You are here:Home/Resources/ Byzantine Seals/ Search the Catalogue/ Nicholas bishop of Monembasia (eleventh century)

Nicholas bishop of Monembasia (eleventh century)

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.1407
Diameter 20 mm
Condition Chipped at channel openings.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 31.3a.
Laurent, Corpus V/1, no. 580.

Obverse

Inscription of four lines. Border of dots.

ΚΕ̅,Θ,
ΤΣΔ,
ΝΙΚΟΛΑ


Κύριε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Νικολάῳ

Reverse

Inscription of four lines. Border of dots.

ΕΠΙΣΚΟ
ΠΜΟΝΟ
ΑΣΙΑ
Σ

ἐπισκόπῳ Μονοβασιᾶς

Translation

Κύριε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Νικολάῳ ἐπισκόπῳ Μονοβασιᾶς.

Lord, help your servant Nicholas bishop of Monembasia.

Commentary

Here again we have a popular form, Μονοβάσια or Μονοβασιά. The owner of the present seal could well be the first Nicholas, mentioned in the synodikon, who would have lived in the mid-11th century.

As the synodikon mentions no bishop by the name of Nicholas before the mid-11th century, we assume, without much conviction (because of the lacunae of the synodikon), that the present specimen was made for the 11th-century Nicholas at a time when no experienced engraver was available and that it was replaced afterward. However, any dating of an inscription of such poor quality is very uncertain. See also BZS.1955.1.4641.

We also note the popular (still surviving) genitive Μονεμβασᾶς or Μονεμβάσας, which seems to indicate a local inhabitant.

Monembasia lies in the southeast of the Pelonnesos. This was a de novo foundation of the 6th or the 7th century (the date and the causes are in dispute). The earliest mention of a bishop of Monembasia comes from 787. The bishopric is mentioned in the controversial iconoclastic notitia; from the early 10th century onward it is regularly listed as a suffragan of Corinth (Darrouzès, Notitiae, no. 3, line 772; no. 7, line 491) until its elevation to metropolis in the 13th century. See Laurent, Corpus V/1, 430-31; Fedalto, 511-12; ODB II, 1394-95; Harris Kalligas, Byzantine Monemvasia. The Sources (Monemvasia, 1990). We have an incomplete list of the bishops and metropolitans of Monembasia (Gouillard, Synodikon, 117, cf. 281-82) which had been studied in detail of V. Laurent, EO 32 (1933) 129-61.

Note the popular forms of the placename preserved on the seals: Μονοβάσια or Μονοβασιά, Μονεμβάσα or Μονεμβασά. On these forms, see Ἀρχεῖον Πόντου 19 (1954) 325-37; cf. Kalligas, Byzantine Monemvasia, 35, note 2.

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.1407
Diameter 20 mm
Condition Chipped at channel openings.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 31.3a.
Laurent, Corpus V/1, no. 580.

Notes

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.1407
Diameter 20 mm
Condition Chipped at channel openings.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 31.3a.
Laurent, Corpus V/1, no. 580.