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Nikephoros Ouranos, magistros and ruler of the East (tenth/eleventh century)

 
 

Obverse

The Mother of God holding Christ. Inscription: μρ̅.. : Μ(ήτη)ρ [Θ(εο)ῦ]. Along the upper border of dots, inscription.

+ΘΚΕ....Τ......

Θ(εοτό)κε β[οήθ(ει)] τῷ [σῷ δούλῳ]

Reverse

Inscription of six lines followed by an ornament. Border of dots.

.....
ΟΡ,ΜΑΓΙΣ
.Ρ,ΤΚΡΑ
...ΝΤΙΤΗΣ
..ΑΤΟΛΗΣ
.Ο̅Υ̅Ν̅
  

[Νικηφ]όρ(ῳ) μαγίσ[τ]ρ(ῳ) τῷ κρα[τοῦ]ντι τῆς [Ἀν]ατολῆς [τῷ] Οὐ(ρα)νῷ

Obverse

The Mother of God holding Christ. Inscription: μρ̅.. : Μ(ήτη)ρ [Θ(εο)ῦ]. Along the upper border of dots, inscription.

+ΘΚΕ....Τ......

Θ(εοτό)κε β[οήθ(ει)] τῷ [σῷ δούλῳ]

Reverse

Inscription of six lines followed by an ornament. Border of dots.

.....
ΟΡ,ΜΑΓΙΣ
.Ρ,ΤΚΡΑ
...ΝΤΙΤΗΣ
..ΑΤΟΛΗΣ
.Ο̅Υ̅Ν̅
  

[Νικηφ]όρ(ῳ) μαγίσ[τ]ρ(ῳ) τῷ κρα[τοῦ]ντι τῆς [Ἀν]ατολῆς [τῷ] Οὐ(ρα)νῷ

Accession number BZS 1951.31.5.1576
Diameter 26.0 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 99.11.
McGeer, "Ouranos," 139.

Translation

Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Νικηφόρῳ μαγίστρῳ τῷ κρατοῦντι τῆς Ἀνατολῆς τῷ Οὐρανῷ.

Theotokos, help your servant Nikephoros Ouranos, magistros and ruler of the East.

Commentary

This is undoubtedly Basil II's famous general who, after his crushing victory over the Bulgarians at Spercheios, was given the command of Antioch in the year 999 (Guilland, Recherches, 448; McGeer, "Ouranos," 131). As his mandate was to survey the eastern frontier while Basil subjugated Bulgaria, he was not named doux of Antioch but was invested with much broader powers that are described by the non-technical expression "ruler of the East," in other words, the emperor's plenipotentiary in the east.

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