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The "people" (of the monastery) of Kellivara (eleventh century)

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.3154
Diameter 16 mm
Condition Corroded.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 22.3.


Bust of Christ; indistinct. On either side the inscription: ισ̅-χ̅ : Ἰ(ησοῦ)ς Χ(ριστός). Border of dots.


Inscription of four lines. Border of dots:


Γραφ(ὰς) σφραγ(ίζω) λαοῦ τ[ῶν] Κελιβάρ(ων).


Γραφὰς σφραγίζω λαοῦ τῶν Κελιβάρων.

I seal the writings of the people (i.e. community) of Kellivara.


Dodecasyllabic. The laura of Kellibara, related by traditionto monks from Sinai, is attested from the tenth to the fourteenth centuries. See Janin, Grands centres, 229-32. The expression λαὸς τῶν Κελλιβάρων should indicate the monastic community, taken as a militant corps (λαός usually means the army).

The monastic community of Mt. Latros was situated near Milet in Caria. The first secure traces of the community date from the year 787. The community benefited from the largess on the part of Romanos I Lakapenos, suffered considerably from the Turks, starting with the late 70s of the eleventh century, had a new period of flourishing in the twelfth century, and survived until the fourteenth century. It contained several monasteries, the most important of which were the ones of Stylos (or St. Paul) and of Kellibara. The whole monastic community formed a kind of confederation with an archimandrites at its head. See Laurent, Corpus V/2, 156; Janin, Grands centres, 215-40; ODB II, 1188-89; and D. Stiernon in DHGE, fasc. 143 (1993) 1399-1403.