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Anastasios imperial protospatharios epi tou Chrysotriklinou and strategos of An(chialos) (?) (tenth/eleventh century)

Accession number BZS.1947.2.39
Diameter 26 mm
Condition Cracked along the channel.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 73.1a.

Obverse

Bust of a bishop-saint, blessing and holding book. Traces of vertical inscription. Linear border, along with inscription.

........σδ

Κύριε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ

Reverse

Inscription preceded and followed by tendril decoration. Indeterminate border.


νστ.
σιˊσπ
θˊεπιτχρυ
..τρ,στρτ
γ,γ....

Ἀναστασίῳ βασιλικῷ πρωτοσπαθαρίῳ ἐπὶ τοῦ Χρυσοτρικλίνου καὶ στρατηγ Ἀγχιάλου

Translation

Κύριε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Ἀναστασίῳ βασιλικῷ πρωτοσπαθαρίῳ ἐπὶ τοῦ Χρυσοτρικλίνου καὶ στρατηγῷ Ἀγχιάλου (?).

Lord, help your servant Anastasios imperial protospatharios epi tou Chrysotriklinou and strategos of Anchialos (?).

Commentary

This seal comes from the same boulloterion as its parallel.

The first letter of the last word is definitely an Α and not a Λ. Since the last word is not preceded by an article, it cannot be a family name, nor a place name beginning with the word ἅγιος. Nevertheless, the choices are enormous: Ἀγαθόπολις, Ἀγαλασσός, Ἄγκυρα (the latter proposed by Laurent in his unpublished catalogue of the Shaw collection), Ἀγχίαλος, Ἀγραί (all names of towns that appear in the notitiae episcopatuum), and many other towns of the eastern frontier whose names begin with Ag or Ah and that are listed in works such as Honigmann's. Taking into consideration the date of the seal and the fact that we have here the seat of a strategos, we would tend to search among towns or fortresses of some importance situated near the frontier. For this reason we would exclude Ankyra, distant from the frontier and any threat since the mid-tenth century, and would prefer Anchialos on the Black Sea, which was certainly threatened during the wars of Samuel, at least until the campaign of 1001, which guaranteed the Byzantines the control of eastern Bulgaria. A theme of Anchialos with its commander (doux) is mentioned in the twelfth century: Zakythinos, Mélétai 18 (1948) 58-60. Cf. Asdracha, Thrace orientale, 245 (theme supposedly created to support the wars of Alexios I to the north--but our seal is certainly early than 1081).

Located northeast of Bourgas on the western shore of the Black Sea in Bulgarian Thrace (modern Pomorie), Anchialos was already a bishopric in the second century. By the seventh century, in Laurent's view, it had risen to the status of an archbishopric (Laurent, Corpus V/1, 663); and in fact an archbishop Nicholas of Anchialos participated in the council of 879. But the name of the see disappears from the episcopal lists and only reappears as an archbishopric at the end of the eleventh century: this was a "new creation," indicating the strategic importance of the town, which in the eleventh century seems to have become the seat of a strategos: Asdracha, Thrace orientale, 244-45, 291-92.

Accession number BZS.1947.2.39
Diameter 26 mm
Condition Cracked along the channel.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 73.1a.

Notes

Accession number BZS.1947.2.39
Diameter 26 mm
Condition Cracked along the channel.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 73.1a.