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John imperial semeiophoros, kommerkiarios of Attaleia and Cyprus (tenth/eleventh century)

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.1912
Diameter 20 mm
Field diameter 18 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 64.2.

Obverse

Bust of St. George holding the spear and the shield. Vertical inscription: |Γ|Ρ|Γ,: Ὁ ἅγιος Γεώργιος. Border of dots.

Reverse

Inscription of five lines. Border of dots.

Ι̅ΣΗ
ΜΙΟΦΚ
ΜΚ,ΑΤΑΛ,
ΚΥΠΡ

Ἰωάννῃ βασιλικῷ σημιοφόρῳ, κουμερκιαρίῳ Ἀταλίας καὶ Κύπρου

Translation

Ἰωάννῃ βασιλικῷ σημιοφόρῳ, κουμερκιαρίῳ Ἀταλίας καὶ Κύπρου.

John imperial semeiophoros, koumerkiarios of Attaleia and Cyprus.

Commentary

Semeiophoros means an ensign-bearer; such officers are known to have existed in the "late" tagmata of the Vigla/Arithmos (first attested in 791) and of the Hikanatoi (created in 809), both intended to be the emperor's or his son's personal guard (Listes, 331, 332; J. F. Haldon, Byzantine Praetorians. An Administrative, Institutional and Social Survey of the Opsikion and the Tagmata, c. 580-900 [Bonn, 1984], 294). The expression βασιλικῷ σημειοφόρῳ may well indicate the personal standard bearer of the emperor, who (as a favor?) received leave and the lucrative rights to the kommerkion of Attaleia and Cyprus. In other words, the effective office of standard bearer had become, in this particular case, an honorific title.

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.1912
Diameter 20 mm
Field diameter 18 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 64.2.

Notes

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.1912
Diameter 20 mm
Field diameter 18 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 64.2.

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