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Constantine Karkaronymos, (metropolitan) of Lakedaimonia (twelfth century, second half)

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.2893
Diameter 30 mm
Field diameter 22 mm
Condition Struck, but not pierced, in the center of the obv., directly on the faces of the Virgin and Christ with a cutting punch: an act of desecration? Small regular cuts at the two ends of the channel. Corroded.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 29.1.
Laurent, Corpus V/1, no. 808; see also Wassiliou-Seibt, Siegel mit metrischen Legenden II, no. 2513.


Bust of the Virgin holding Christ. On either side, the sigla: ̅ΘΥ̅ : Μήτηρ Θεοῦ. Border of dots.


Inscription of five lines, a cross above. Border of dots.


Σφραγὶς Κωνσταντίνου Λακεδαιμονίας τοῦ Καρκαρονύμου


Σφραγὶς Κωνσταντίνου Λακεδαιμονίας τοῦ Καρκαρονύμου.

Seal of Constantine Karkaronymos (metropolitan) of Lakedaimonia.


The inscription reads oddly but plausibly as a metrical verse consisting of three six-syllable parts.

Laurent did not read all the letters on the last line and proposed Κερκούρων as the name, which must be rejected. No Constantine is mentioned in the synodikon of Lakedaimonia. The family name seems to come from κάρκαρον (prison fence, low quality land: Demetrakos, 3635; Koukoules, Vios V, 253) or from the placename Καρκαρέα (in the neighbourhood of Thessaloniki: Arsenij, Žitie i podvigi sv. Feodory Solunskoj [Jurjev, 1899], 35). Cf. also the names Καρκαρέλλος, Καρκαρηνός, Καρκαριώτης (PLP 11198-11202).

Lakedaimonia (modern Sparta) functioned as a bishopric by the middle of the 5th century; it became the suffragan first in order of Patras sometime between 802 and 806 and exercised authority in Arcadia. It was established as a metropolis in 1082/83. We have the list of the bishops (synodikon) of Lakedaimonia from the mid-9th to the late 12th centuries, published and discussed by R. J. H. Jenkins and C. Mango (DOP 15 [1961] 235-42) and by V. Laurent (REB 19 [1961] 208-26); cf. Gouillard, Synodikon, 112-13, 277-78.

See Laurent, Corpus V/1, 478, 624; Fedaalto, 505-7; Philippidis-Braat, no. 42; ODB II, 1169-70.