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John horreiarios of Smyrna (tenth century)

Accession number BZS.1958.106.5289
Diameter 20 mm
Condition The reverse is upside down in relation to the obverse, as in coins. Provincial style. Flattened on one side.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 35.1.


Patriarchal cross on three steps resting on a ball; fleurons arising from base to the top. Remains of a circular inscription along a border of dots:


[Κ(ύρι)]ε βοήθ(ει) τῷ [σῷ δούλῳ]


Inscription of four lines. Border of dots.


Ἰωάνν[ῃ] ὡρια[ρ(ίῳ)] Σμύ[ρ(νης)]


Κύριε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Ἰωάννῃ ὡριαρίῳ Σμύρνης.

Lord, help your servant John, horreiarios of Smyrna.


Another seal recording a horreiarios of Smyrna named John but displaying a bust of St. George (and bearing an indiction number) was published by Konstantopoulos, no. 138; another, of Leo koubikoularios, again with St. George, can be found in Zacos, Seals II, no. 550.

Smyrna (modern Izmir) was an important city, port, and economic center of the province of Asia, and served in the tenth century as the residence of the strategos of Samos (De Them., chap. XVI, line 16). It had a hinterland with extensive agricultural production reflected in our seals of horreiarioi.

At first, Smyrna was a simple bishopric of Ephesos, but by the mid-fifth century it became an autocephalous archbishopric. Finally it is attested as a metropolis from 869 onward. This evolution can be traced in the notitiae.

See Laurent, Corpus V/1, 563; Arhweiler, Smyrne, passim; Brandes, Städte, 126-26; ODB III, 1919-20.