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The bishop of Agrai (eleventh century)

Accession Number:
BZS.1958.106.106

Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 87.1.
Laurent, Corpus V/1, no. 543.

Details

Diameter:
17 mm
Field:
13 mm
Condition:
Corroded (obv.).

Obverse

The bishop of Agrai (eleventh century)

Bust of the Virgin with medallion. Sigla: ΜΡ.. :  Μήτηρ Θεο. Border of dots.

Reverse

The bishop of Agrai (eleventh century)

Inscription of four lines. Border of dots.

+ΣΦΡΑ
ΓΙΣΕΠΙΣ
ΚΟΠΟΥΑ
ΓΡΟΝ

Σφραγὶς ἐπισκόπου Ἀγρόν

Translation

Σφραγὶς ἐπισκόπου Ἀγρόν.

Seal of the bishop of Agron.

Audio

Commentary

Agrai (or Agroi), Agros during the Ottoman times (modern Atabey), is located at 61 km southwest of Pisidian Antioch, of which it was a suffragan. It is attested for the first time in 869/870, and was later united with the neighboring see of Seleukeia Ferrea (Sidera). This union of the two sees continued according to the notitiae episcopatuum (which sometimes confuse Seleukeia Sidera with Laodikeia Sidera). See Laurent, Corpus V/1, 403; Phyrgien und Pisidien, 172.

The three DO specimens from Agrai reproduce the same anonymous inscription but come from three different boulloteria, dating from different periods of the eleventh century. The same inscription is reproduced on a fourth seal (Laurent, Corpus V/1, no. 544) which adds that the owner was also a raiktor, that is, an imperial official. The anonymity of these seals may have been due to the union of this see with Seleukeia and to the absenteeism of its bishop (cf. SBS 4 [1995] 75 ff).

Three out of four known seals of the bishopric of Agrai are decorated with the bust of St. Demetrios. It is safe to assume that the episcopal church was dedicated to this saint. Cf. C. Morrison and J.-Cl. Cheynet, SBS 4 (1995) 22.

 

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