Philaretos Brachamios, protokouropalates and domestikos of the scholai of the east. Seal (Lead, 25 mm, 16.16 g, 12 h), circa 1070-1080. On the left, cruciform O / A/Γ/I/O/, on the right, cruciform Θ/Є/O/Δ/ω/P/O, ('Saint Theodore') Saint Theodore, nimbate, standing facing, holding spear in his right hand and shield in his left. Rev. +ΦIΛA/PET AK૪/PΠ S ΔOMЄ / T CXΛ THC / ANA O RP/AX ('Philaretos protokouropalates and generalissimus of the eastern regiments') in six lines. Cf. Seibt, Philaretos Brachamios, p. 288-289, Laurent, Vatican, 113 and Theodoridis 38 (all with minor legend variants). Somewhat rough, otherwise, very fine.
Philaretos Brachamios was a Byzantine general of Armenian descent who rose to fame in the wake of the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, a disastrous defeat that led to the loss of most of eastern Asia Minor by the central Byzantine government. However, a series of local Byzantine military commanders continued to fight the Seljuks in the late 11th century, the most successful of which was Philaretos, who controlled large parts of Cilicia, Armenia and Syria as a semi-autonomous warlord. His main strongholds were the important cities of Melitene and Antiochia, the latter of which was lost to the Seljuks in 1086, just twelve years before it was captured by the knights of the First Crusade in1098. Philaretos is not mentioned much in historiographical sources, but a number of seals attest his cursus honorum. Our seal dates to the 70s of the 11th century: it mentions Philaretos as the supreme commander of the eastern regiments, but does not yet name one of his later, higher court dignities.