You are here:Home/Resources/ Byzantine Seals/ Search the Catalogue/ Symeon metropolitan of Laodikea (ninth/tenth century)

Symeon metropolitan of Laodikea (ninth/tenth century)

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.844
Diameter 26 mm
Field diameter 17 mm
Condition Broken at top.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 21.3.

Laurent, Corpus V/1, no. 529. A similar seal (different alignment of letters) is published by Konstantopoulos, 133α. Another one by Zacos, Seals II, no. 897.


Bust of the Virgin holding the medallion of Christ before her. On either side crosslets of dots (). Within a border of dots, circular inscription:


Ὑπεραγία [Θ(εοτό)κε βο]ήθει


Inscription of five lines, ending with a tendril. Border of dots.

οπολιτ /λα

Συμεὼν μητροπολίτ(ῃ) Λαοδικείας. [Ἀ]μήν


Ὑπεραγία Θεοτόκε βοήθει Συμεὼν μητροπολίτῃ Λαοδικείας. Ἀμήν.

Holy Mother of God, help Symeon, metropolitan of Laodikea. Amen.


Laurent dated this specimen to the tenth/eleventh centuries but it must be placed at least one century earlier. Note the use of the formula Ὑπεραγία [Θεοτόκε], the absence of the sigla, Μ(ήτη)ρ Θ(εο)ῦ, the almost feather-like cloak of the Virgin, all elements that reappear on the seal of Patriarch Photios (Dated Seals, no. 53). This specimen may well have belonged to Metropolitan Symeon, attested in 869 and 879 (PG 119, 905C; Mansi XVI, 257A; XVII, 373B).

Laodikeia (near modern Denizli), a center of tax levying (cf. the seal of a dioiketes: Zacos-Veglery, no. 1748) and one of the oldest metropoleis of Asia Minor, appears in all notitiae at the head of the province of Phrygia Pakatiane – a province that underwent a major restructuring during the "Dark Ages." It has to be carefully distinguished from Laodikeia of Syria. See Brandes, Städte, 94-95; Laurent, Corpus V/1, 387l; Darrouzès, Notitiae, 25-27, 77; Phrygien und Pisidien, 323-26. Further seals of metropolitans in SBS 3 (1993) 131-32, 165, 192.