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John Falier, bishop of Malamocco (ca. 1162)

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.2972
Diameter 37 mm
Condition Corroded (obverse)
Previous Editions

DO Seals 5 no. 103.1; J. Nesbitt, "A Lead Seal of Iohannes Faletrus, Bishop of Malamocco/Chioggia (ca. 1162)," 21–23.

Obverse

The Mother of God seated on a backless throne holding Christ on her left knee. No traces of epigraphy or border.

Reverse

Inscription of five lines. Border of dots.

IOH..
FALETR
DI̅R̅AME
TAMΑCEN
CICEP̅S⸣

Ioha[n(nes)] Faletru[s] D(e)i gra(tia) Metamaucensis ep(iscopu)s

Translation

Iohannes Faletrus Dei gratia Metamaucensis episcopus.

John Falier, by the grace of God, bishop of Malamocco.

Commentary

Reverse (line 4): the letters A and U were carved on the boulloterion in ligature. The following letter is a malformed C of squarish, rather than lunate, shape.

It is possible that the bottom portions of letters at the end of the first line are the A and N of Iohan(nes). The final letter, however, could also be a slanted S, set above a squished U or V, and the last letter of the second line: "US."

An ecclesiastical member of the Faletrus (Falier) family is attested in a land grand drafted at Chioggia in October, 1162. The charter was written at the request of "Johannes Faletrus Dei gratia cluiensis episcopus."  This John is undoubtedly the same as the owner of the present seal.

Three other members of the family are known: two Venetian doges (Vitale Falier [1084–1096] and Ordelafo Falier [1102–1118]) and Bonifacio Falier, the bishop of Castello from 1120 to 1130.

Malamocco's name comes from the Latin name of the Brenta River (Meduacus Maioris), and it was there that the tribunes of the lagoon assembled in the eighth and early ninth centuries in order to elect a doge. By 810, however, the center of government was moved to Rivo Alto (Venice) and thereafter Malamocco became a backwater. It was leveled by an earthquake in 1107 and in 1110 the episcopal throne was relocated to Chioggia, along with the body of St. Felix and the head of St. Fortunatus, Malamocco's patron saints.

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.2972
Diameter 37 mm
Condition Corroded (obverse)
Previous Editions

DO Seals 5 no. 103.1; J. Nesbitt, "A Lead Seal of Iohannes Faletrus, Bishop of Malamocco/Chioggia (ca. 1162)," 21–23.

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.2972
Diameter 37 mm
Condition Corroded (obverse)
Previous Editions

DO Seals 5 no. 103.1; J. Nesbitt, "A Lead Seal of Iohannes Faletrus, Bishop of Malamocco/Chioggia (ca. 1162)," 21–23.

Notes

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.2972
Diameter 37 mm
Condition Corroded (obverse)
Previous Editions

DO Seals 5 no. 103.1; J. Nesbitt, "A Lead Seal of Iohannes Faletrus, Bishop of Malamocco/Chioggia (ca. 1162)," 21–23.

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