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Leo imperial protospatharios and strategos of Thessalonica (ninth century)

Accession Number:
BZS.1958.106.2218

Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 18.67.

Details

Diameter:
24 mm
Field:
20 mm

Obverse

Leo imperial protospatharios and strategos of Thessalonica (ninth century)

Patriarchal cross on steps with crosslet of dots in each of the upper quarters and fleurons rising from the base (up to the first transverse bar). Circular inscription between two borders of dots.

ΚΕΟΗΘΗΤΣΔΟΥΛ,

Κύριε βοήθη τῷ σῷ δούλ

Reverse

Leo imperial protospatharios and strategos of Thessalonica (ninth century)

Inscription of four lines. Double border of dots.

ΛΕΟΝ
/ΣΠΘ
Κ/ΣΤΡΤ,
ΘΕΣΛ

Λέοντι βασιλικῷ πρωτοσπαθαρίῳ καὶ στρατηγῷ Θεσαλονίκης

Translation

Κύριε βοήθη τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Λέοντι βασιλικῷ πρωτοσπαθαρίῳ καὶ στρατηγῷ Θεσαλονίκης.

Lord, help your servant Leo imperial protospatharios and strategos of Thessalonica.

Audio

Commentary

Four other specimens with the same decoration and inscription, but from different boulloteria, are published: (1) Mordtmann, RA [1879] 197; (2) Sig. 727-28 = Konstantopoulos, no. 8; (3) Zacos, Seals II, no. 219; and (4) the exhibition catalogue Θεσσαλονίκη. Ἰστορία καὶ Τέχνη (Athens, 1986, IV, 31) = S. Kissas, Μολυβδόβουλλα από τα υπερώα της Αγίας Σοφίας Θεσσαλονίκης, SBS 2 (1990) 189-91. All five specimens appear to date from the same period and may have been issued by the same person, most probably Λέων τοῦ Χιτζιλάκη, imperial protospatharios and strategos of Thessalonica, who is mentioned in an inscription engraved on the city's sea walls in 904 (cf. Spieser, Inscriptions de Thessalonique, 162-63, no. 12): he was the unsuccessful defender of Thessalonica against Leo of Tripolis (G. Böhlig, Ioannis Caminiatae, De expugnatione Thessalonicae, CFHB 4 [Berlin-New York, 1973], para. 18-20; Theophanes Cont., 368; etc.). But as Kissas has remarked (SBS 2 [1990] 191), Leo Chitzilakios was strategos of Thessalonica for only a few months and could hardly have used up five boulloteria; hence Kissas hypothesizes that another protospatharios and strategos of Thessalonica named Leo must have existed at approximately the same period.

Bibliography

 

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