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Marianos imperial protospatharios and eparchos of the City (tenth century)

 
 

Obverse

Patriarchal cross on three steps with vine tendrils rising from the base up to the lower transverse bar. Within a border of dots, a circular inscription beginning at the base of the cross:

Εσ.....οσκετουπαθοντ,δεσποτ,

ἔσ[ο βοήθ]ος, Κ(ύρι)ε, τοῦ παθόντ(ος) δεσπότ(ου)

Reverse

Inscription of five lines preceded by four pellets. Border of dots.

   
ΜΑΡΙ
ΑΝΟΣΑΣΠ
ΑΘΑΡΗΟΣϗ.
ΠΑΡΧ...
ΟΛΕ..

Μαριανὸς β(ασιλικὸς) (πρωτο)σπαθάρηος (καὶ) [ἔ]παρχ[ος Π]όλε[ως]

Obverse

Patriarchal cross on three steps with vine tendrils rising from the base up to the lower transverse bar. Within a border of dots, a circular inscription beginning at the base of the cross:

Εσ.....οσκετουπαθοντ,δεσποτ,

ἔσ[ο βοήθ]ος, Κ(ύρι)ε, τοῦ παθόντ(ος) δεσπότ(ου)

Reverse

Inscription of five lines preceded by four pellets. Border of dots.

   
ΜΑΡΙ
ΑΝΟΣΑΣΠ
ΑΘΑΡΗΟΣϗ.
ΠΑΡΧ...
ΟΛΕ..

Μαριανὸς β(ασιλικὸς) (πρωτο)σπαθάρηος (καὶ) [ἔ]παρχ[ος Π]όλε[ως]

Accession number BZS 1951.31.5.2210
Diameter 30.0 mm; field: 24.0 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 5, no. 22.4; Laurent, Corpus 2, no. 1009 (dating the seal to the tenth century, second half). See now Wassiliou-Seibt, Siegel mit metrischen Legenden I, no. 797.

Translation

ἔσο βοήθος, Κύριε, τοῦ παθόντος δεσπότου. Μαριανὸς βασιλικὸς πρωτοσπαθάρηος καὶ ἔπαρχος Πόλεως.

Lord, be the aid of the suffering owner. Marianos imperial protospatharios and eparchos of the City.

Commentary

Wassiliou-Seibt has restored the correct reading of the circular inscription on the obverse; it does not read Λέοντ(ος) δεσπότ(ου) as previous editors thought. It is instead a prayer using the word δεσπότης to mean the owner of the seal (who asks for God's help through this vale of tears) and to echo the suffering of Christ on the Cross. The invocation may also be an early instance of the fifteen-syllable political verse.