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Theodoretos bishop of Lakedaimonia (eleventh century)

Accession number BZS.1955.1.4678
Diameter 18 mm
Condition Thick blank.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 29.2.
Laurent, Corpus V/1, no. 639 (cf. RA 1877/2, 53, no. 28 = Sig., 184; Konstantopoulos, no. 84) mentions two specimens in the Vienna museum and one in Athens. The specimen illustrated by Laurent is parallel to ours.


Inscription of four lines, decoration above. Border of dots.


Κύριε βοήθει Θεοδωρήτῳ ἀναξίῳ


Inscription of four lines, decoration above. Border of dots.


ἐπισκόπο Λακεδαιμονίας


Κύριε βοήθει Θεοδωρήτῳ ἀναξίῳ ἐπισκόπο Λακεδαιμονίας.

Lord, help the undeserving Theodoretos, bishop of Lakedaimonia.


Laurent has rightly shown that one should read Θεοδωρήτῳ ἀναξίῳ, instead of Θεοδώρ τῷ ἀναξίῳ. But no bishop named Theodoretos appears in the synodikon, the text of which seems to have suffered minor modifications from successive copying. The names which are well dated and those which resemble to Theodoretos, mentioned in the synodikon for the period in which we are interested, are the following.

no. 5 Theolektos, attested in 869
no. 7 Nicholas, attested in 903
no. 11 Theopemptos, attested in 998
no. 12 Theodosios (we propose to correct in Theodoretos, see below)
no. 15 Theodoros; about him it is generally assumed that there is scribal error and that in fact this is Theodosios, the bishop who became the first metropolitan in 1082/83.

While referring the reader to the detailed discussion of the problem by the scholars who studied the synodikon (REB 19 [1961] 220; DOP 15 [1961] 239) and quote in detail all the relevant sources, we assume that our Theodoretos should be placed in the slot no. 12, in the place of Thedosios of the manuscript (the copying mistake is easy); as Laurent has suggested, Theodoretos would also be the bishop "Θεοῦ δῶρον" who commissioned the Life of St. Theokletos (N. Bees, in Vizantijskoe Obozrenie 2 [1916] Suppl. 1, 12), with the difference that, according to us, he would have lived in the early 11th century and not in the mid-10th.

Laurent, Corpus V/1, no. 638, publishes a second seal of Theodoretos of Lakedaimonia, a monk. He must be the same person as the owner of the present specimen, who keeps the monastic habit of calling himself ἀνάξιος, unworthy.

Lakedaimonia (modern Sparta) was functioning as a bishopric by the middle of the 5th century; it became the suffragan first in order of Patras sometime between 802 and 806 and exercised authority in Arcadia. It was established as a metropolis in 1082/83. We have the list of the bishops (synodikon) of Lakedaimonia from the mid-9th to the late 12th centuries, published and discussed by R. J. H. Jenkins and C. Mango (DOP 15 [1961] 235-42) and by V. Laurent (REB 19 [1961] 208-26); cf. Gouillard, Synodikon, 112-13, 277-78.

See Laurent, Corpus V/1, 478, 624; Fedaalto, 505-7; Philippidis-Braat, no. 42; ODB II, 1169-70.