VINOGRADOV A.Yu., KASHTANOV D.V., CHKHAIDZE V.N. Turkels – a Turkic Family in the Byzantine Civil Service

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2020.6.11 

Andrey Yu. Vinogradov

Candidate of Sciences (History), Doctor of Sciences (Philology and Linguistics), Associate Professor, Senior Researcher,

National Research University Higher School of Economics,

Staraya Basmannaya St, 21/4, Bld. 3, 105066 Moscow, Russian Federation

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9516-6534 

Denis V. Kashtanov

Independent Researcher,

Moscow, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7273-5717 

Viktor N. Chkhaidze

Candidate of Sciences (History), Researcher,

Institute of Archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences,

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

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https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0806-6218 


Abstract. Introduction. The paper considers the two Byzantine lead seals of the second half of the 11th century, the owner of which was a translator (ermeneutes) with a non-Christian name Turkeles.

Analysis. The correct reading of the owner’s name was possible by comparing the sigillographic texts with the inscription on a silver bucket found in Perm region (Russia). This richly ornamented vessel made in the last third of the 11th – 12th c., belonged, according to the inscription, to a Christian person called Theodore Turkeles. The most probable etymology of this very rare name is Turkic. Because both seals originate from the territory of the Old Rus, we can suppose that he was involved in the northern policy of Byzantium.

Results. It can be assumed that the owner of the seal, Turkeles, became the first Rhomaios in his family, entering the service of the Emperor as a translator from Turkic languages. The owner of the bucket, Theodore was called by the second name Turkeles, either from his father or as a family name. Since no other Turkeles is attested in the Byzantine sources, the bearers of this name were not very successful in cultivating their family tree, and the patronymic could simply not have time to turn into a family nickname.

Key words: history of Byzantium, Byzantine families, Byzantine seals, iconography, prosopography.

Citation. Vinogradov A.Yu., Kashtanov D.V., Chkhaidze V.N. Turkels – a Turkic Family in the Byzantine Civil Service. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2020, vol. 25, no. 6, pp. 150-159. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2020.6.11.

Лицензия Creative Commons

Turkels – a Turkic Family in the Byzantine Civil Service by Vinogradov A.Yu., Kashtanov D.V., Chkhaidze V.N. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. 

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