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Michael imperial spatharios, imperial notarios and anagrapheus of Lykandos (eleventh century)

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.27
Diameter 25 mm
Condition Struck slightly off center.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 4, no. 53.1.


Bust of St. Michael, holding a long scepter and a globus. Remains of a vertical inscription: ι- : [Μ]ι[χα(ήλ)]. Border of dots.


Inscription of six lines. Border of dots.


Μ[ιχαὴλ β(ασιλικῷ)] σπαθ[α]ρί(ῳ), β(ασιλικῷ) νοταρίιω [(καὶ)] ἀναγραφ(εῖ) [τ]οῦ Λικανδ(οῦ).


Μιχαὴλ βασιλικῷ σπαθαρίῳ, βασιλικῷ νοταρίιω καὶ ἀναγραφεῖ τοῦ Λικανδοῦ.

Michael, imperial spatharios, imperial notarios, and anagrapheus of Lykandos.


The restitution of the name Michael is supported by the image on the obverse. Instead of βασιλικὸς σπαθάριος, Michael may have been a (πρωτο)σπαθάριος but there is no decisive evidence either way. The engraver has added a superfluous abbreviation sign at the end of line 5 of the obverse, probably because he expected to complete the sixth line with a decoration.

Lykandos or Likandos or Likandon (formerly Lapara), mentioned as a feminine name but sometimes also as a masculine, was situated in the region east of Caesarea; it was first a kleisoura created by the Armenian Melias. For a century and a half after 916 it was the seat of a strategos (whose authority extended also over neighboring Tzamandos, cf. De Adm. Imp. ch. 50, l. 157 and Canard, Hamdanides, 780 [954, mention of a “patrice de Lykandos et de Tzamandos"]) and later of a katepano. The seal of a katepano τῶν Λυκανδνῶν (Zacos, Seals II, no. 437) shows that this official was at the head of a military contingent. The theme is attested until the reign of Romanos IV Diogenes (Attaleiates, 105).  It had a normal administration including protonotarioi (two seals in Sig., 282, 283, another one in Pancenko, Katalog, no. 471 and Sandrovskaja, Sfragistika, no. 818). See Hild-Restle, Kappadokien, 224-226; Oikonomides, Listes, 350; G. Dédéyan, Mleh le Grand, Revue des Etudes Arméniennes 15 (1981) 73-102; Mikra Asia them., 307-313, 475-478 (T. Lounghis).