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Demetrios imperial kandidatos and archon of Athens (ninth/tenth century)

 
 

Obverse

Patriarchal cross on three steps and fleurons. Between two borders of dots, circular inscription.

ΚΕΟΗΘΙΤΣΔΟΥΛ,

Κύριε βοήθι τῷ σῷ δούλ

Reverse

Inscription of five lines. Border of dots.

ΔΙΜ
ΗΤΡΙ
ˊ

ΚΑΝΔˊΚ/
ΑΡΧΤΙΑ
Θ,

Διμητρίῳ βασιλικῷ κανδιδάτῳ καὶ ἄρχοντι Ἀθηνῶν

Obverse

Patriarchal cross on three steps and fleurons. Between two borders of dots, circular inscription.

ΚΕΟΗΘΙΤΣΔΟΥΛ,

Κύριε βοήθι τῷ σῷ δούλ

Reverse

Inscription of five lines. Border of dots.

ΔΙΜ
ΗΤΡΙ
ˊ

ΚΑΝΔˊΚ/
ΑΡΧΤΙΑ
Θ,

Διμητρίῳ βασιλικῷ κανδιδάτῳ καὶ ἄρχοντι Ἀθηνῶν

Accession number BZS.1958.106.2930
Diameter 19.0 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 9.1.

Translation

Κύριε βοήθι τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Διμητρίῳ βασιλικῷ κανδιδάτῳ καὶ ἄρχοντι Ἀθηνῶν.

Lord, help your servant Demetrios, imperial kandidatos and archon of Athens.

Commentary

We know the seals of several archontes of Athens (Zakythinos, Meletai 17, 271-72; BCH 17 [1893] 70), all of the 9th or 10th century. Thus it is doubtful whether the ἀθήναρχος, mentioned in the Life of St. Meletios under Alexios I Komnenos (1081-1118), was an archon in the technical sense of the term, and consequently whether the control which, according to the Life, he exercised over the port, should be taken as a basis for defining the powers of mid-Byzantine archontes (Ahrweiler, Mer, 60, 165). The word ἀθήναρχος, with its obvious rhetorical connotation, could indicate any official exercising supreme authority over Athens.