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The proedros (= metropolitan] of Ephesos (eleventh/twelfth century)

Accession Number:
BZS.1958.106.41

Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 14.9. See also Wassiliou-Seibt, Siegel mit metrischen Legenden I, no. 5.

Laurent, Corpus V/1, no. 261: three parallel specimens, in Paris, Berlin (Sig., 258) and Athens (Konstantopoulos, no. 136); another in the Zacos Collection: Zacos, Seals II, no. 682).

Details

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

Obverse

The proedros (= metropolitan] of Ephesos (eleventh/twelfth century)

St. John the Evangelist standing, turned three quarters, blessing with his right hand and holding a book in his left hand. On either side the inscription: .ω̅-θε|ο|λο|γ, : [ὁ ἅ(γιος) Ἰ]ω(άννης) [ὁ] Θεολόγ(ος). Border of pellets.

Reverse

The proedros (= metropolitan] of Ephesos (eleventh/twelfth century)

Inscription of five lines beginning with a cross. Traces of a decoration below. Border of pellets:

+γν.
σκεποισ.
τονπρο
ερονε
φεσου
--

Ἁγν[ὲ] σκέποις [με] τὸν πρόεδρον Ἐφέσου

Translation

Ἁγνὲ σκέποις με τὸν πρόεδρον Ἐφέσου.

Holy one, may you watch over me, the metropolitan of Ephesos.

Audio

Commentary

It is possible that this type of anonymous (and here metrical) seal was used by the clergy of the metropolis when the see was vacant or the metropolitan was away. See SBS 4 (1995) 71-79.

The ancient city of Ephesos was abandoned in the seventh century in favor of the security of the inland fortress of Theologos, where the famous basilica (and major pilgrimage center) of St. John the Evangelist stood (near modern Selçuk). The name (Ἅγιος) Θεολόγος, Theologo, Ayasoluk was currently used when speaking of the medieval town and its administrators, such as the commander of the fortress, the paraphylax, or the archon (eighth/ninth century: Zacos-Veglery, no. 2282A) and the (undoubtedly naval) droungarios (ninth century: ibid., 2561A; Konstantopoulos, no. 135). But the old name, Ephesos, also survived in civil administration: Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos informs us that the theme of Samos, which is first attested at the very end of the ninth century, had control over the tourma of Ephesos (Ἐφέσιον: De Them., chap. XVI, line 14), while we have mentions of tax collectors (dioiketes) of Ephesos (ActaSS November III, 540; Zacos-Veglery, no. 2487). We have the impression that Theologos was the local usage, while Ephesos came from the learned circles of Constantinople and was the name that prevailed alone in the ecclesiastic administration.

Ephesos was a major metropolis, with no less than 39 suffragans attached to it at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, claiming to preserve the remains of the Apostle John (whose representation appears on the obverse on some seals of metropolitans). It is mentioned in all notitiae.

See Laurent, Corpus V/1, 178; Culerrier, Suffragants d'Ephèse; ODB I, 706; W. Seibt, "Drei byzantinische Bleisiegel aus Ephesos," Litterae numismaticae vindobonenses Roberto Goebl dedicatae (Vienna, 1979), 145-54; W. Brandes, "Ephesos in byzantinischer Zeit," Klio 64 (1982) 611-22; Brandes, Städte, 83-85.

 

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