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Stephanos (?) imperial protospatharios and strategos of the Strymon (tenth century)

 
 

Obverse

Traces of a cruciform monogram; in the quarters: Τ.|ΔΛ. Border of dots.

Κύριε/Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ

Reverse

Cruciform monogram composed of Τ at top; Ε and Ν in ligature at right; possibly  and Α in ligature at bottom; and a barely discernible Φ at the center. We assume that there was a Σ at left and read Στεφάνῳ. In the upper quarters ˋΑˋΣΠΑΘ,|.ΣΤΡΑΤΙ; in the lower quarters: .Τ,ΣΤΡΟΜ|.ΝΟΣ.

Στεφάνῳ (?) βασιλικῷ πρωτοσπαθαρίῳ καὶ στρατιγῷ τοῦ Στρομόνος

Obverse

Traces of a cruciform monogram; in the quarters: Τ.|ΔΛ. Border of dots.

Κύριε/Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ

Reverse

Cruciform monogram composed of Τ at top; Ε and Ν in ligature at right; possibly  and Α in ligature at bottom; and a barely discernible Φ at the center. We assume that there was a Σ at left and read Στεφάνῳ. In the upper quarters ˋΑˋΣΠΑΘ,|.ΣΤΡΑΤΙ; in the lower quarters: .Τ,ΣΤΡΟΜ|.ΝΟΣ.

Στεφάνῳ (?) βασιλικῷ πρωτοσπαθαρίῳ καὶ στρατιγῷ τοῦ Στρομόνος

Accession number BZS.1958.106.5224
Diameter 25.0 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 37.5.

Translation

Κύριε/Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Στεφάνῳ (?) βασιλικῷ πρωτοσπαθαρίῳ καὶ στρατιγῷ τοῦ Στρομόνος.

Lord/Theotokos, help your servant Stephen (?) imperial protospatharios and strategos of the Stromon.

Commentary

The earliest textual mention of a strategos of the Strymon (also spelled Στρομών, Στρωμών) occurs in the Treatise of Philotheos (899; see Listes, 101, line 25). But we note that DO Seals 1, 37.2-3 definitely date before the mid-ninth century, about the time when the theme of Thessalonica was established (836 or earlier, 824: DO Seals 1, § 18). The theme of Strymon may originate in the late 840s, for, as noted by Lemerle and others, there is no mention of this theme in the Uspenskij Taktikon (842-843; see the discussion in Pertusi, De Thematibus, 166-67). On the upper hand, Serres, which would have served along with Christoupolis as the capital of the theme, was elevated from a bishopric to an archbishopric in the first half of the ninth century, a circumstance that may not be coincidental. In the eighth century, the Strymon was a kleisoura of Macedonia (De Them., chap. 3, line 2), but there was also an archon of the Strymon (DO Seals 1, no. 37.1).