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Leo protospatharios and chartoularios of the Thrakesioi (eleventh century)

 
 

Obverse

Faint outline of a military saint or person. In his left hand he holds his sword resting with point on the ground; his right hand is extended as if he were holding a spear or a labarum (and in fact, a poorly preserved top of a labarum can be seen as the uppermost part of the seal). No inscription visible. Border of dots.

Reverse

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

 ·
κε,θ,
λεοντ,
α̅σπαθ
χτλ,τω
θρακσ
 ·

Κύριε βοήθει Λέοντι πρωτοσπαθαρίῳ καὶ χαρτουλαρίῳ τῶν Θρᾳκησίων

Obverse

Faint outline of a military saint or person. In his left hand he holds his sword resting with point on the ground; his right hand is extended as if he were holding a spear or a labarum (and in fact, a poorly preserved top of a labarum can be seen as the uppermost part of the seal). No inscription visible. Border of dots.

Reverse

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

 ·
κε,θ,
λεοντ,
α̅σπαθ
χτλ,τω
θρακσ
 ·

Κύριε βοήθει Λέοντι πρωτοσπαθαρίῳ καὶ χαρτουλαρίῳ τῶν Θρᾳκησίων

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.831
Diameter 26.0 mm; field: 21.0 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 2.2.

Translation

Κύριε βοήθει Λέοντι πρωτοσπαθαρίῳ καὶ χαρτουλαρίῳ τῶν Θρᾳκησίων.

Lord, help Leo, protospatharios and chartoularios of the Thrakesioi.

Commentary

The image on the obverse closely resembles the portrait of Emperor Isaakios I Komnenos on his class I gold coins (Grierson, Catalogue, III/2, pl. LXIII, 1.2 and 1.3). In spite of the seal's state of preservation, the lower edge of the armor and of the cloak remains visible. The similarity is so close that the seal should be assigned to the late 1050s, but we do not have any particular explanation for the choice of this unusual iconography by an official who, after all, belonged to the rank and file of his service.