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John imperial spatharios, monetarios, and protonotarios of Sicily (ninth century)

Accession Number:
BZS.1958.106.885

Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 5.6.
Zacos-Veglery, no. 2057.

Details

Diameter:
28 mm

Obverse

John imperial spatharios, monetarios, and protonotarios of Sicily (ninth century)

Cruciform invocative monogram (type V); in the quarters: ΤΣ|ΔΛ. Wreath border.

Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ

Reverse

John imperial spatharios, monetarios, and protonotarios of Sicily (ninth century)

Inscription in four lines. Wreath border.

ΙΝ.
ΗΒΣΠΘ
ΜΟΑ
ΝΟΤ.ΣΙΚ

Ἰωάννῃ βασιλικῷ σπαθαρίῳ μονηταρίῳ καὶ πρωτονοταρίῳ Σικελίας

Translation

Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Ἰωάννῃ βασιλικῷ σπαθαρίῳ μονηταρίῳ καὶ πρωτονοταρίῳ Σικελίας.

Theotokos, help your servant John imperial spatharios, monetarios, and protonotarios of Sicily.

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Commentary

The Latin term "monitarius" is encountered in the Ravenna papyri in regard to a certain Laurentius monitarius who died before 572 (see Brown, Gentlemen, 279, Laurentius no. 8). The standard literature has failed to note that the first publication of a seal carrying this title appears in F. Barnabei, Notizie degli scavi (1886), 244; obverse with an inscribed cruciform monogram; reverse inscription Σεργίῳ ὑπ(άτῳ) κ(αῖ) μονηταρίῳ. See also a ninth-century seal in the Palermo Museum of a John, hypatos and monetarios (?): Laurent, Sicile, no. 2 (a different seal, however, is illustrated and the reading is contested by W. Seibt in ByzSl 36 [1975] 211). Grierson, Catalogue III/1, 73, quite correctly observed that since the official had "the still respectable title of consul" he was quite likely a mint-master, and not a mere moneyer. This interpretation is reinforced by this seal, which informs us that, on occasion at least, the control of dies and mint emissions rested with the protonotarios of Sicily, the highest civil administrator of the Theme. See also Zacos-Veglery, no. 2630: protospatharios and monetarios of Sicily.

 

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