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N., imperial spatharokandidatos and kleisouriarches of Seleukeia (ninth century)

 
 

Obverse

Cruciform invocative monogram (indeterminate type). In the quarters: ....|Λ : [τῷ σῷ] δούλῳ. Wreath border.

Reverse

Inscription of five lines. Wreath border.

.ΙΟ......
ΡΟΚΝΙ
ΤΟΣΚΛΙΣΟΥΡ,
ΡΧΙΣΣΕΛ
ΕΥΚΙ/

. . .ιο[ς β(ασιλικὸς) σπαθ]αροκανδιδᾶτος (καὶ) κλισουρ(ι)άρχις Σελευκίας.

Obverse

Cruciform invocative monogram (indeterminate type). In the quarters: ....|Λ : [τῷ σῷ] δούλῳ. Wreath border.

Reverse

Inscription of five lines. Wreath border.

.ΙΟ......
ΡΟΚΝΙ
ΤΟΣΚΛΙΣΟΥΡ,
ΡΧΙΣΣΕΛ
ΕΥΚΙ/

. . .ιο[ς β(ασιλικὸς) σπαθ]αροκανδιδᾶτος (καὶ) κλισουρ(ι)άρχις Σελευκίας.

Accession number BZS 1955.1.863
Diameter 30.0 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 5 no. 6.14; Zacos-Veglery, no. 2666.

Translation

Κύριε/Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ.       . . .ιο[ς β(ασιλικὸς) σπαθ]αροκανδιδᾶτος (καὶ) κλισουρ(ι)άρχις Σελευκίας.

Lord/Mother of God, help your servant.     N., imperial spatharokandidatos and kleisouriarches of Seleukeia.

Commentary

Following the loss of Cilicia to the Arabs in the eighth century, the region of Seleukeia was reorganized for the defense of the Byzantine borderlands and became an administrative and military kleisoura, first attested in the first half of the ninth century, and which was elevated to a theme during the reign of Romanos I, between 927 and 934.

Note that the invocation on the obverse does not carry over to the inscription on the reverse; the owner's name, title, and function stand in the nominative case, not in the dative. The addition of βασιλικός to the owner's title is uncertain, but there is enough room for an R, and other examples of kleisouriarchai have the title of imperial spatharokandidatos (BZS.1955.1.1215, BZS.1955.1.864). Another one is less certain (BZS.1955.1.1306).