Byzantine Seals. Seal (Lead, 26 mm, 16.52 g, 12 h), Michael, kritos of the Hippodrome and hypatos of the Anatolikoi, circa 1020/5-1032. MHP - ΘY Nimbate bust of the Virgin orans. Rev. ЄΠI T, / IΠΠOΔPH / [K]PIT MIXA/ΗΛ YΠAT,S / T ANAT/ΩΛ in five lines. DOC 86 var. (differing reverse legend). Extremely rare and of great historical interest. About extremely fine.
The seal names Michael as judge of the Hippodrome, the second highest court of the empire, and 'hypatos' (consul) of the Anatolikoi. In 1032, Michael replaced the 'katepano Italias' (military governor of Italy) Pothos Argyros, who was killed in battle while fighting an invasion by the Islamic Emirate of Sicily. After leading an army of reinforcements to Italy, Michael was, however, replaced by the more experienced general Constantine Leo Opos in 1033 and returned to the East to continue his career as a civil servant.