CHKHAIDZE V.N. The Byzantine Aristocracy in the Crimea and Taman: the Hagiostephanitai (12th Century)


Viktor N. Chkhaidze

Candidate of Sciences (History), Researcher,

Institute of Archaeology, Russian Academy of Sciences,

Dm. Ulyanova St., 19, 117036 Moscow, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. Finds of seals of representatives of more than 50 Byzantine names of 11th-12th centuries are known in the Crimea (Chersonesos, Sudak, Kerch, etc.) and Taman Peninsula by the present time. Among them are Doukai, Komnenoi, Palaiologoi, Angeloi, Kastamonitai, Vrahamiai, etc. From the end of the 11th century, the appearance of the seals of representatives of noble families on this territory can be an indicator of change of stratiotai with the private hetaireiai, especially members of the Komnenoi clan, in the empire. On the other hand, the interest of the highest layers of the Byzantine Empire to these territories could be due to the fact that the addressees hung the seals to the documents that were sent to their private possessions.

Methods. In this context, the comparative analysis of a small number of seals met simultaneously in two or three urban centers is of undoubted interest for studying the Byzantine presence in the Crimean-Taman region (Chersonese, Sudak, Taman).

Analysis. The found seals of various representatives of one and the same family in the Crimea and Taman are of great interest. This is the Hagiostephanitai family (12th century): the seal of Theodore was found in the Crimea, and the seal of Nicholas – in Taman.

Results. In conclusion, the article presents information about four representatives of the Hagiostephanitai family known from sphragistic monuments.

Key words: history of Byzantine Empire (Byzantium), Crimea, Taman Peninsula, Byzantine seals, molybdoboulloi, prosopography.

Citation. Chkhaidze V.N. The Byzantine Aristocracy in the Crimea and Taman: the Hagiostephanitai (12th Century). Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4, Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2018, vol. 23, no. 5, pp. 131-137. (in Russian). DOI:

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The Byzantine Aristocracy in the Crimea and Taman: the Hagiostephanitai (12th Century) by Chkhaidze V.N. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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