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George imperial spatharokandidatos and archon of Chios (ninth/tenth century)

Accession number BZS.1958.106.4374
Diameter 19 mm
Field diameter 15 mm
Condition Punched on one side.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 41.1.


Patriarchal cross on three steps. Along a border of dots, inscription.


Κύριε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ


Inscription of four lines. Border of dots.


Γεωργίῳ βασιλικῷ σπαθαροκανδιδάτῳ καὶρχοντι τῆς Χίου


Κύριε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Γεωργίῳ βασιλικῷ σπαθαροκανδιδάτῳ καὶ ἄρχοντι τῆς Χίου.

Lord, help your servant George imperial spatharokandidatos and archon of Chios.


We know of three other seals of archontes Chiou (Sig., 196: imperial kourator and archon: Laurent, Orghidan, no. 204; Zacos, Seals II, no. 154); both are earlier than or contemporary with the present specimens. Malamut (Iles, 300) discusses the problem and wonders why this archon is not mentioned in the Taktikon Uspenskij. In fact, at the very point where the archontes are mentioned, this taktikon may have a lacuna of several letters or of a whole line (Listes, 57: οἱ ἄρχοντες--1 line?--Χερσῶνος) in which other archontes might well have been mentioned. Hence we do not insist on the silence of the taktikon Uspenskij. These archontes must have been similar to the ones on Cyprus. The mention of a kourator in Chios gives the impression of an imperial domain on the island, perhaps connected to the oikoproasteion mentioned in the tale of the foundation of Nea Moni (MM V, 445-46).

The island of Chios (cf. Zacos-Veglery, no. 168) was part of the theme of the Aigaion before becoming part of the theme of Samos. Local administration was ensured by a tax collector (dioiketes, DO Seals 2, no. 41.3), then, it seems, by an archon (this seal and DO Seals 2, no. 41.2) while its agricultural revenue, considerable because of the mastic, was concentrated and marketed under special conditions, perhaps connected to the Church of Constantinople (DO Seals 2, nos. 41.4 and 41.5). There must have been at least one imperial domain (as shown by this seal). A strategos of Chios appears in the eleventh century, soon to be followed by a katepano and a doux.

The bishopric of Chios, a suffragan of Rhodes, is attested from the fourth century. The eleventh-century foundation of Nea Moni was a major event in the ecclesiastical history of the island.

See Zakythinos, Meletai, 17, 259-61; Malamut, Iles, esp. 236-37, 300-301, 322-23, 326, 500-501, 570-72; Laurent, Corpus V/1, 534; Fedalto, 208-210; ODB I, 423-24.