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Theophilos imperial (proto?)strator (seventh/eighth century)

Accession number BZS.1958.106.2972
Diameter 29 mm


Cruciform invocative monogram; in the angles: Τ.Εσ. Wreath border.

Κύριε βώηθη τοῦ εδούλου σου


Inscription in four lines. Wreath border.


Θεωφίλου βασιλικοῦ πρωτοστράτορος


Κύριε βώηθη τοῦ δούλου σου Θεωφίλου βασιλικοῦ πρωτοστράτορος.

Lord, help your servant Theophilos imperial protostrator.


The seal is quite strange; it is quite possible that the engraver was not a native Greek speaker, but perhaps, a Latin speaker. The obverse seems to contain a combination of a poorly spelled invocative monogram with an inscription in the angles, and an inscription beginning ΚΕ (i.e. Κύριε), the Κ of which also serves as part of the monogram, and the Ε of which seems to replace what should be a Δ. Additionally, the inscription in the angle is incorrectly in the genitive, not the dative. The reverse inscription is rudely carved. There is a strange feature before the word strator, an I, likely meant to serve as a Roman numeral I, indicating that this is a protostrator. The ending of the name is finished in an artistic way, with the Σ under the Ο implying that the Ο should be used for both O's of στράτορος.