zacos-Veglery, 152-53, 190-91, tables 8, 33).

Zacos-Veglery (no. 189) reasonably rejected any identification of the "Peninsula" with the Thracian one in the Hellespont or with Cherson in the Black Sea and proposed identifying it with the Knidian Chersonesos, to the south of Kos, which is in the same region as the provinces mentioned on the seal (western and southern Asia Minor, and Rhodes) and part of which was normally attached to Rhodes (Chersonesos Tracheia: see RE III, 2253, 2254). We do not know why, on this occasion, the peninsula was considered so important as to be mentioned separately in a list of of provinces together with a major island. Maybe it presented a particular interest; or was it because it, although part of the mainland, was subordinate to the island of Rhodes? According to some notitiae episcopatuum, Rhodes had a suffragan bishopric called "Tracheia," which is usually (but not securely) identified with the island of Kalymnos (Darrouzès, Notitiae, 113).