Antiquities > Seals and Tesserae

Theodore, imperial kandidatos and droungarios but of what?

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I fear two half letters are too little to go on without a parallel...

I fear you might ne right!


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.


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.


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

Thank you Gert for your valuable information
and the extract of Theophanis’ work.

A most interesting seal after all!



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