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George imperial spatharios and archon of Dermatia (early ninth century)

 
 

Obverse

Cruciform invocative monogram (type V); in the quarters: ΤΣ|ΔΛ. Wreath border.

Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ

Reverse

Inscription of four lines. Wreath border.

ΓΕΟΡ
ΓΙΒ/ΣΠΘ
Ρ/ρχ/δ
ερμτ

Γεοργίῳ βασιλικῷ σπαθαρίῳ καὶ ἄρχοντι Δερματίας

Obverse

Cruciform invocative monogram (type V); in the quarters: ΤΣ|ΔΛ. Wreath border.

Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ

Reverse

Inscription of four lines. Wreath border.

ΓΕΟΡ
ΓΙΒ/ΣΠΘ
Ρ/ρχ/δ
ερμτ

Γεοργίῳ βασιλικῷ σπαθαρίῳ καὶ ἄρχοντι Δερματίας

Accession number BZS.1955.1.887
Diameter 28.0 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 14.1.
Zacos-Veglery, no. 1932.

Translation

Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Γεοργίῳ βασιλικῷ σπαθαρίῳ καὶ ἄρχοντι Δερματίας.

Theotokos, help your servant George imperial spatharios and archon of Dermatia.

Commentary

Zacos-Veglery read the place name as [Δ?]Ε.ΡΜΑ[Τ?]. Both delta and tau are certain; in addition, it is unlikely that a letter is missing between epsilon and rho.

A Byzantine archon of Dalmatia is mentioned in the Uspenskij Taktikon (842-43: Listes, 57, line 12) and on several seals including perhaps Pančenko, no. 389. The toponym appears with the variants Δαλματία, Δελματία (cf. also Corinth XII, no. 2697), even Δερματία (DO Seals 1, no. 14.1). The territory encompassed by this designation was largely restricted to the Adriatic coast, a situation that continued into the eleventh century. Among the more prominent towns of Dalmatia were Kotor, Dubrovnik, Split, Trogir, and Zadar. Ferluga suggested that the "archon" of Dalmatia was the "prior" of Zadar, the leading official of the most important town in the region in the ninth century (ibid., 143).