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N., spatharokandidatos and kommerkiarios of Develtos (ninth/tenth century)

Accession number BZS.1958.106.1101
Diameter 24 mm
Condition Half missing.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 76.2.


Patriarchal cross on three steps with fleurons rising from base (up to first transverse bar). Circular inscription between two borders of dots.


Κύριε βοήθη τῷ σῷ δούλῳ


Inscription of five lines followed by row of pellets. Border of dots.


.η. σπαθαροκανδιδάτῳ καὶ κομερκιαρίῳ Δεβελτο


Κύριε βοήθη τῷ σῷ δούλῳ .η. σπαθαροκανδιδάτῳ καὶ κομερκιαρίῳ Δεβελτοῦ.

Lord, help your servant N., spatharokandidatos and kommerkiarios of Develtos.


Develtos (the Roman colony Flavia Deultum), modern Stari-Debelt, near the new city of Debelt, near Bourgas, was an important center from the ninth century on. It replaced Mesembria as the main place of commercial and diplomatic exchange between the Bulgars and the Byzantines. This developed when Krum conquered Mesembria (812): the frontier was brought much farther south, and the agglomeration of Develtos passed into the hands of the Bulgars, while the fortress, situated south of the river, remained Byzantine and was called Δεβελτὸς Ῥωμανίας, the Debeltos of Romania, as opposed to the Bulgarian Debelt to the north (communication by Bulgarian archaeologists at the fourth colloquium "Bulgaria Pontica Medii Aevi," Nessebǎr, 1988). It became the seat of Byzantine kommerkiarioi, known from seals, the earliest of which, a dated one, belongs to the imperial kommerkia of Develtos (832/3: Zacos-Veglery, no. 285). In later times and until the eleventh century, we find many imperial kommerkiarioi of the city. See N. Oikonomides, "Tribute of Trade? The Byzantine-Bulgarian Treaty of 716," Studia Slavico-Byzantina et Mediaevalia Europensia 1 (1988) 31; and Zacos, Seals II, no. 159bis. Develtos was also the seat of a bishop (Asdracha, Thrace orientale, 260-61, 300).