Byzantine Lead Seals and Other Minor Objects from Mystras: New Historical Evidence for the Region of Byzantine Lakedaimon

Byzantinische Zeitschrift 103 (1):129-143 (2010)
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This article presents the unpublished Byzantine lead seals from the archaeological collection of Mystras which now are stored in the depots of the Museum of Mystras.The first seal names a Michael Barys . Probably he was bishop of Helos, known from another seal with metrical inscription which has not been fully read until now. – The second is a seal of an imperial protospatharios and tourmarches Spartaron Ioannes . This military unit is attested by this seal and other three parallel pieces from the collection of Dumbarton Oaks. The name Spartaron and the fact that this seal was found in Sparta can be taken as evidence for the existence of a military unit which recalls the capabilities and fighting prowess of the Ancient Spartans. – The third lead seal mentions a vestarches and judge of the Velum, of Peloponnesos and Hellas Petros Serblias. It describes an unknown stadium of the career of Petros Serblias, a person already known from other sources.At the end four metallic plates are presented, found near to the Upper Gate of the castle of Mystras, which are caps for bottles of theriaca, a well known antiseptic medicine from the apothecary of Due Mori in Venice .Two of the seals were found in a recently unearthed Byzantine olive-press in a quarter of Byzantine Sparta where the city was expanded in the time between the tenth and twelfth century



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