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John imperial spatharokandidatos and tourmarches of Cherronesos (tenth century)

 
 

Obverse

Cruciform invocative monogram (type V); in the quarters: ΤΣ|Δ.Λ. Circle of pellets within two borders of dots.

Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ

Reverse

Cruciform monogram consisting of  in center, Ν at bottom, Ι at top, Α (left) and Η (right): Ἰωάννῃ. In the upper quarters: ˊΣΠΑ|Θ,ΚΑΝ|Δ,: in the lower ones: τρο|Μ,ΧΕΡΟ|Ν,. Circle of pellets within two border of dots.

Ἰωάννῃ βασιλικῷ σπαθαροκανδιδάτῳ καὶ τρομάρχῃ Χερονήσου

Obverse

Cruciform invocative monogram (type V); in the quarters: ΤΣ|Δ.Λ. Circle of pellets within two borders of dots.

Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ

Reverse

Cruciform monogram consisting of  in center, Ν at bottom, Ι at top, Α (left) and Η (right): Ἰωάννῃ. In the upper quarters: ˊΣΠΑ|Θ,ΚΑΝ|Δ,: in the lower ones: τρο|Μ,ΧΕΡΟ|Ν,. Circle of pellets within two border of dots.

Ἰωάννῃ βασιλικῷ σπαθαροκανδιδάτῳ καὶ τρομάρχῃ Χερονήσου

Accession number BZS.1958.106.3851
Diameter 23.0 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 49.1.

Translation

Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Ἰωάννῃ βασιλικῷ σπαθαροκανδιδάτῳ καὶ τρομάρχῃ Χερονήσου.

Theotokos, help your servant John imperial spatharokandidatos and tourmarches of Cherronesos.

Commentary

Beautifully engraved in a manner typical of the tenth century.

There are two possible readings of the place name, both presupposing spelling errors: Χερρονήσου or Χαιρωνείας. Despite the fact that Chaironeia of Greece is mentioned in the Synekdemos of Hierokles, possibly in the iconoclastic notitia (Darrouzès, Notitiae, no. 3, line 708: Κηρονίας) and by Constantine Porphyrogennetos (De Them., 5 line 12), it is preferable to read here Χερρονήσου. Two bishoprics of this name are attested throughout the Middle Ages: one in Crete, the other under Herakleia of Thrace. As the latter was subsequently united to Hexamilion of Thrace, known to have been the seat of lay administrators (cf. DO Seals 1, § 54), we prefer to attribute this seal to it.

Cherronesos was situated in the middle of the Gallipoli peninsula (Laurent, Corpus V/1, 229); modern Eksamil (Asdracha, Thrace orientale, 249-250).