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Basil Machetaris, vestes, judge and katepano of Melitene and of Lykandos (eleventh century)

Accession Number:
BZS.1958.106.1371

Previous Editions

DO Seals 4, no. 53.5a.

G. Sclumberger, in Sig., 282-83, no. 4, published a seal of the British Museum with the same inscription but seemingly from a different boulloterion. Cf. Birch, no. 17,559.

Details

Diameter:
32 mm
Field:
27 mm

Obverse

Basil Machetaris, vestes, judge and katepano of Melitene and of Lykandos (eleventh century)

Bust of the Virgin orans with the medallion of Christ in front of her (type of Episkepsis, according to Seibt, SBS 1, 54). Sigla: ̅-θ̅υ : Μή(τη)ρ Θ(εο)ῦ. A semicircular inscription above. Border of dots.

+θκεRοηθ,

Θ(εοτό)κε βοήθ(ει)

Reverse

Basil Machetaris, vestes, judge and katepano of Melitene and of Lykandos (eleventh century)

Inscription of seven lines. Border of dots.

Rσιλ,
Rεστ,κρι
τ,Sκτεπ,
μελιτ,Sλι
κνδ,τ
μχητ
-ρι-

βασιλ(είῳ) βέστ(ῃ), κριτ(ῇ) (καὶ) κατεπ(άνω) Μελιτ(ηνῆς) (καὶ) Λικανδ(οῦ) τῷ Μαχητάρι

Translation

Θεοτόκε βοήθει βασιλείῳ βέστῃ, κριτῇ καὶ κατεπάνω Μελιτηνῆς καὶ Λικανδοῦ τῷ Μαχητάρι.

Mother of God, help Basil Machetaris, vestes, judge, and katepano of Melitene and of Lykandos.

Audio

Commentary

This seal and BZS.1958.106.5399 come from the same boulloterion, but the lettering of this seal is sharper, while the other seal shows signs that the matrices had begun to wear out.

The seal has been discussed by several scholars, including N. Adontz, Etudes arméno-byzantines (Lisbon, 1965), 137-141 (= Byzantion 9 [1934] 367-371): although he provides useful information about the Armenian family of Machetaris, his theories concerning chronology and identifications of persons are fanciful. Other seals that may have belonged to our Basil Machetaris are preserved in the Hermitage (M 8468 and 6689): V. Sandrovskaja, “Molivdovuly dolznostyh lic Vizantii XI veka (novoe ctenie legend),” Vspomogatelnye istoriceskie discipliny 23 (1991) 102-112, nos. 1 and 2; cf. SBS 3 (1993) 166. Both are earlier than the present specimen since Basil is mentioned (a) as hypatos and judge (cf. Laurent, Vatican, no. 129) and (b) as protospatharios epi tou Chrysotriklinou, mystolektes and judge of the Hippodrome and of Lykandos (no doubt during an earlier appointment). Later he went further up: he may well be the correspondent of Theophylact of Ohrid, also a member of the legal profession (droungarios tes vigles). See Theophylacti, Epistulae, 276, note 1.

 

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