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Constantine protokouropalates and doux of Antioch (eleventh century)

Accession number BZS.1958.106.3289
Diameter 20 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 5 no. 9.1


St. Demetrios standing, holding a spear in his right hand and in his left a shield, which rests on the ground. On either side a vertical inscription: .||ΙΜ.|ΤΡΙ|ΟΣ : [Ὁ ἅγιος] Διμ[ή]τριος. Border of dots.


Inscription of five lines. Border of dots.


Κ(ύρι)ε β(οή)[θει] Κων(σταντίνῳ) (πρωτο)κουροπαλάτ(ῃ) κὲ δουκ(ὶ) Ἀ{τ}ντιοχ(είας).


Κύριε βοήθει Κωνσταντίνῳ πρωτοκουροπαλάτῃ κὲ δουκὶ Ἀντιοχείας.

Lord, help Constantine protokouropalates and doux of Antioch.


Poor lettering. The engraver mistakenly placed a sign resembling a T at the end of line 4 of the reverse.

The identification of the Constantine on this seal is problematic. We know of several Constantines who governed Antioch in the first half of the eleventh century: Constantine Dalassenos (ca. 1024–25), Constantine Karantenos (1029–30), and Constantine the eunuch brother of Michael IV (1037/38), but the epigraphy (horseshoe ligature) and the title protokouropalates rule out the identification of our Constantine with any of these persons. Titles composed with πρωτο- begin to appear well into the second half of the eleventh century, and the title protokouropalates is first attested in dated sources shortly before 1082 (Oikonomids, Listes, 293, n. 32). From 1072 on the list of governors allows little room for a new name. In our opinion, the seal does refer to Great Antioch and to a governor whose tenure was very brief, as was often the case. It is highly unlikely that the seal designates another Antioch, for instance Antioch of Pisidia, there being no geographic or strategic reason for the elevation of another Antioch to the status of a duchy.