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Constantine patrikios, anthypatos, vestes, logariastes, and anagrapheus of all Bulgaria (eleventh century)

Accession number BZS.1958.106.5614
Diameter 29 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 29.1.
Cf. similar specimens were published by Laurent, Vatican, no. 95: copy; originally mentioned, then published by Laurent in EO 31 (1932) 331 note 5 and 37 (1934) 414-19; Szemioth-Wasilewski, Sceaux byzantins (1966), no. 48 (copy); and Zacos, Seals II, no. 422. The Zacos seal is from a different boulloterion than the DO specimen.


Splendid high-relief, half-length bust of St. Demetrios holding a spear and oblong shield. Inscription in two columns: |Δ|Η|Μ,.|Ρ.|Ο,: Ὁ ἅγιος Δημήτριος. Border of dots.


Inscription of six lines. Border of dots.



Κύριε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Κωνσταντίνῳ πατρικίῳ, ἀνθυπάτ, βέστῃ, λογαριαστ καὶ ἀναγραφέα πάσης Βουλγαρίας


Κύριε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Κωνσταντίνῳ πατρικίῳ, ἀνθυπάτῳ. βέστῃ, λογαριαστῇ καὶ ἀναγραφέα πάσης Βουλγαρίας.

Lord, help your servant Constantine patrikios, anthypatos, vestes, logariastes and anagrapheus of all Bulgaria.


In his article of 1934, Laurent held that the seal of Constantine patrikios, anthypatos, vestes, logariastes of all Bulgaria ought to be related to two other specimens bearing the same name and the same or equivalent functions: (1) Constantine patrikios, hypatos, and anagrapheus of Bulgaria (Konstantopoulos, no. 119) and (2) Constantine vestarches and pronoetes of all Bulgaria (Sig., 240). Later, in his commentary on the Vatican specimen, he added that he was inclined to distinguish this Constantine, who he believed was active in the period 1060-1080, from Constantine Diogenes, who died by 1031. It is true that the the present seal could hardly be earlier than the mid-eleventh century.

A Byzantine administrative unit called Bulgaria appears in the sources after 1018. It was under the command of a doux or katepano, whose headquarters were at Skopia (see DO Seals 1, § 30). This was only part, but the kernel, of Samuel's empire. Farther north were the Byzantine commands of Serbia (DO Seals 1, § 34) and Paradounavon/Paristrion at Dristra (DO Seals 1, § 65, 67). On the other hand, we find seals whose owners claim authority over "all of Bulgaria" (πάσης Βουλγαρίας); in interpreting this phrase we tend to agree with Zlatarski, who thought that it designated the totality of the traditional Bulgarian territories (including the Paristrion). The vast administrative unit of Bulgaria was divided into many smaller ones before the end of the eleventh century. See Bǎnescu, Duchés, 118ff; Litavrin, Bolgarija, 250 ff; Oikonomides, Evolution, 149-50.

The archbishopric of Bulgaria, created in 870, was a national church strongly influenced by Byzantium. Its status changed several times, depending upon politics. It was transferred into a patriarchate, which Constantinople had to recognize in 945, and was probably downgraded to an archbishopric in 971. It became a patriarchate again during the reign of tzar Samuel but had to move to different cities, probably because of the wars (Dristra, Triaditza, Vodena, Moglaina; BZ 2 [1893] 44), and settled in Ohrid. With the Byzantine conquest of 1018, the autocephalous archbishopric of Bulgaria was created by Basil II, encompassing all of Samuel's territories (including Dristra on the Danube) in addition to other sees that were taken from the neighboring metropoleis of Thessalonica, Larissa, Naupaktos, and Dyrrachion, resulting in jurisdictional quarrels between them and the archbishopric of Ohrid. See Laurent, Corpus V/2, 317-318.