You are here:Home/Resources/ Byzantine Seals/ Search the Catalogue/ Joseph imperial vestitor and abydikos of Thessalonica, of the West, and of the theme of Hellas (ninth/tenth century)

Joseph imperial vestitor and abydikos of Thessalonica, of the West, and of the theme of Hellas (ninth/tenth century)

Accession number BZS.1958.106.3731
Diameter 23 mm
Field diameter 19 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 8.30.

Obverse

Cruciform invocative monogram (type V); in the quarters: ΤΣ|ΔΛ. Border of dots.

Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ

Reverse

Inscription of five lines. Border of dots.

ΙΩΣΙΦ
ΑΥΔΥ
ΚΚΜΘΕΣ
ΑΔΥΣΘΕΜ
ΑΤΕΛΑΔ

Ἰωσὶφ βασιλικῷ βεστίτορι καὶ ἀβυδυκ καὶ κουμερκιαρίῳ Θεσαλονίκης, Δύσεως, θέματος Ἑλάδος

Translation

Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Ἰωσὶφ βασιλικῷ βεστίτορι καὶ ἀβυδυκῷ καὶ κουμερκιαρίῳ Θεσαλονίκης, Δύσεως, θέματος Ἑλάδος.

Mother of God, help your servant Joseph, imperial vestitor and abydikos and kommerkiarios of Thessalonica, of the West, and of the theme of Hellas.

Commentary

Zacos, Seals II, no. 1075, commentary, published the reverse inscription of our specimen with the restitution βασιλικῷ βαλνίτωρι instead of βεστίτορι. But the title βαλνίτωρ disappears from the sources at the end of the eighth century and is unknown to the Taktikon Uspenskij (842-43) and the treatise of Philotheos (899), while vestitor appears in both these texts as an honorific title well attested until the middle of the 10th century (Listes, 296). The owner of this seal may be the same Joseph mentioned in Zacos, Seals II, no. 1075 (dated second half of the 9th century) with the same obverse type, a cruciform monogram (type V); the reverse identifies the owner as Joseph βασιλικὸς βεστίτωρ (this reading must replace ἀβυδικός, which is proposed by the editor) and kommerkiarios of Thessalonica and Cephalonia.

For the office of abydikos (controller of a checkpoint for maritime circulation, especially Thessalonica), see Oikonomides, Abydos. In the late 9th/early 10th century, the office of kommerkiarios indicated an official entrusted with collecting taxes from trade. Joseph seems to have extended his control over (the themes of) Thessalonica and Cephalonia (the Zacos seal) and later, when he also became abydikos, over Thessalonica, the West (which could be another name for the theme of Cephalonia, see DO Seals 2, § 1), and the whole theme of Hellas (cf. DO Seals 2, no. 8.5).

Accession number BZS.1958.106.3731
Diameter 23 mm
Field diameter 19 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 8.30.

Notes

Accession number BZS.1958.106.3731
Diameter 23 mm
Field diameter 19 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 8.30.

Parallels

Related Content