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Elinagos (?) magistros and katepano of Taron (?) (eleventh century)

Accession number BZS.1947.2.197
Diameter 26 mm
Condition Chipped along the rim.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 4, no. 76.3.


Bust of St. Nicholas blessing and holding a book. Vertical inscription visible at right: αο|σ : [Ὁ (ἅγιος) Νικόλ]αος. No visible border.


Inscription of which four lines remain. No visible border.



[Ἐ]λινάγ(ῳ) μαγ(ί)[σ]τρ(ῳ) (καὶ) κατ[ε]πάν(ω) τ[οῦ] Ταρ(ώ)[ν]


Ἐλινάγῳ μαγίστρῳ καὶ κατεπάνω τοῦ Ταρών.

Elinagos, magistros and katepano of Taron.


Although the final line of the reverse could possibly be restored as Ταρ[σ(οῦ)], the reading Ταρών has been adopted on the basis of the abbreviation sign following ταρ and the space for one more letter that one has to count at this spot — if the place name was Ταρσοῦ, one would have expected an abbreviation like ταρσ,.— The proposed name for the owner is very uncommon; our reading is based on the remains of the letters that appear on the lead as well as on the text of Skylitzes, informing us about a Bulgarian chieftain, Ἐλίναγος Φραντζῆς, whom Basil II would have appointed patrikios and settled in Thessaloniki (cf. V. Laurent, “Σφραντζῆς et non Φραντζῆς” BZ 44 [1951] 374-376). It was not uncommon that such chieftains, once passed to the imperial service, be appointed to administrative positions along the eastern frontier (cf. e. g. the case of Aaron: Kühn, Armee, 184, 194, 201, 204). And it would be quite normal if, on such an occasion, they received a promotion (from patrikios to magistros).