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Theodore metropolitan of Nicaea (tenth/eleventh century)

Accession number BZS.1955.1.4837
Diameter 30 mm
Field diameter 20 mm
Condition Effaced on r. side (obv.)
Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 59.12.
Laurent, Corpus, V/3, no. 1712.


Cruciform invocative monogram (type V). In the quarters: ΤΣ.|ΔΛ. Crosses of four dots () above the letters at the top and below the letters at the bottom. Border of dots.

Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σ[ῷ] δούλ[ῳ]


Inscription of four lines, decorations above and below. Border of dots.


Θεο[δ]ώρῳ μητροπολίτ[(ῃ)] Νικαία(ς)


Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Θεοδώρῳ μητροπολίτῃ Νικαίας.

Mother of God, help your servant Theodore, metropolitan of Nicaea.


Laurent dated this specimen to the first half of the ninth century, but the form of the letters points instead to the late tenth century. The four dot decorations of the obverse are also found on Dated Seals, no. 61 (of 927); similar devices appear on Dated Seals, nos. 59, 62, 64 (920-934, 934-941, 941-946). The decorations of the reverse were used no earlier than the late tenth century, and the last datable example of a cruciform monogram is on the seal of the Patriarch Eustathios (1019-1025). For these reasons, we date the present specimen to the second half of the tenth century (and, less probably, the early eleventh) and suggest that it belonged to Theodore of Nicaea, active in 956 and later (Darrouzès, Épistoliers, 49ff).