You are here:Home/Resources/ Byzantine Seals/ Search the Catalogue/ Nikephoros Botaneiates, magistros, vestes, vestarches, and doux of Edessa and Antioch (before 1062)

Nikephoros Botaneiates, magistros, vestes, vestarches, and doux of Edessa and Antioch (before 1062)

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.175
Diameter 31 mm
Field diameter 26 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 5 no. 9.2; Zacos-Veglery, no. 2686.

Obverse

Inscription of five lines preceded and followed by a decoration. Border of dots.


ΚΕ,Θ,
ΝΙΚΗΦΟΡ,
..ΓΙΣΤΡΟ
ΕΣΤΗΕ
ΣΤΑΡΧ,


Κ(ύρι)ε β(οή)θ(ει) Νικηφόρ(ῳ) [μα]γίστρο, βέστῃ, βεστάρχ(ῃ)

Reverse

Inscription of five lines preceded by decoration, the final three letters flanked by two horizontal bars. Border of dots.


SΟΥΚΙ
ΕΕΣΟΥ..
ΝΤΙ....
ΟΤΑΝΗ
ΑΤΗ

(καὶ) δουκὶ Ἐδέσου [(καὶ) Ἀ]ντι[οχ(είας) τῷ] Βοτανηάτῃ

Translation

Κύριε βοήθει Νικηφόρῳ μαγίστρο, βέστῃ, βεστάρχῃ καὶ δουκὶ Ἐδέσου καὶ Ἀντιοχείας τῷ Βοτανηάτῃ.

Lord, help Nikephoros Botaneiates, magistros, vestes, vestarches, and doux of Edessa and Antioch.

Commentary

Zacos-Veglery did not decipher the third line of the reverse and concluded that Nikephoros was doux of Edessa in Makedonia. We must stress that despite partial erasure the word βέστῃ in the first part of line 4 of the obverse is legible from the traces of letters left on the original. The second part of line 4 on the reverse is also effaced: here the traces are not as clear, but they do not stand in the way of the proposed reading [Ἀ]ντι[οχ(είας)], based on the surviving letters of the beginning of the line.

The future emperor Nikephoros III Botaneiates (1078–81) is known to have been doux of Antioch in 1067–68 (Laurent, “Gouverneurs d’Antioche,” 246, no. 28), but from at least 1062 he already had the title of proedros. The lower-ranking title of magistros dates this specimen to before 1062, and thus attests a previously unknown tenure as governor of Antioch. Our seal also indicates that Botaneiates should be added to the list of Byzantine governors of Edessa; see: V. Arutiunova,“Vizantiiskie praviteli Edessy v XI v.,” with revisions by Cheynet, Collection Zacos, 59 (see also BZS.1958.106.4763 and BZS.1958.106.4919) of the Byzantine governors of Edessa. For Botaneiates’ cursus honorum, see Zacos-Veglery, 1463–65 and Todt,Region,” 306–15.

The present seal raises two problems. First is the chronology of Botaneiates’ governorship of Antioch. Second is the fact that the title vestes is followed by vestarches; this sequence, to our knowledge unique, does not make sense, since vestarches is the head of the vestai (Oikonomides, Listes, 294, 299) and so should be mentioned first. The resolution of these problems awaits further evidence.

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.175
Diameter 31 mm
Field diameter 26 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 5 no. 9.2; Zacos-Veglery, no. 2686.

Notes

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.175
Diameter 31 mm
Field diameter 26 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 5 no. 9.2; Zacos-Veglery, no. 2686.

Parallels

Related Content