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N., .... of the Five Klimata (ninth century)

Accession number BZS.1947.2.1234
Diameter 30 mm
Condition More than half missing, broken along (horizontal) channel.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 81.1.


Cruciform invocative monogram (of indeterminate type); visible in the quarters: ΔΛ.. Border of dots.

Κύριε or Θεοτόκε βοήθει [τῷ σῷ] δούλ[ῳ]


Inscription. No visible border.


...α.... τὸν Πέντε Κλιμάτων


Κύριε or Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ ...α.... τὸν Πέντε Κλιμάτων.

Lord or Theotokos, help your servant N.. . . of the Five Klimata.


The term klimata normally designates the slope, then the region in general; geographers divided the world into seven klimata (H. Honigmann, Die Sieben Klimata und die πόλεις ἐπίσημοι [Heidelberg, 1929]). The term was then used for the southern part of the Crimea, extending from Cherson (in the west) to Bosphorus (to the east). See De Adm Imp., chap. 42, line 72; De Them., chap. 12, line 3; and the detailed bibliography rprovided by M. Nystazopoulou in BCH 86 (1962) 327 note 7, and I. Božilov, Anonimŭt na Haze. Bŭlgarija i Vizantija na Dolni Dunav v kraja na X vek (Sofia, 1979) 146-58. The region maintained close contacts with Byzantium in the early ninth century, to the point that Theodore Stoudites and Patriarch Nikephoros I felt free to intervene there in order to criticize the marital choices of the local lords (PG 99, col. 1013A: Nikephoros, Opuscula, 160 = Grumel, Regestes, no. 386 of 811-814).

In the Uspenskij Taktikon (composed ca. 842-43), a strategos ton Klimaton appears at the end of the list of strategoi (Listes, 49, line 19). Since we know from other sources (Theophanes Cont., 122-24; De Adm. Imp., chap. 42, lines 23-55) that about ten years earlier Emperor Theophilos had for the first time sent a strategos to Cherson and since in these texts, the exact title of the strategos is not mentioned (στρατηγὸν εἰς Χερσῶνα, not στρατηγὸν Χερσῶνος), one tends to assume that initially the imperial military governor of the region was named στρατηγὸς τῶν Κλιμάτων although stationed in the city of Cherson. This same strategos was later officially called στρατηγὸς Χερσῶνος (Listes, 353; DO Seals 1, § 82).

The toponym Κλίματα appears on at least two seals, both partly preserved and dating from the first half of the ninth century: this seal, which informst us that there were five klimata, and a seal of which there are three specimens, which reads σπαθαροκανδιδάτῳ καὶ στρατηγῷ (?) τῶν Κλιμάτων Χερσῶνος (I. Sokolova, Zbor. Rad. 18 [1978] 93 note 65 and idem, Monetyno. 14; republished in Alekseyenko, L'administration Byzantine de Cherson, no. 27). It is possible, but by no means certain, that these two seals belonged to strategoi of Klimata.