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Theodore Doukas Palaiologos (twelfth/thirteenth century)

Accession number BZS.1958.106.3307
Diameter 37 mm
Field diameter 33 mm
Condition Effaced along the edges. The reading of the obverse portion of the inscription follows Wassiliou-Seibt's reconstruction based on a better preserved parallel.
Previous Editions

Cf. Wassiliou-Seibt, Siegel mit metrischen Legenden II, no. 2207.


Τhe standing figures of two archangels, Michael and Gabriel. Above and between the two figures: Μ Γ : Μιχαήλ and Γαβριήλ. Each figure holds a labarum and together they hold a globus cruciger between them. Enclosed within a linear border, a circular inscription beginning at twelve o'clock:


Σκέποιτε δύας ἀΰλων ἀρχαγγέλων


Inscription of seven lines. Border of dots.


Θεόδωρον Δούκαν με Παλαιολόγον συμπένθερόν τε τοῦ κρατοῦντος Αὐσόνων


Σκέποιτε δύας ἀΰλων ἀρχαγγέλων Θεόδωρον Δούκαν με Παλαιολόγον συμπένθερόν τε τοῦ κρατοῦντος Αὐσόνων.

May you, pair of incorporeal archangels, protect me, Theodore Doukas Palaiologos, fellow father-in-law of the ruler of the Ausonians (i.e. Romans).


The unusual term συμπένθερος can refer to someone whose child has married the child of the emperor, but in this case Theodore Doukas Palaiologos is using sympentheros to refer to himself as uncle and surrogate father-in-law. His brother, George Doukas Palaiologos, had given his son Alexios Doukas Komnenos Palaiologos (nephew of our seal owner) in marriage to Irene, daughter of the emperor Alexios III in 1199. Upon the death of George Doukas Palaiologos, his brother Theodore received the right to refer to himself as father-in-law, thus linking himself to the emperor as "fellow father-in-law." The iconography on the obverse reinforces this relationship.