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Theodore of the monastery of Elegmon (tenth/eleventh century)

Accession number BZS.1947.2.1915
Diameter 17 mm
Field diameter 13 mm
Condition Badly corroded.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 46.2.

Laurent, Corpus V/2, no. 1249.


Indistinct bust of a bearded saint. No inscription visible. Border of dots.


Inscription of four lines, a decoration below. Border of dots.

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Θεοδώ[ρ]ῳ τῆς μο[νῆ]ς τῶν Ἐλεγμῶ(ν)


Θεοδώρῳ τῆς μονῆς τῶν Ἐλεγμῶν.

Theodore (higoumenos) of the monastery of Elegmon.


Laurent did not read the omega in the last line, taking it instead as an abbreviation mark. We follow Laurent in taking this as the seal of the higoumenos of the monastery even though the inscription does not explicitly say so.

In the Typikon of 1162 a newly renovated monastery, situated on the Bithynian Olympus, close to Kursunlu, is identified as Ἡλίου Βωμῶν ἤτοι τῶν Ἐλεγμῶν. This may mean that it had two names or that the one name succeeded to the other when the community of Heliou Bomon moved to the monastery of Elegmon. The history of these names is examined in detail by Laurent, Corpus V/2, 171; especially by Janin, Grands centres, 142-48; see also ODB II, 910-11.

The monastery of Elaiobomon is attested from the ninth century on (cf. also the seal of the ninth-century higoumenos Stephanos in SBS 3 [1993] 183); the one ton Elegmon is attested from the early tenth century on. From the texts united by Janin, it appears that it often served as a place to exile the emperor's enemies so much so that one might wonder whether the name Elegmoi should not be understood as "penal convictions." The monastery of Elaiobomon also served as a place for exiles.