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Michael archbishop of Ainos (tenth/eleventh century)

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.545
Diameter 26 mm
Field diameter 20 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 45.1. Laurent, Corpus V/1, no. 856. See also Wassiliou-Seibt, Siegel mit metrischen Legenden II, no. 2355.


Inscription of four lines preceded and followed by decoration. Border of dots.



Σφραγὶς βεβαία Μιχαὴλ


Inscription of four lines preceded and followed by decoration. Border of dots.


ἀρχιεπισκόπου Αἴνου


Σφραγὶς βεβαία Μιχαὴλ ἀρχιεπισκόπου Αἴνου.

The secure seal of Michael archbishop of Ainos.


This is a metrical seal with a fifteen-syllable verse, provided that there is synizesis of the vowels ι and ε in ἀρχιεπισκόπου. Since, as Laurent notes, Michael identifies himself as "archbishop," he appears to have occupied the throne of Ainos in the early decades of the eleventh century, the period immediately preceding the elevation of the see to a metropolis.

Ainos, modern Enez in Turkish Thrace, was originally a suffragan bishopric of Traïanoupolis. It is mentioned in the ekthesis of Pseudo-Epiphanios as an archbishopric and became a metropolitan see by 1032. See Laurent, Corpus V/1, 614-15; Asdracha, Thrace orientale, 242-243 and 288-89; Asdracha, in REB 31 (1973) 291 and in BNJ 23 (1979) 44-51. Since the publication of the third volume of Laurent's corpus of ecclesiastical seals, the excavations at Pernik (Pernik [Sophia, 1983] 129) have yielded the late eleventh/early twelfth century seal of another unknown prelate of Ainos, the metropolitan Andronikos. The city has been the object of extensive excavations: A. Erzen, "Enez (Ainos) Araştırmaları," Güney-Doğu Avrupa Araştırmaları Dergisi (Istanbul Univ., Edebiyat Fak.) 1 (1972) 235-48; A. Erzen, "Enez (Ainos) Kazıları," ibid. 2-3 (1974) 217-238; K. Göçmen, "Enez limanının değişen öneminde deltasının Etkileri," ibid. 253-266.