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Leo Pegonites, protospatharios and strategos of Presthlavitza (eleventh century)

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.860
Diameter 24 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 78.4.
Oikonomides, Presthlavitza, 2, no. 1. Two similar specimens were published by V. Šandrovskaja in Byzantino-Bulgarica 7 (1981) 462 and I. Jordanov, Izv. d. Nationalmuseums Varna 9 (34) (1983) 105 and Numizmatika 18/1 (1984) 8-9, no. 5. They are from different boulloteria.

Obverse

Inscription of four lines with decoration above. Border of dots.

 
ΚΕ
ΤΣΔ,
Λ,ΛΕΟΝΤ,
ΣΠΘ

Κύριε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλ Λέοντι πρωτοσπαθαρίῳ

Reverse

Inscription of four lines with decoration above and below. Border of dots.

  
ΣΤΡ
ΤΠΡΕΣΘ
ΙΤΠ
.ΓΟΝΙΤ,


καὶ στρατηγῷ Πρεσθλάβιτζας τῷ Πηγονίτ

Translation

Κύριε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Λέοντι πρωτοσπαθαρίῳ καὶ στρατηγῷ Πρεσθλάβιτζας τῷ Πηγονίτῃ.

Lord, help your servant Leo Pegonites, protospatharios and strategos of Presthlavitza.

Commentary

The third letter of line 3 (rev.) is a Τ with a very small appendix at the end of its horizontal bar that stands for Ζ. This reading is confirmed by the other published specimens, which are from different boulloteria but on which the letter Ζ in ligature is very clear. Consequently the reading Πρεσθλαβίτων proposed by Šandrovskaja has to be rejected.

The literature concerning the probable location of "Little Preslav" is summarized in Oikonomides, Presthlavitza. The city could be placed at the mouth of the Danube River (at Prislava = Nufǎrul?). Established with its own strategos (DO Seals 1, no. 78.4), the city probably served as an entrepôt in trade between the Byzantines and the Rus during an eleventh century (hence the many seals of kommerkiarioi), only to decline in the twelfth, perhaps due to the development of new trade routes. I. Jordanov proposed that Preslavitza was also named Theodoroupolis by John Tzimiskes in 971, a name that disappeared when the city was recaptured by the Bulgars: I. Jordanov, "Koj bŭlgarski grad e bil narečen Teodoropol?" Vekove [1983] 58-62. But this point of view has been challenged by P. Diaconu, "Où se trouvait Théodoroupolis, nom consigné sur certains sceaux du Grand Preslav?" Vtori meždunaroden kongres po bŭlgaristika, Dokladi 6 (Sofia, 1987) 437-47.

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.860
Diameter 24 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 78.4.
Oikonomides, Presthlavitza, 2, no. 1. Two similar specimens were published by V. Šandrovskaja in Byzantino-Bulgarica 7 (1981) 462 and I. Jordanov, Izv. d. Nationalmuseums Varna 9 (34) (1983) 105 and Numizmatika 18/1 (1984) 8-9, no. 5. They are from different boulloteria.

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.860
Diameter 24 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 78.4.
Oikonomides, Presthlavitza, 2, no. 1. Two similar specimens were published by V. Šandrovskaja in Byzantino-Bulgarica 7 (1981) 462 and I. Jordanov, Izv. d. Nationalmuseums Varna 9 (34) (1983) 105 and Numizmatika 18/1 (1984) 8-9, no. 5. They are from different boulloteria.

Notes

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.860
Diameter 24 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 78.4.
Oikonomides, Presthlavitza, 2, no. 1. Two similar specimens were published by V. Šandrovskaja in Byzantino-Bulgarica 7 (1981) 462 and I. Jordanov, Izv. d. Nationalmuseums Varna 9 (34) (1983) 105 and Numizmatika 18/1 (1984) 8-9, no. 5. They are from different boulloteria.

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