Новооткрит печат от Плиска на византийски стратег на Преслав
Newly found seal from Pliska of a byzantine strategos of Preslav
The article aims at giving currency in the scholarly circles to a new Byzantine lead seal found in Pliska in 2016. This lead bulla is 2,5 mm thick, it has a diameter of 22 mm and is preserved in a very good condition. The stamp is of good quality but unfortunately, it has not been well centred and because of this part of the impression and the legend have remained outside the lead core (Plate LX 2.). However, the seal is in a sufficiently good shape and its impression is clear enough to allow to ascertain with certainty that it is a new parallel copy of an already known lead seal of a Byzantine stratēgos of which eight copies have been found and published so far. Seven of these copies come from Preslav and one has been found in the vicinity of Silistra.
It is situated on the obverse of this lead bulla, an image of a blossoming doubly intersected patriarchal cross on a pedestal of two steps, inserted into a double granulated circle. The invocation „Κύριε βοήθει τῶ σῶ δούλω“, of which the letters R . Η ΘΙΤωCω have been preserved, is written in the form of a circle round the image. On the reverse of the lead seal, clearly enough can be seen the first four lines of the five-line written inscription: . ΙωR’A’ ǀǀ .. ΑΘ’Κϵ ǀǀ .. ΡΑΤΗ ǀǀ … ϵΡC ǀǀ ….
The complete deciphering of the legend is as follows: „+ Κύριε βοήθει τῶ σῶ δούλω ’Ιωάννη βασιλικῶ πρωτοσπαθαρίω καὶ στρατηγῶ Περσκλάβας“, in translation: O, Lord, help your servant John, imperial prōtospatharios and stratēgos of Persklava (i.e. Preslav). The seal is dated back to the first third of the 11th century.