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Theodosios imperial protospatharios and katepano of the Mardaïtai (ninth/tenth century)

Accession number BZS.1958.106.5166
Diameter 23 mm
Field diameter 18 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 70.2.

Obverse

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

ΚΕΟΙΘˊΤΟΣΟΔΟΥΛ,

Κύριε βοΐθει το σο δούλ

Reverse

Inscription of five lines. Border of dots.

Θ̅ΔΟΣ
,Α,ΣΠΑΘΑ
Ρ,ΚΚΑΤ,ΠΑΝ
ΤΟΝΜΑΡ
ΔΑΙΤ

Θεωδοσίῳ βασιλικῷ πρωτοσπαθαρίῳ καὶ κατεπάνω τον Μαρδαϊτῶν

Translation

Κύριε βοΐθει το σο δούλῳ Θεωδοσίῳ βασιλικῷ πρωτοσπαθαρίῳ καὶ κατεπάνω τον Μαρδαϊτῶν.

Lord, help your servant Theodosios imperial protospatharios and katepano of the Mardaïtai.

Commentary

The Mardaïtai were a Christian people originating in Lebanon, transferred by the Byzantines to the region of Attaleia and later to the western coastline of Greece, who became famous as sailors (ODB II, 1297). In Attaleia, they were placed under the separate command of a katepano appointed directly by the emperor and retained some independence from the strategos of the Kibyrraiotai; such katepano were the owners of the two specimens published below, the first of which shows that this institution survived until the 10th/11th century. See De Adm. Imp., chap. 50, lines 169ff; Commentary, 192-93; Ahrweiler, Mer, 50, 108ff, 399-400; Zacos, Seals II, nos. 331, 901; Hr. Bartikian, "Ἡ λύση τοῦ αἰνίγματος τῶν Μαρδαϊτῶν," Byzantium. Tribute to Andreas N. Stratos I (Athens, 1986), 17-39; Kühn, Armee, 160-63. It is possible that the Mardaïtaiof Nikopolis were also under the command of a katepano (DO Seals 2, § 2).

Accession number BZS.1958.106.5166
Diameter 23 mm
Field diameter 18 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 70.2.

Notes

Accession number BZS.1958.106.5166
Diameter 23 mm
Field diameter 18 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 70.2.

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