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John bishop of Troizen (eighth/ninth century)

Accession number BZS.1958.106.371
Diameter 30 mm
Field diameter 24 mm
Condition Partially effaced.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 35.2.
Laurent, Corpus V/3, no. 1750.
Zacos-Veglery, no. 2003.


Cruciform invocative monogram (type V); in the quarters: ΤΣ|.Λ. Wreath border.

Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ


Inscription of four lines. Wreath border.


Ἰωάννῃ ἐπισκόπῳ Τρυζῖνος


Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Ἰωάννῃ ἐπισκόπῳ Τρυζῖνος.

Mother of God, help your servant John, bishop of Troizen.


As Laurent has correctly seen, there is space for two more letters on line 4 of the reverse. We think that one must restore the name in the genitive of the third declension, Τροιζῆνος, which is also attested in the signature of bishop Antonios in 787 (Mansi XII, 1099D), without turning to more demotic forms, such as the one of the iconoclastic notitia, which may well be inspired from the Synekdemos of Hierokles.

Troizen (ancient and modern Troizen in the eastern tip of the Peloponnesos, belonging to the nomos of Attika). The first reference to its existence as a bishopric is in the year 787 (Mansi XII, 1099); it is listed in the controversial iconoclastic notitia as a suffragan of Cephalonia (Darrouzès, Notitiae, no. 3, line 771, cf. line 739). The bishopric will adopt from the early 10th century onward the name of Damalas and will reappear constantly as a suffragan of Corinth (Darrouzès, Notitiae, no. 7, line 489; no. 9, line 372; etc.). Our seals show that in the 9th century the authorities continued to use the traditional name, in the third declension, while Damalas was obviously a more popular--and more demotic--name (presumably the name of a landowner, τοῦ Δαμαλᾶ?) that prevailed and is mentioned (and confused with Epidauros) in the Life of St. Nikon, 88, 90, cf. 280-81. See Laurent, Corpus V/3, 102-3; Fedalto, 525-26; Bon, Morée francque, 486-91.