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Michael metropolitan of Traïanoupolis and proedros of the protosynkelloi (eleventh century)

Accession number BZS.1958.106.5678
Diameter 22 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 61.2.
Laurent, Corpus V/3, no. 1767.

Obverse

Bust of the Virgin holding Christ. Along the circumference, between 7 and 9 o'clock, appears a large object that Laurent was unable to identify, perhaps a large knife. Sigla in vertical column: ̅ΘΥ̅ : Μήτηρ Θεοῦ. Border of dots.

Reverse

Inscription of seven lines, decoration above. Border of dots.


ΘΚΕ,Θ,
ΜΙΧΑΗΛ̅Ο
ΤΡΑΙΑΝΟΥ
ΠΟΛΕΣΚΑΙ
ΑΕΔΡΤΝ
ΑΣΥΓΚΕΛ
ΛΝ

Θεοτόκε βοήθει Μιχαὴλ μητροπολίτῃ Τραϊανουπόλεως καὶ προέδρῳ τῶν πρωτοσυγκέλλων

Translation

Θεοτόκε βοήθει Μιχαὴλ μητροπολίτῃ Τραϊανουπόλεως καὶ προέδρῳ τῶν πρωτοσυγκέλλων.

Theotokos, help Michael metropolitan of Traïanoupolis and proedros of the protosynkelloi.

Commentary

Laurent rightly noted that the title proedros ton protosynkellon was created at the beginning of the reign of Michael VII, but was suppressed by Alexios I prior to the synod of 1094/95. Our seal may thus be securely dated to the last quarter of the eleventh century. We know of the seal of another eleventh-century metropolitan of Traïanoupolis named Michael Barys (Laurent, Corpus V/1, no. 692). As for the object depicted on the obverse, it may be the knife with which, according to the legend, a Jew struck the image of the Virgin holding the Child after which blood flowed from the icon. See G. Galavaris, "The Mother of God Stabbed with a Knife," 229-233. One drawback of this hypothesis is that other seals with the Virgin Machairotheisa show a Virgin standing, holding a medallion of Christ in front of her. But the texts of the legend, reproduced by Galavaris, speak of a Virgin holding the Child in her arms, that is, a a Virgin of a type similar to that represented on our seal. The question must remain open, especially since the identification of this object as a knife is not certain.

Accession number BZS.1958.106.5678
Diameter 22 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 61.2.
Laurent, Corpus V/3, no. 1767.

Notes

Accession number BZS.1958.106.5678
Diameter 22 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 61.2.
Laurent, Corpus V/3, no. 1767.

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