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Author Topic: Theodore, imperial kandidatos and droungarios but of what?  (Read 1103 times)

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Offline iolkia

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Dear board, here a seal from my tiny collection that I can't find in my references. What puzzles me are the letters at the bottom line.

Our Theodore was droungarios of what or where?

Any ideas?


18.03 gr
26 mm


Regards
Iolkia

Offline Gert

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Re: Theodore, imperial kandidatos and droungarios but of what?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2020, 05:20:34 am »
I have no idea about this seal. The obverse has some questions as well: there's a cross in the middle, in stead of the expected theta. Could also be a letter phi. Also, the delta above is another letter I can't explain.

The last line would seem to be his command. I could not think of any likely solution. Could be unpublished of course. CVPIAC maybe? Could not find this attested though. Known commands starting with S do not fit (Samos, Seleukia, Sardinia, tou stolou).
Regards
Gert

Offline iolkia

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Re: Theodore, imperial kandidatos and droungarios but of what?
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2020, 09:16:20 am »

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Well, I have no idea about the unusual cross instead of the theta in the middle of the obverse either. Nor about the Delta. I have been searching for parallel obverses since your post but with no avail. The only explanation I can think of, is that it stands for "Despoina" refering to Theotokos. But this is wild imagination. I have no idea whether such monograms exist.

Regarding the reverse, Syria seems to be a plausible solution. I suppose we have to wait for the next specimen.

Regards
Iolkia

Offline Gert

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Re: Theodore, imperial kandidatos and droungarios but of what?
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2020, 02:31:10 pm »
Could it be EX or CX on the last line? In fact, looking at the letter size, X would fit better wouldn't it?
Gert

Offline iolkia

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Re: Theodore, imperial kandidatos and droungarios but of what?
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2020, 09:24:39 am »
Yes, both CE and CX would be possible, although the other E in the name is quite different. I could even be C :Greek_omega_small:
Could CΩΖΟΠΟΛΙC be an option?

Regards
Iolkia

Offline Gert

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Re: Theodore, imperial kandidatos and droungarios but of what?
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2020, 03:18:31 am »
I fear two half letters are too little to go on without a parallel...
Gert

Offline iolkia

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Re: Theodore, imperial kandidatos and droungarios but of what?
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2020, 04:53:41 pm »
I fear you might ne right!

Regards
Iolkia

Offline iolkia

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Re: Theodore, imperial kandidatos and droungarios but of what?
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2021, 11:20:03 am »
Hello again,

The wonder happened and a parallel seal has surfaced!

And it completes my specimen with the last three letters of Theodor's command: KHC.

If we admit that there is not enough space for another letter before the first letter of the last line on my specimen, the command could read "CYKHC" in genitive. I can not think of another toponym with this constellation of letters. But where is this fig tree (Syke)? I could find that a place with this name which "produced sailors" existed around Constantinople and there is also the siege of Syke in 771 but I couldn't find any information so far.

Any thoughts are most welcomed.

Regards
Iolkia


Offline Gert

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Re: Theodore, imperial kandidatos and droungarios but of what?
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2021, 03:14:39 pm »
Marvellous. I agree the last line must be CVKHC - so "droungarios of Syke". This place Syke must be, I propose, the fortress (kastron) of this name on the coast of Cilicia. It is mentioned by Theophanes for the year 771 as the place of an Arab siege. The generals (strategoi) of three themes and a naval force broke the siege and prevented the capture of the fortress, but couldn't prevent raid and plunder of the surroundings.

Theodoros, the owner of the seal, must have been the commander of the fortress. We can't know he was commander of Syke at the time of the siege of course, because Theophanes does not mention a name. The seal does date to the 8th century.

Below, Theophanes on the attack.

Regards
Gert




ANNUS MUNDI 6263 (SEPTEMBER 1, 771— AUGUST 31, 772)

In this year ibn Wakkas attacked Romania. He advanced from
Isauria to the fortress of Sykes, which he besieged. When the Emperor
heard of this, he wrote to Michael the general of the Anatolies, Manes
of the Bukellarii, and to Bardanes of the Armeniacs, who all moved to
seize the rugged pass which was ibn Wakkas’ exit-route. Under its
general the protospatharios Petronas, the Kibyrhaiots’ naval force
reached Sykes’ harbor and anchored there. When he saw this, ibn
Wakkas lost hope for himself. But he encouraged and inspired his
troops, who sallied forth against the mounted thematic troops while
shouting their war-cry and put them to rout. He killed many of them
and captured all the territory roundabout, then withdrew with much
plunder.

Offline iolkia

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Re: Theodore, imperial kandidatos and droungarios but of what?
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2021, 04:49:58 pm »
Thank you Gert for your valuable information
and the extract of Theophanis’ work.

A most interesting seal after all!

Regards,
Iolkia

Online Joe Sermarini

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Re: Theodore, imperial kandidatos and droungarios but of what?
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2021, 04:25:32 pm »
Interesting!
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