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Theophylaktos bishop of Tralleis (eleventh century)

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.2941
Diameter 23 mm
Condition Punctured and corroded.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 38.5a.

Laurent, Corpus V/1, no. 266 (together with another specimen from the Athens Museum: Konstantopoulos, no. 139b)

Obverse

Bust of the Virgin orans. On either side the sigla: ̅-θ̅υ : Μή(τη)ρ Θ(εο)ῦ. Within a border of dots, a circular inscription:

+θκεRˊθˊτσδˊ

Θ(εοτό)κε β(οή)θ(ει) τῷ σῷ δ(ούλῳ)

Reverse

Inscription of five lines, a decoration above, last line between two pellets. Border of dots.

– ·
θεοφυ
λακτε
πισκοπ,
τραλε
· ν ·

Θεοφυλάκτῳ ἐπισκόπ(ῳ) Τράλεων

Translation

Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Θεοφυλάκτῳ ἐπισκόπῳ Τράλεων.

Mother of God, help your servant Theophylaktos, bishop of Tralleis.

Commentary

This seal, BZS.1958.106.1893, and BZS.1955.1.4689 appear to issue from the same boulloterion.

There are two bishoprics of this name, both within the Thrakesion theme, and it is impossible to attribute our seals separately to either one. Laurent assigned all seals with this placename to Tralleis of Asia without explaining the reason for his choice.

1. Tralleis of Asia (today Aydin) was a suffragan bishopric of Ephesos and appears as such in all notitiae. Its bishops are attested from the fifth to the thirteenth centuries. See Laurent, Corpus V/1, 186; Culerrier, Suffragants d'Ephèse, 159-160 (episcopal list); Zgusta, 630 ff; ODB III, 2103-4.

2. Tralle of Lydia (unknown site, close to the frontier with Phrygia) is usually spelled Τράλλης or Τράλλων in the notitiae where it appears as a suffragan bishopric of Sardeis (Darrouzès, Notitiae, index, s.v.). It is probable that this name has a different etymology than Tralleis. See Zgusta, 632.

The only criterion by which to distinguish between one and the other would appear to be the spelling. But even this cannot be considered a secure criterion: the form Τράλλεων is also attested for the bishopric of Lydia (Darrouzès, Notitiae, no. 4, line 161; no. 10, line 103), and the parallel case of Sardeis/Sarde shows that there was no consistent use of the first or the third declension forms. In order to avoid confusion between the two sees, the bishops attending councils noted in their signatures that they came from the Asian or the Lydian Tralleis. See Le Quien, Oriens Christianus I, 695-98.

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.2941
Diameter 23 mm
Condition Punctured and corroded.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 38.5a.

Laurent, Corpus V/1, no. 266 (together with another specimen from the Athens Museum: Konstantopoulos, no. 139b)

Notes

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.2941
Diameter 23 mm
Condition Punctured and corroded.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 38.5a.

Laurent, Corpus V/1, no. 266 (together with another specimen from the Athens Museum: Konstantopoulos, no. 139b)