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Leo Skleros, magistros, vestes, vestarches and judge of Aigaion Pelagos (eleventh century)

Accession Number:
BZS.1958.106.1677

Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 40.15a.
Cf. parallel specimens in Athens (Konstantopoulos, no. 98a) and in the Lihačev Collection (Lihačev, IZIGI, 91); republished by Seibt, Skleroi, no. 20 (pl. 4, nos. 13, 14).

Details

Diameter:
29 mm

Obverse

Leo Skleros, magistros, vestes, vestarches and judge of Aigaion Pelagos (eleventh century)

Bust of the Virgin orans with the medallion. Sigla: ̅ΘΥ̅ : Μή(τη)ρ Θ(εο)ῦ. Along the upper border of dots, an inscription:

ΘΚΕΘΤΣΔ,

Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ

Reverse

Leo Skleros, magistros, vestes, vestarches and judge of Aigaion Pelagos (eleventh century)

Inscription of six lines. Border of tight dots.

ΛΕΟΝΤΙ
ΜΑΓΙΣΤΡ
ΕΣΤΕΣΤΑΡ
..SΚΡΙΤ,ΤΕΓ,
.ΠΕΛΑΓΣ
.ΣΚΛΗΡ,

Λέοντι μαγίστρῳ, βέστ, βεστάρχῃ, καὶ κριτ τοῦ Ἐγαίου Πελάγους τῷ Σκληρ

Translation

Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Λέοντι μαγίστρῳ, βέστῃ, βεστάρχῃ, καὶ κριτῇ τοῦ Ἐγαίου Πελάγους τῷ Σκληρῷ.

Theotokos, help your servant Leo Skleros, magistros, vestes, vestarches and judge of Aigaion Pelagos.

Audio

Commentary

Our specimen (b) seems to be close to the Lihačev specimen; on our specimen (a), which reproduces the same imagery and inscription with the same layout, the letters are slightly thicker but occupy practically the same width. Both seem to come from the same, retooled boulloterion.

The combination of the honorific titles is very unusual, especially the fact that the theoretically superior title of vestarches is mentioned after that of vestes (Listes, 294, 299-300). Perhaps we should read βεστοβεστάρχῃ and understand the vestarches at the head of the vestes (as opposed to the protovestai, cf. Oikonomides, Évolution, 126); or does it refer to a vestarches at the head of a different service? The question remains open. Seibt (Skleroi, no. 20) has assembled the late eleventh century seals belonging to a Leo Skleros and laid out a cursus honorum.

 

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