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Symeon imperial kandidatos and paraphylax of Nicaea (tenth century)

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.1056
Diameter 24 mm
Field diameter 18 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 59.5.


Patriarchal cross on four steps. Fleurons up to first arm. Along the circumference, between two borders of dots, inscription:


Κ(ύρι)ε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δ[ο]ύλ(ῳ)


Inscription of five lines. Border of dots.


Συμεὼν β(ασιλικῷ) κανδηδ(άτῳ) (καὶ) παραφ(ύλακι) Νηκέα(ς)


Κύριε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Συμεὼν βασιλικῷ κανδηδάτῳ καὶ παραφύλακι Νηκέας.

Lord, help your servant Symeon, imperial kandidatos and paraphylax of Nicaea.


Nicaea (modern Iznik), located to the east of Lake Askania in BIthynia, was an important fortified city and a center for trade with a xenodocheion (cf. BZS.1947.2.115). It seems to have been the capital of the theme of Opsikion (De Them., 129), and for a time it was administrated by an eparchos, like Constantinople or Thessalonica (Zacos-Veglery, no. 3156). This official will be later replaced (?) by an archon (e.g. BZS.1951.31.5.2634). The local administration must have been quite intricate because we learn rom our seals about the existence of pious associations and of an asylum for elderly people (Zacos, Seals II, no. 263), but also of military governors (paraphylax) and of a protokentarchos (BZS.1958.106.1575). Nicaea is listed as a metropolis in 8th position in all notitiae from the seventh to the fifteenth century. It became famous for having hosted two oecumenical councils (325, 787) and for becoming, after 1204, the first capital of the so-called empire of Nicaea. See Laurent, Corpus V/1, 282; Janin, Grands centres, 105ff; Brandes, Städte, 124-26; ODB II, 1463-64. Concerning the creation of new suffragans in the ninth century, see J. Darrouzès, "Remarques sur la création d'évêchés," REB 47 (1989) 221-26.