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Michael bishop of Raidestos (twelfth century)

 
 

Obverse

Three figures: in center, the Virgin holding the Child, who has placed both his arms around her neck. Left, a saint of uncertain identity with arm outstretched; his name was inscribed in a column along the left margin and continued in the upper part of the field between his head and the Virgin's: ΙΜ|Α: Ὁ ἅγιος Ἀκεψιμᾶς (?). Right, St. Eudokimos; he is identified by a vertical inscription that started between his head and the Virgin's (no legible traces of these letters remain) and continued as a vertical inscription along the margin: Δ|.|ΚΙ|Μ.: Ὁ ἅγιος Εὐδόκιμος. Border of dots.

Reverse

Inscription of five lines. Border of dots.

ΠΑ
ΝΑΓΝΕ
ΡΑΙΔΕΣΤ
ΜΕΜΙΧΑΗΛ
ΣΚΕΠΟΙΣ

Πάναγνε Ῥαιδεστοῦ με Μιχαὴλ σκέποις

Obverse

Three figures: in center, the Virgin holding the Child, who has placed both his arms around her neck. Left, a saint of uncertain identity with arm outstretched; his name was inscribed in a column along the left margin and continued in the upper part of the field between his head and the Virgin's: ΙΜ|Α: Ὁ ἅγιος Ἀκεψιμᾶς (?). Right, St. Eudokimos; he is identified by a vertical inscription that started between his head and the Virgin's (no legible traces of these letters remain) and continued as a vertical inscription along the margin: Δ|.|ΚΙ|Μ.: Ὁ ἅγιος Εὐδόκιμος. Border of dots.

Reverse

Inscription of five lines. Border of dots.

ΠΑ
ΝΑΓΝΕ
ΡΑΙΔΕΣΤ
ΜΕΜΙΧΑΗΛ
ΣΚΕΠΟΙΣ

Πάναγνε Ῥαιδεστοῦ με Μιχαὴλ σκέποις

Accession number BZS.1955.1.4994
Diameter 26.0 mm; field: 20.0 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 59.7a. Laurent, Corpus V/3, no. 1700bis, where the author corrects his prior publication of (b) and the faulty reading of the bishop's name as Niketas. This specimen is also reproduced in the plates of Corpus V/1, no. 310. See also Wassiliou-Seibt, Siegel mit metrischen Legenden II, no. 1755.

Translation

Πάναγνε Ῥαιδεστοῦ με Μιχαὴλ σκέποις.

All-holy One, may you protect me, Michael of Raidestos.

Commentary

The inscription is a twelve-syllable verse. Cf. Asdracha, Thrace orientale, 293.

The image on the obverse is most unusual. We know of several saints named Akepsimas (yet this reading is most doubtful on the present seal) but only one Eudokimos, a Cappadocian nobleman who held military commands in Cappadocia, then in Charsianon during the reign of Emperor Theophilos (829-842); his relics were later brought to Constantinople and placed in a church built to commemorate him (Syn. Eccl. CP., 857; Janin, Eglises, 115).

Bibliography

  • Catalogue of the Byzantine Seals at Dumbarton Oaks and at the Fogg Museum of Art, Vol. 1: Italy, North of the Balkans, North of the Black Sea (Open in Zotero)
  • Synaxarium Ecclesiae Constantinopolitanae, Propylaeum ad AASS Novembris (Open in Zotero)
  • La géographie ecclésiastique de l’empire byzantin, vol. 2, Les églises et les monastères des grands centres byzantins (Open in Zotero)
  • Le Corpus des sceaux de l’empire byzantin (Open in Zotero)
  • La Thrace Orientale et La Mer Noire: Géographie Ecclésiastique et Prosopographie (VIIIe-XIIe Siècles) (Open in Zotero)
  • History of the Byzantine State (Open in Zotero)
  • Notitiae Episcopatuum Ecclesiae Constantinopolitanae (Open in Zotero)
  • Corpus der byzantinischen Siegel mit metrischen Legenden, Vol. 2, Siegellegenden von Ny bis inklusive Sphragis (Open in Zotero)