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Alexios Komnenos, sebastos and domestikos of the West (1078-81)

Accession number BZS.1958.106.5631
Diameter 30 mm
Previous Editions

Zacos-Veglery, no. 2707; Laurent, Corpus II, no. 936; DO Seals 1 no. 1.16.

Obverse

St. Demetrios standing, holding spear, his left hand set on shield resting on ground. Inscription: ο|α|γι|οσδ|η||τρ|ι,. Ὁ ἅ(γιος) Δημήτριος. Border of dots.

Reverse

Inscription in seven lines with the final two letters between horizontal bars. Border of dots.

ΚΕ̅οη
θειαλεΞι
σεαστκαι
δομεστικ
τησδυσεσ
τκομνη
ν

Κ(ύρι)ε βοήθει Ἀλεξίῳ σεβαστῷ καὶ δομεσίκῳ τῆς Δύσεως τῷ Κομνηνῷ

Translation

Κύριε βοήθει Ἀλεξίῳ σεβαστῷ καὶ δομεσίκῳ τῆς Δύσεως τῷ Κομνηνῷ.

Lord, help Alexios Komnenos, sebastos and domestikos of the West.

Commentary

A similar seal, originally published by Sorlin-Dorigny, Revue archéol. 33 [1877], t. I, 82-83, then edited and published in Sig., 640, has the same iconography and alignment of letters as this seal, and may well be from the same boulloterion.

 A problem presented by this seal is the absence of the term "grand". Laurent has suggested that μ(ε)γ(άλῳ) is missing either because the engraver omitted it or because Alexios considered the inclusion of the term to be of minor consequence. A third possibility of course, would be that the owner of this seal is not the future emperor Alexios I at all, but an individual bearing the same name, such as the second son of Isaac Komnenos and Maria of Alania, certainly known to have been a sebastos (see BZS.1951.31.5.1397), but with no record that he ever held the post of domestikos of the West. Since the seal dates no later than the first quarter of the twelfth century, there is no need to posit yet another, later, Alexios Komnenos, the son of Nikephoros Bryennios and Anna Komnena. On the other hand, the image of St. Demetrios on the obverse appears on all seals of Alexios I Komnenos and strongly indicates him as the owner of the present specimen.

Accession number BZS.1958.106.5631
Diameter 30 mm
Previous Editions

Zacos-Veglery, no. 2707; Laurent, Corpus II, no. 936; DO Seals 1 no. 1.16.

Accession number BZS.1958.106.5631
Diameter 30 mm
Previous Editions

Zacos-Veglery, no. 2707; Laurent, Corpus II, no. 936; DO Seals 1 no. 1.16.

Notes

Accession number BZS.1958.106.5631
Diameter 30 mm
Previous Editions

Zacos-Veglery, no. 2707; Laurent, Corpus II, no. 936; DO Seals 1 no. 1.16.