A beautifully preserved and interesting seal mentioning a hitherto unknown office
Los 1680
Manuel, imperial spatharokandidatos and hemeriarches, 10th century. Seal (Lead, 26 mm, 7.55 g, 12 h). KЄ ROHΘЄI TⲰ CⲰ ΔOVΛ, Patriarchal cross on steps, with floral ornaments springing from base. Rev. +MAN૪/[H]Λ R'CΠAΘK/ANΔ, S IMЄP/IAPXIC in four lines. Unpublished in the standard references. A beautifully preserved and interesting piece. Minor crack on the channel mouth, otherwise, good extremely fine.


The office of 'hemeriarches' is apparently unknown (not mentioned in N. Oikonomidès, Liste de préséance byzantines des IXe et Xe siècles, Paris 1972) and its meaning remains enigmatic. The word designates someone in charge (archès) of a particular day or during the daytime (hèmera). Another possibility is that Manuel was a court official, as the word hèmera is sometimes used to designate a court (cf. 1 Cor. 4, 3 where it is used this way).
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