Basileios Apokapes, protoproedros and doux of Edessa, 1077-1081. Seal (Lead, 24 mm, 13.04 g, 12 h). [Θ RACI]-Λ/Є/I/ω Facing bust of Saint Basil, nimbate, raising his right hand in benediction and holding book of Gospels in his left hand. Rev. KЄ RO / RA'I AΠPO/ЄΔP, S Δ૪/KI ЄΔЄ[C] / T, AΠOK in five lines. DO IV 73.1 (with minor legend variants). Of great historical interest. Very fine.
Basileios, member of the aristocratic Armeno-Georgian family Apokapes (Abu K’ab), had a glorious military career in the second half of the 11th century, eventually rising to the elevated rank of sebastos, as is attested on our seal. Written sources first mention him successfully defending the city of Manzikert during a Seljuk siege in 1054-1055. In the following years, he was dispatched to defend the Danube border together with the future emperor Nikephoros Botaneiates. During an invasion of Oghuz Turks, both men were captured, but after an epidemic struck the invading force, they were released. Basileios later served on the eastern front, where he became part of the entourage of generalissimus Philaretos Brachamios after the catastrophic battle of Manzikert in 1071. In 1078, he became governor (doux) of Edessa, a command he held until his death in 1083.