Theodoros Chetames (Thoros, son of Hetoum), emir and kouropaletes, circa 1090. Seal (Lead, 24 mm, 12.58 g, 12 h). O / AΓ/IO/C - [ΘЄ/O]Δ/ω/PO/C
Saint Theodore, nimbate, standing facing, holding a spear in his right hand, and resting his left hand on shield. Rev. KЄ R,Θ, / ΘЄOΔωP, / AMHPA S / K૪POΠΛ, / TO XЄT,. Cheynet, Sceaux de la collection Zacos, 34. Sandrovskaja/Seibt p. 80, no. 48. A very important seal of great historical interest. Very fine.
The Armenian Theodoros Chetames is mentioned in Eastern sources as the first commander of Metilene, who was installed in 1074 by Philaretos Brachamios amidst the chaos in the aftermath of the Battle of Manzikert. Two decades later, in 1094/95, he was appointed commander of Edessa by the Seljuks, but proceeded to gain control of the city for himself. He was murdered in Edessa in 1098 when the First Crusade had arrived, and was succeeded by Baldwin of Boulogne, the later king of Jerusalem. The present seal expresses Theodoros' connection to both the Islamic overlord (as 'emir') as well as the Byzantine emperor (as 'kouropaletes'), and is therefore of particular historical interest.