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John poimen (= metropolitan) of Mytilene and protosynkellos (eleventh century)

 
 

Obverse

Bust of St. John the Baptist (here the Forerunner) holding a staff cross with arms ending in pellets. On either side the inscription: |Ι̅|Ο|ΠΡ|ΟΔ|Ρ|Ο|ΜΟ|Σ: ὁ ἅ(γιος) Ἰω(άννης) ὁ Πρόδρομος. Border of dots.

Reverse

Inscription of seven lines, decorations above and below. Border of dots.

 
ΟΜΝΥ
ΜΝΤΑΠΡ
ΤΟΣΥΓΚΕΛΛ,
ΣΚΕΠΟΙ,ΤΟΟ
ΔΡΟΜΟΝΦΣ
ΜΙΤΥΛΗΝΗΣ
ΠΟΙΜΕΝΑ

ὁμωνυμοῦντα πρωτοσύγκελλ(ον) σκέποι(ς), τὸ πρόδρομον φῶς, Μιτυλήνης ποιμένα

Obverse

Bust of St. John the Baptist (here the Forerunner) holding a staff cross with arms ending in pellets. On either side the inscription: |Ι̅|Ο|ΠΡ|ΟΔ|Ρ|Ο|ΜΟ|Σ: ὁ ἅ(γιος) Ἰω(άννης) ὁ Πρόδρομος. Border of dots.

Reverse

Inscription of seven lines, decorations above and below. Border of dots.

 
ΟΜΝΥ
ΜΝΤΑΠΡ
ΤΟΣΥΓΚΕΛΛ,
ΣΚΕΠΟΙ,ΤΟΟ
ΔΡΟΜΟΝΦΣ
ΜΙΤΥΛΗΝΗΣ
ΠΟΙΜΕΝΑ

ὁμωνυμοῦντα πρωτοσύγκελλ(ον) σκέποι(ς), τὸ πρόδρομον φῶς, Μιτυλήνης ποιμένα

Accession number BZS 1958.106.8
Diameter 28.0 mm; field: 23.0 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 51.8; Laurent, Corpus V/1, no. 753. Cf. Wassiliou-Seibt, Siegel mit metrischen Legenden II, no. 1655.

Translation

ὁμωνυμοῦντα πρωτοσύγκελλον σκέποις, τὸ πρόδρομον φῶς, Μιτυλήνης ποιμένα.

May you, the light that led the way, protect the protosynkellos of the same name, shepherd of the flock of Mytilene.

Commentary

The inscription consists of two elegant twelve-syllable verses. Laurent is undoubtedly correct that John was metropolitan of Mytilene at some point after metropolitan Constantine (attested in 1054) and before Niketas (attested in 1089, 1092). This date is supported by the epigraphy as well as by the title of protosynkellos, which appeared in the middle of the century and was abolished at the beginning of Alexios I Komnenos' reign (1081-1118).

Bibliography

  • Catalogue of the Byzantine Seals at Dumbarton Oaks and at the Fogg Museum of Art, Vol. 2: South of the Balkans, the Islands, South of Asia Minor (Open in Zotero)
  • Le Corpus des sceaux de l’empire byzantin (Open in Zotero)
  • Byzantine Lead Seals, Vol. 1 (Open in Zotero)
  • Alexiade: Règne de l’empereur Alexis I Comnène, 1081–1118 (Open in Zotero)
  • Hierarchia Ecclesiastica Orientalis: Series episcoporum ecclesiarum christianarum orientalium (Open in Zotero)
  • Les îles de l’empire byzantin: VIIIe-XIIe siècles (Open in Zotero)
  • Corpus der byzantinischen Siegel mit metrischen Legenden, Vol. 2, Siegellegenden von Ny bis inklusive Sphragis (Open in Zotero)