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Epiphanios chartoularios of the Divine Word (Hagia Sophia), domestikos of the imperial sekreta and "sole governor" of the Thrakesion (eleventh/twelfth century)

Accession Number:
BZS.1958.106.24

Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 2.6a. Cf. Wassiliou-Seibt, Siegel mit metrischen Legenden I, no. 788.

Details

Diameter:
25 mm
Field:
19 mm
Condition:
Corroded.

Obverse

Epiphanios chartoularios of the Divine Word (Hagia Sophia), domestikos of the imperial sekreta and "sole governor" of the Thrakesion (eleventh/twelfth century)

Inscription of five lines preceded and followed by decoration. Circle of pellets within a double linear border.

– + –
επιφανι
ονεκτυ.ω
τησφρα...,
χ̅τ̅
θ̅υλο...
· –

Ἐπιφάνιον ἐκτυ[π]ῳ τῇ σφρα[γῖδ(ι)] 
χ(αρ)του(λάριον) τ[οῦ ναοῦ] Θ(εο)ῦ Λό[γου]

Reverse

Epiphanios chartoularios of the Divine Word (Hagia Sophia), domestikos of the imperial sekreta and "sole governor" of the Thrakesion (eleventh/twelfth century)

Inscription of five lines preceded and followed by decoration. Circle of pellets within a double linear border.

ΔΟΜΕΣΤ,Κ,
ΤΕΣΕΚΡΕΤ,
ΤΔΕΣΠΟΤΚ
Τ,ΜΟΝ,ΑΡΧ.
ΤΘΡΑΚ,ΣΙˊ


δομέστ(ι)κ(όν) τε σεκρέτ(ων) τοῦ δεσπότ(ου) 
κ(αὶ) τ(ὸν) μόν(ον) ἄρχ(ον)[τ](α) τοῦ Θρᾳκ(η)σί(οῦ).

Translation

Ἐπιφάνιον ἐκτυπῳ τῇ σφραγῖδι χαρτουλάριον τοῦ ναοῦ Θεοῦ Λόγου
δομέστικόν τε σεκρέτων τοῦ δεσπότου καὶ τὸν μόνον ἄρχοντα τοῦ Θρᾳκησίοῦ.

On this seal I engrave Epiphanios, chartoularios of the Church of the Divine Word, domestikos of the imperial sekreta and sole governor of the Thrakesion.

Audio

Commentary

This seal and its counterpart (BZS.1958.106.24), as well as BZS.1947.2.1206 were undoubtedly meant to be exact copies of each other, but the difference in size proves that they derive from two different boulloteria: this seal is smaller than BZS.1958.106.24, which was struck on a bigger and heavier blank.

Laurent (Corpus II, no. 827) misread and consequently misinterpreted the seal so that he classified its owner with the officials of the judiciary. Here follows our understanding of the verse describing Epiphanios' offices:

(a) Epiphanios was a layman in the service of the Great Church (ναὸς Θεοῦ Λόγου must be a contraction, for metrical purposes, of an expression like τεμένει τῆς τοῦ Θεοῦ Λόγου σοφίας: Skylitzes, 270.43), one of the [sixty?] chartoularioi, who were attached to the various financial offices of the patriarchate (Darrouzès, Offikia, 38, 215).

(b) The ending of the word σεκρετ is not written out on any specimen. Laurent restored σεκρέτου in the singular and understood the imperial tribunal. But to our knowledge such a tribunal or service is nowhere attested. We restore the plural, σεκρέτων, and think that we have an official attached to the "second logariastaton sekreton," i.e. working in the μέγας λογαριαστῆς τῶν εὐαγῶν σεκρέτων, which appears for the first time in 1099. He will have had authority over the crown properties – hence the complement τοῦ δεσπότου on our seal. See Oikonomides, Évolution, 141. As the present inscription is metrical, we cannot say with certainty if δομέστικος was a terminus technicus (unattested from any other source in this context, as far as we know), or if it was used instead of λογαριαστής by way of poetic licence.

(c) Poetic licence accounts for the expression μόνος ἄρχων. It likely means the doux rather than the judge of the Thrakesion, an office well attested during the twelfth century (Arhweiler, Smyrne, 130-32).

There is no secure identification for the owner; however, a certain Epiphanios Kamateros comes to mind. He was active before the year 1100 and as with many of his contemporaries had a taste for metrical seals (Laurent, Corpus II, no. 1028; Lihačev, Molivdovuly, 163-64).

 

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