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Aniketos metropolitan of Tomis (tenth/eleventh century)

Accession number BZS.1955.1.4801
Diameter 20 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 80.1.


Potent cross with two transverse bars (X at first crossing); cross standing on three steps with fleurons rising from base (to first transverse bar). Traces of a circular inscription along circumference. Border of dots.


Κύριε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλ


Inscription of four lines, decoration above. Two pellets between lines 2 and 3. No visible border.


Ἀνικήτῳ μητροπολίτῃ Τόμεως


Κύριε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Ἀνικήτῳ μητροπολίτῃ Τόμεως.

Lord, help your servant Aniketos metropolitan of Tomis.


We know little about the medieval history of this Black Sea port town (near present-day Constanța). It is called a χωρίον by Patriarch Nikephoros (Opuscala, 41). Lequiens's Oriens christianus mentions no prelate after the sixth century, yet the see continued to be mentioned as the archbishopric of Scythia Minor in the ninth century: notitia no. 5, Darrouzès, Notitiae, 265, line 45; all later notitiae ignore it. With the advance of John Tzimiskes against the Russians in Bulgaria (971), we know that the inhabitants of Konstanteia (a port mentioned in De Adm. Imp., chap. 9, line 99) submitted to the emperor (Skylitzes, 301). The archaeological remains also indicate a new Byzantine occupation o fTomis/Constanța after 971, but the Byzantine presence was then of much less importance than in the early Byzantine period: for example, there are only three seals from the tenth-twelfth centuries, as opposed to about a hundred and fifty for the period before the seventh century: I. Barnea, "Byzantinische Bleisiegel aus Rumänien," Βυζατντινά 13/1 (1985) 298-300.

This is flimsy evidence. And a "metropolis" of Tomis is attested only in the problematic iconoclastic notitia (Darrouzès, Notitiae, no. 3, line 642). But since the testimony of our two seals of metropolitans of Tomis is unequivocal, we must assume that this was a new metropolis, whose name never entered the official lists of Constantinople--as was nearly the case with the orthodox see of Hungary, Τουρκία, cf. DO Seals 1, § 36.