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Kosmas imperial strator and protonotarios of the Thrakesianoi (ninth/tenth century)

 
 

Obverse

Patriarchal cross on four steps. In lower right quarter, one pellet. Circular inscription between two concentric borders of dots:

κεRοηθειτσδουλ,

Κ(ύρι)ε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλ(ῳ).

Reverse

Inscription of five lines. Indeterminate border.

+κοσμ,
R,στρατο
ρ,Sα,νοτα
ρ,τονθρα
κησιαν,

Κοσμ(ᾷ) β(ασιλικῷ) στράτορ(ι) (καὶ) (πρωτο)νοταρ(ίῳ) τον Θρᾳκησιάν(ων).

Obverse

Patriarchal cross on four steps. In lower right quarter, one pellet. Circular inscription between two concentric borders of dots:

κεRοηθειτσδουλ,

Κ(ύρι)ε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλ(ῳ).

Reverse

Inscription of five lines. Indeterminate border.

+κοσμ,
R,στρατο
ρ,Sα,νοτα
ρ,τονθρα
κησιαν,

Κοσμ(ᾷ) β(ασιλικῷ) στράτορ(ι) (καὶ) (πρωτο)νοταρ(ίῳ) τον Θρᾳκησιάν(ων).

Accession number BZS.1955.1.1419
Diameter 22.0 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 1.1.

Translation

Κύριε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Κοσμᾷ βασιλικῷ στράτορι καὶ πρωτονοταρίῳ τον Θρᾳκησιάνων.

Lord, help your servant Kosmas, imperial strator and protonotarios of the Thrakesianoi.

Commentary

The term Thrakesianoi has long been understood in scholarly literature as a different name for Thrakesioi (e.g., Zacos-Veglery, no. 2623; W. Seibt in Litterae Numismaticae Vindobonenses R. Goebl dedicatae [Vienna, 1979] 149; Haldon, Seventh Century220). The term also appears on other seals from the eighth to the tenth centuries: Konstantopoulos, no. 128a; Zacos, Seals II, no. 1089; Zacos-Veglery, 2615A, 2623. But the meaning of the word has been misunderstood: it refers to the soldiers from Thrace, not of the Thrakesion. Theophanes 447,20 describes how Emperor Constantine V prepared a surprise campaign against the Bulgars by adding the Thrakesianoi to the themes of Asia Minor, obviously the soldiers of Thrace. Better yet, in the description of the campaign against Crete in 911, there is a clear distinction between the scholarioi of Thrace (Thrakesianoi) and Macedonia on one hand, and the soldiers of the Thrakesion on the other (Cer., 652, 655, 660). No matter the basis of the name, the Thrakesianoi mentioned here were most probably officials operating in Thrace and not in Asia Minor.

Bibliography

  • Catalogue of Byzantine Seals at Dumbarton Oaks and at the Fogg Museum of Art, Vol. 3: West, Northwest, and Central Asia Minor and the Orient (Open in Zotero)
  • Byzantine Lead Seals, Vol. 1 (Open in Zotero)
  • Byzantium in the Seventh Century: The Transformation of a Culture (Open in Zotero)
  • Βυζαντιακὰ μολυβδόβουλλα. Ἡ συλλογὴ Ἀναστασίου Κ. Π. Σταμούλη (Open in Zotero)
  • Byzantine Lead Seals, Vol. 2 (Open in Zotero)
  • Theophanis Chronographia (Open in Zotero)
  • Constantini Porphyrogeniti De cerimoniis aulae byzantinae (Open in Zotero)