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John archbishop of Kios (ninth century)

Accession number BZS.1955.1.4702
Diameter 22 mm
Field diameter 19 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 50.3.

Laurent, Corpus V/3, no. 1815.


Bust of the Virgin holding the medallion. Within a border of dots, circular inscription:


Θεοτόκε βοήθει


Inscription of four lines, a cross above and below. Border of dots.


Κ(ύρι)ε βοήθ(ει) Ἰωάννῃ ἀρχιεπισκόπ(ῳ) τῖς Κήου


Κύριε βοήθει Ἰωάννῃ ἀρχιεπισκόπῳ τῖς Κήου.

Lord, help John, archbishop of Kios.


Laurent may well have been right to date this specimen to the second half of the ninth century. The Virgin and Christ on this specimen are stylistically close to the representation on a seal of Patriarch Photios (see Dated Seals, no. 53); they also share one detail: a cross behind the head of Christ. Our seal might have belonged to the Archbishop John who was in attendance at the Eighth Oecumenical Council in 869 (DHGE, vol. 12, col. 1025). Note the double invocation on obverse and reverse.

Kios (modern Gemlik) is located in a gulf on the sea of Marmara; it was a place of concentration of agricultural produce. It is attested as a see as early as the Council of Nicaea (325) and is listed as an archbishopric in all notitiae until the fourteenth century. See Laurent, Corpus V/1, 648; Zgusta, 266-67.