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N. and N. (genikoi?) kommerkiarioi of the apotheke of Koloneia and of all the provinces of the Christ-loving Armeniakon (717/8)

Accession Number:
BZS.1958.106.688

Previous Editions

DO Seals 4, no. 22.27.

Zacos-Veglery, no. 222a. Zacos and Veglery published a second specimen of the same seal (no. 222b), but this is unfortunately of no help in establishing a secure reading of the inscription on the obverse and in the first line of the reverse.

Details

Diameter:
30 mm

Obverse

N. and N. (genikoi?) kommerkiarioi of the apotheke of Koloneia and of all the provinces of the Christ-loving Armeniakon (717/8)

The emperor (Leo III) standing frontally, wearing a chlamys, holding a globus cruciger in his right hand and an akakia in his left hand. Indiction signs on either side: –α̅. Traces of a circular inscription at left. No visible border.

Reverse

N. and N. (genikoi?) kommerkiarioi of the apotheke of Koloneia and of all the provinces of the Christ-loving Armeniakon (717/8)

Inscription of eight lines. No visible border.

.....
..κοερ.
...ιωναποθ
..ησκολονι.
..παντωντ..
.παρχιωντ.
..λοχριστα
..ενιακ.

[.... γενικῶν] κομμερ[κιαρ[ίων ἀποθ[ήκ]ης Κολονί[ας (καὶ)] πάντων τ[ῶν ἐ]παρχιῶν τ[οῦ φι]λοχρίστου Ἀ[ρμ]ενιακ[οῦ]

Translation

Ἰνδικτιὼν α'.     .... γενικῶν κομμερ[κιαρίων ἀποθήκης Κολονίας καὶ πάντων τῶν ἐπαρχιῶν τοῦ φιλοχρίστου Ἀρμενιακοῦ.

Indiction 1.      .... genikoi kommerkiarioi of the apotheke of Koloneia and of all the provinces of the Christ-loving Armeniakon.

Audio

Commentary

The present specimen was rightly attributed by Zacos-Veglery to the early reign of Leo III, on the basis of the iconography and because in the previous first indiction [702/3] the revenues of the apotheke of Koloneia were farmed out to a certain Kyriakos who acted alone (Zacos-Veglery, no. 203). This mention of Koloneia (together with Kamachos) as a separate apotheke shows the importance that this city must have acquired in the early eighth century and explains why it is mentioned separately from the other provinces of the Armeniakon theme.

The present seal provides the earliest known mention of kommerkiarioi with authority over the provinces of a theme; it demonstrates that before 717/718 the themes had a geographical meaning (cf. W. Seibt, in ByzSl 36 [1975] 209).

 

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