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Solomonakes protospatharios, grand chartoularios and basilikos of Melitene (tenth century)

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.928
Diameter 28 mm
Condition Broken into two pieces.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 4, no. 68.1.


Inscription of five lines. Border of dots.


Κ(ύρι)ε βοήθ(ει) τ[ῷ] σῷ δούλ[ῳ] Σωλομον[ά]κ(ῃ)


Inscription of five lines. Border of dots.



(πρωτο)σπαθ(αρίῳ), μ(ε)γ(άλῳ) χαρτου(λαρίῳ) κὲ β(ασιλικῷ) τῆς Μελιτηνῆς


Κύριε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Σωλομονάκῃ, πρωτοσπαθαρίῳ, μεγάλῳ χαρτουλαρίῳ κὲ βασιλικῷ τῆς Μελιτηνῆς.

Lord, help your servant Solomonakes, protospatharios, grand chartoularios, and basilikos of Melitene.


The first name of the owner is a diminutive, since the last letter of the obverse (κ) is very clear, and there is room enough for only one more letter before it. The office of basilikos, with financial attributions, is well attested for Melitene by seals (Laurent, Orghidan, no. 212) and in the chronicle of Yahya of Antioch (II, 372, 420), cf. Canard, Hamdanides, 844, 847-848..

Now Eski Malatya, on the right bank of the Euphrates, Melitene was conquered by John Kourkouas in 934, whereupon its Muslim inhabitants were forced to choose between converting to Christianity or leaving the town. The properties of the many who left were transformed into an imperial kouratoreia, while the city remained an important administrative and military center. This explains the many seals belonging to imperial financial officials as well as to military commanders. See Oikonomides, “Organisation,” 290 and note 31; Listes, 356; Kappadokien, 233-37; Sinclair III, 3 ff.

Melitene became a bishopric in the third century and is attested as the metropolis of Armenia I from the Vth century onwards; during the Xth century its suffragans increased from five to nine. The last metropolitan of Melitene is listed in the XIVth century. See Laurent, Corpus V/1, 314; list of prelates in Fedalto, HEO I, 39-40.