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Theodore metropolitan of Patras (ninth century)

Accession number BZS.1958.106.67
Diameter 29 mm
Field diameter 19 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 34.5.
Laurent, Corpus V/1, no. 628 (dated first half of the 9th c.).


A cruciform invocative monogram (type V); in the quarters: ΤΣ|ΔΛ. Border of dots.

Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ


Inscription of four lines. Decorations above and below. Border of dots.


Θεοδώρῳ μητροπολήτ Πατρῶν


Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Θεοδώρῳ μητροπολήτῃ Πατρῶν.

Mother of God, help your servant Theodore metropolitan of Patras.


The date of this seal can be contested as it contains archaic epigraphic elements (the Β of the obverse, typical of the early 9th century, and the tendril at the end of the inscription) but also others point to a later date (the Κ of the obverse, barely visible but clearly belonging to the type 45 of the Dated Seals table; the final decoration with a line of three pellets, no. 3 in the same table); the closest parallel to its lettering is to be found on the seal of Patriarch Photios (Dated Seals, no. 53). In our opinion, the owner of this seal could be either of the two Theodores of Patras mentioned in letters of Photios, dated to 862/63 and to 878/79 (Grumel, Regestes, nos. 475 [474] and 546 [513]).

Today Patras, the city of St. Andrew. The see of Patras was functioning by the 4th century; it is mentioned as an archbishopric in the iconoclastic notitia and perhaps in the council of 787 (Darrouzès, Notitiae, 23, note 1 and no. 3, line 55). Sometime between 802 and 806 it was raised to the rank of a metropolis by being attributed three suffragans: Lakedaimonia, Methone and Korone. All this information concerning the foundation of the metropolis and its right to collect taxes from the neighboring Slavic populations is related to a miraculous intervention of St. Andrew to save the city from Slav rebels. In the 10th century, an archon exercised authority in Patras (Corinth XII, no. 2705). See Laurent, in REB 21 (1963) 129-36; Laurent, Corpus V/1, 471; Fedalto, 517-19; ODB II, 1597-98; Bon, Morée francque, 449-57.