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Nikephoros Lykaon (or Lalakon), protospatharios and strategos of Nisos (eleventh century)

Accession Number:
BZS.1958.106.1562

Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 32.2.

Details

Diameter:
23 mm
Condition:
Obverse struck off-center.

Obverse

Nikephoros Lykaon (or Lalakon), protospatharios and strategos of Nisos (eleventh century)

Bust of the Virgin with both hands open before her. Crudely engraved sigla: ̅ΘΥ̅ : Μήτηρ Θεοῦ. Border of dots.

Reverse

Nikephoros Lykaon (or Lalakon), protospatharios and strategos of Nisos (eleventh century)

Inscription of five lines. Border of dots.

ΝΙΚΗΦ,
ΑΣΠΑΘ,
ΣΤΡ,ΤΗΓ,Τ,
ΝΗΣΟΥΟ
Λ,Α

Νικηφόρος πρωτοσπαθάριος καὶ στρατηγὸς τῆς Νήσου ὁ Λυκάωναλάκων

Translation

Νικηφόρος πρωτοσπαθάριος καὶ στρατηγὸς τῆς Νήσου ὁ Λυκάων (or Λαλάκων).

Nikephoros Lykaon (or Lalakon), protospatharios and strategos of Nisos.

Audio

Commentary

The family name at the end is unclear: the final abbreviation sign seems to be that of (ων). Also, there is a comma after Λ, indicating that letters have been omitted there. The proposed readings Λυκάων and Λαλάκων (the latter suggested by A. Kazhdan) take into consideration all the above. Note the remarkable difference in quality between the engraving of the obverse (especially the sigla) and of the reverse. Was the obverse replaced in the province? Cf. SBS 1 (1987) 98.

Modern Niš in Serbia. The ancient city of Naissus, retaken by the Byzantines in the early eleventh century and called ὁ Νίσος, became the seat of a strategos and gave its name to a theme known, inter alia, from Alexiade III, 178. It had been an episcopal see from the time of Samuel and continued as such under the Byzantines. It became a metropolis only in the late twelfth century. See Zakythinos, létai 17 (1941) 228-29 and V. Laurent in Byzantion 31 (1961) 43-56 and Corpus V/2, no. 1510.

 

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