KANEV N. New Lead Seal of Adrian Komnenos, Protosebastos and Megas Domestikos of the Entire West, Discovered in the Area of Rusokastro in Southeastern Bulgaria

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2021.6.7

Nikolay Kanev

PhD, Associate Professor, Dean of the Faculty of History,

St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo,

Feodosiya Tarnovskogo St, 2, 5003 Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

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

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0570-8078


Abstract. Introduction. The present article is a primary publication of a newly discovered sphragistic artefact from the area of the medieval fortress of Rusokastro, which was acquired by the Regional Historical Museum in Burgas in 2019.

Methods. In their entirety, the Byzantine lead seals are an important primary and reliable source of information on various aspects of Byzantine history. Byzantine seals are especially important from the perspective of prosopography. First of all, they are invaluable evidence of individuals who, in one way or another, participated in the social and political life of the Byzantine Empire. Therefore, the discovery of each new sphragistic monument is of great importance and the available information must be carefully analyzed.

Analysis. This interesting artefact is a lead seal of the brother of the Byzantine emperor Alexius I Komnenos (1081–1118), Adrian Komnenos as a protosebastos and megas domestikos of the entire West. The obverse depicts Saint George, nimbate, standing, facing forward, holding a spear in his right hand, and resting his left hand on a shield. Inscription in 7 lines within dotted border on the reverse: + Κ(ύρι)ε β(οή)θ(ει) τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Ἀδριανῷ (πρωτο)σεβαστῷ (καὶ) μ(ε)γ(άλῳ) δομ[ε]στίκῳ πάσης Δύσεως τῷ Κομνην(ῷ). The seal dates from the end of the 11th century.

Results. This new Byzantine lead seal, described in this article, increases the number of medieval sphragistic finds in the Rusokastro area, which belong to an undeniably wide chronological range – from the second half of the 8th century to the beginning of the 12th century. Thus, the number of lead seals from the area of Rusokastro grow to six, five of which are Byzantine and one is a Bulgarian imperial seal.

Key words: Sigillography, Byzantium, Bulgaria, Rusokastro, Byzantine lead seals, Adrian Komnenos, protosebastos, megas domestikos of the entire West.

Citation. Kanev N. New Lead Seal ofAdrian Komnenos, Protosebastos and Megas Domestikos of the Entire West, Discovered in the Area of Rusokastro in Southeastern Bulgaria. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2021, vol. 26, no. 6, pp. 96-101. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2021.6.7.

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New Lead Seal of Adrian Komnenos, Protosebastos and Megas Domestikos of the Entire West, Discovered in the Area of Rusokastro in Southeastern Bulgaria by Kanev N. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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