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Andrew imperial kommerkiarios of Thessalonica (eighth/ninth century, perhaps 795/6, 810/1, or 825/6)

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.1780
Diameter 29 mm
Condition Chipped.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 18.34.
Zacos-Veglery, no. 1406.

Obverse

Cruciform invocative monogram (type VIII). Wreath border.

Κύριε βοήθει

Reverse

Inscription of five lines. Wreath border.

.ΑΝΔ
ΡΕΒ/ΚΟ
ΜΕΡΚ/ΘΕ
ΣΑΛΟΝΗ
Κ/Δ/

Ἀνδρέου βασιλικοῦ κομερκιαρίου Θεσαλονήκης. Ἰνδικτιὼν δˊ

Translation

Κύριε βοήθει. Ἀνδρέου βασιλικοῦ κομερκιαρίου Θεσαλονήκης. Ἰνδικτιὼν δˊ.

Lord, give Thy aid. (Seal of) Andrew imperial kommerkiarios of Thessalonica. Indiction 4.

Commentary

The owner of this seal could possibly have been the same as that in DO Seals 1, no. 18.35. If so, the present seal was used for special correspondence, in which the indiction had to be provided, while the other seal was used for regular correspondence. Cf. Oikonomides, Kommerkiarioi, 36 note 14 and 50 note 98.

This specimen belongs to the "transitional" type of dated seals, which have no imperial portraits but retain the indiction dating; the three known specimens were studied by Zacos-Veglery I, 138. They proposed 810/11 or 825/26 for this seal on the grounds that it must be later than the last seal of a kommerkiarios of Thessalonica with imperial portraits (i.e., Zacos-Veglery, no. 277, dated between 787 and 797). One can add that on the present specimen we find the title βασιλικὸς κομμερκιάριος, which also appears in the early ninth century (Oikonomides, Kommerkiarioi, 48).

Yet the date of the present seal is problematic. The epigraphy (esp. the betas with two round loops and the omicron, which is smaller than the other letters) contradict a date after the first quarter of the ninth century. In fact, the epigraphy would generally indicate rather an eighth-century date (cf. Dated Seals, nos. 30, 34, 38-40, 42, 44). We therefore include the date 795/6 as a possibility.

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.1780
Diameter 29 mm
Condition Chipped.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 18.34.
Zacos-Veglery, no. 1406.

Notes

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.1780
Diameter 29 mm
Condition Chipped.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 18.34.
Zacos-Veglery, no. 1406.