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George archbishop of Bulgaria (ninth/tenth century?)

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.5
Diameter 27 mm
Field diameter 19 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 29.5.
Laurent, Corpus V/2, no. 1491. Laurent illustrates two specimens: this and another (from a different boulloterion) found at Madara. He also cites a similar specimen (also from a different specimen) published by Konstantopoulos, Stamoules, no. 77. In addition to the bibliography of several editions cited by Laurent, see W. Seibt, JÖB 24 (1975) 58; T. Totev, Pliska-Preslav I (Sofia, 1979), 198; and G. Pavel, in Etudes balkaniques 16 (1980) 120. Together with the Madara specimen, Totev published two other specimens from Pliska; both are parallel to this. We note that Totev thought that he was republishing the Stamoules specimen, but in fact the seal he illustrates is this specimen.

Obverse

Bust of the Virgin holding Christ before her. On either side, a small cross. No sigla. Circular inscription along the circumference. Border of dots.

ΘΚΕΟΗΘΤΣΔΛ

Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλ

Reverse

Inscription of five lines. Border of dots.

ΓΕ
ΡΓΙΑΡΧ
ΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠ
ΟΥΛΓΑ
ΡΙΑΣ

Γεωργίῳ ἀρχιεπισκόπῳ Βουλγαρίας

Translation

Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Γεωργίῳ ἀρχιεπισκόπῳ Βουλγαρίας.

Theotokos, help your servant George archbishop of Bulgaria.

Commentary

Both Laurent and Seibt assign this group of seals to the tenth century. Laurent, however, believed that this archbishop George was the predecessor of Patriarch Damian (945-972), while Seibt asserts that the series dates from the reign of Emperor John I Tzimiskes (969-976). The fact that the Virgin appears without the customary sigla seems, however, to suggest a ninth-tenth century date; see, e.g., the patriarchs Photios, Stephen I, Anthony II, and Nicholas I, who typically issued seals decorated with representations of the Virgin without any identifying inscription: Laurent, Corpus V/1, nos. 7-11, Zacos, Seals II, nos. 7-1, and DO Seals 6, § 113-115. Cf. also the imperial seals of Constantine VII and Zoe published in Zacos-Veglery, no. 64 and Oikonomides, Dated Seals, no. 57. The same date, late ninth/early tenth century, is also suggested by the inscription's elongated letters and the constant use of the angular omega. Consequently, the attribution of this seal to the archbishop of Bulgaria George, attested in 878 (Migne, PL 126, col. 760), cannot be excluded; indeed this hypothesis seems more likely.

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.5
Diameter 27 mm
Field diameter 19 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 29.5.
Laurent, Corpus V/2, no. 1491. Laurent illustrates two specimens: this and another (from a different boulloterion) found at Madara. He also cites a similar specimen (also from a different specimen) published by Konstantopoulos, Stamoules, no. 77. In addition to the bibliography of several editions cited by Laurent, see W. Seibt, JÖB 24 (1975) 58; T. Totev, Pliska-Preslav I (Sofia, 1979), 198; and G. Pavel, in Etudes balkaniques 16 (1980) 120. Together with the Madara specimen, Totev published two other specimens from Pliska; both are parallel to this. We note that Totev thought that he was republishing the Stamoules specimen, but in fact the seal he illustrates is this specimen.

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.5
Diameter 27 mm
Field diameter 19 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 29.5.
Laurent, Corpus V/2, no. 1491. Laurent illustrates two specimens: this and another (from a different boulloterion) found at Madara. He also cites a similar specimen (also from a different specimen) published by Konstantopoulos, Stamoules, no. 77. In addition to the bibliography of several editions cited by Laurent, see W. Seibt, JÖB 24 (1975) 58; T. Totev, Pliska-Preslav I (Sofia, 1979), 198; and G. Pavel, in Etudes balkaniques 16 (1980) 120. Together with the Madara specimen, Totev published two other specimens from Pliska; both are parallel to this. We note that Totev thought that he was republishing the Stamoules specimen, but in fact the seal he illustrates is this specimen.

Notes

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.5
Diameter 27 mm
Field diameter 19 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 29.5.
Laurent, Corpus V/2, no. 1491. Laurent illustrates two specimens: this and another (from a different boulloterion) found at Madara. He also cites a similar specimen (also from a different specimen) published by Konstantopoulos, Stamoules, no. 77. In addition to the bibliography of several editions cited by Laurent, see W. Seibt, JÖB 24 (1975) 58; T. Totev, Pliska-Preslav I (Sofia, 1979), 198; and G. Pavel, in Etudes balkaniques 16 (1980) 120. Together with the Madara specimen, Totev published two other specimens from Pliska; both are parallel to this. We note that Totev thought that he was republishing the Stamoules specimen, but in fact the seal he illustrates is this specimen.

Parallels

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