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Niketas imperial spatharokandidatos and . . . of the islands of Diokleia (?) (tenth/eleventh century)

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.3123
Diameter 23 mm
Condition Corroded.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 5 no. 122.1.

Obverse

Bust of the Mother of God with her hands raised before her. Sigla at left and right: ΜΡ̅ΘΥ̅ : Μ(ήτη)ρ Θ(εο)ῦ. Border of dots.

Reverse

Inscription of six lines. Border of dots.

.νικη
..σπαθ,
..ντS
...νησ
.διοκλ
ειασ

Νικήτ[(ᾳ) β(ασιλικῷ)] σπαθ(αρο)[κα]νδ(ι)δ(ά)τ(ῳ) (καὶ) [...] νήσω[ν] Διοκλείας

Translation

Νικήτᾳ βασιλικῷ σπαθαροκανδιδάτῳ καὶ . . . νήσων Διοκλείας.

Niketas imperial spatharokandidatos and . . . of the islands of Diokleia.

Commentary

For a discussion on Diokleia, its location, and the relevant Byzantine source material, see the commentary in DO Seals 5, 154–55. This is likely a city located near the confluence of the Moraca and Zeta Rivers in modern-day Montenegro. The designation "islands of Diokleia" is best understood if Diokleia refers to a region (as argued by Ferluga, Amministrazione, 254–55), and "islands" indicates the limits of Niketas' authority; the editors of DO Seals 5 suggest it could be interpreted as authority over "Diokleia Maritima."

The beginning of line four on the reverse, and with it indication of Niketas' office, is obliterated. Strategos is a possibility if we choose not to read "νήσω(ν)," but the curved or lunate penultimate letter makes "islands" more likely. A seal published by Schlumberger belonging to a Peter, archon of Diokleia (Sig., 433), and dating to the tenth/eleventh centuries, provides a possible model for interpreting the owners of these seals as being "indigenous princes," bearing the titles of archon.

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.3123
Diameter 23 mm
Condition Corroded.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 5 no. 122.1.

Notes

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.3123
Diameter 23 mm
Condition Corroded.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 5 no. 122.1.

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