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Christophoros of (bishop) of Noumerika (eighth/ninth century)

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.511
Diameter 35 mm
Field diameter 27 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 61.1.
Laurent, Corpus, V/1, no. 396.


The Virgin standing, holding Christ. On either side, cruciform invocative monograms: Θεοτόκε-βοήθει. Crosses in the four quarters. Below, between the monograms and the figure of the Virgin, the inscription: Ν|Μ|ΕΡΙ|Κ|Ν. Wreath border.

Θεοτόκε βοήθει Νουμερικῶν


A cruciform monogram: τῷ σῷ δούλῳ. In the quarters: ΧΡΙΣΤΟ|ΦΟΡ. Crosses in all four quarters. Wreath border.

τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Χριστοφόρῳ


Θεοτόκε βοήθει Νουμερικῶν τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Χριστοφόρῳ.

Mother of God, help your servant Christophoros (bishop) of Noumerika.


Note the unusual order of the reading. Laurent dated this specimen to the ninth century and was inclined to ascribe it to a close predecessor of the Constantine attested in 869. Zacos-Veglery have properly dated the specimen to the period 787-815.

The location of Noumerika is unknown. It is listed in Darrouzès, Notitiae, no. 4, line 197 (of the ninth) c. as a suffragan of Nicaea and appears in all subsequent notitiae until the thirteenth century. Its earliest mention in literature dates to the first half of the ninth century in the correspondence of Ignatios of Nicaea. Its bishop Constantine attended the Eigth Oecumenical Council of 869. Our seal may constitute the earliest attestation of the bishopric. Cf. Laurent, Corpus V/1, 285-86.

To the list of known bishops of Noumerika should now be added the name of Theodore attested on an eleventh-century seal published by Zacos, Seals II, no. 726. Also note that seal no. 395 in Laurent, Corpus V/1, has been republished by Seyrig, no. 261.