You are here:Home/Resources/ Byzantine Seals/ Search the Catalogue/ Leo imperial spatharios and tourmarches of Mezon (ninth/tenth century)

Leo imperial spatharios and tourmarches of Mezon (ninth/tenth century)

Accession number BZS.1947.2.1009
Diameter 19 mm
Condition Weak imprint. Provincial outlook.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 61.1.


Cruciform invocative monogram (type V); in the quarters: .Σ|ΔΟΥΛ. Wreath border.

Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλ


Inscription of four lines, followed by a row of pellets. No border visible.


Λέοντι βασιλικῷ σπαθαρίῳ καὶ τρομάρχ τῆς Μηζονος


Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Λέοντι βασιλικῷ σπαθαρίῳ καὶ τρομάρχῃ τῆς Μηζονος.

Theotokos, help your servant Leo imperial spatharios and tourmarches of Mezon.


We assume that the antique form Ἀμυζῶνος was still influential at the time when the dies for this seal were engraved somewhere in the vicinity. For this reason, we restore the spelling Μυζῶνος, and not Μίζωνος, Μείζωνος, (or more "correctly," Μίζου) as would be tempting to do on the basis of the notitiae, which echo Constantinopolitan rather than local usage.

The ancient city of Amyzon survived in the Middle Ages under the names of Amazon (or Μizou, Mizon) and has been definitely identified as the modern Mazin Kalesi, the site of a fortress on the eastern slope of Mount Latros. The first bishop is attested in 431, and the bishopric is regularly mentioned in the notitiae as a suffragan of Karia/Stauroupolis well into the thirteenth century. See Laurent, Corpus V/1, 386; Fedalto, 193; Robert, Amyzon, esp. 28-29, 280; Zgusta, 70; REB 26 (1968) 39-40.