Оловен печат на Ирина Палеологина от средновековния град Лютица

Lead seal of Irene Palaiologan from the Medieval town of Lyutitsa

  • Philip Petrunov National Institute of Archaeology with Museum – Bulgarian Academy of Sciences


The Medieval town – fortress of Lyutitsa is located 45 km west of Hadrianopolis, Edirne of today, at that time an important administrative and military centre in the Southern Thrace. One of the most interesting findings in 2018 was the seal of Empress Irene (of Montferrat) Doukaina Komnene Palaiologan (1274 – 1317). A similar seal has not been discovered so far during regular archaeological research on the Bulgarian territories. The molybdobulla was struck in Thessaloniki and Zacos and Vaglery describe the type under N 126d.
Irene (Yolande de Montferrat) Doukaina Komnene Palaiologan was the second wife of Andronikos II, considered to be a symbolic heir to the Boniface de Montferrat’s Principality of Thessaloniki. On the obverse the Empress is depicted as the Equal to the Apostles St. Helena. This is a reference to the symbol of the supreme divine intransitive power granted to the Roman Empresses by the Theotokos presented on the reverse of the seal. From the following decades of the 14th c. we know coin emissions of Byzantine and Bulgarian monarchs similar in iconographic aspect.
There is a legend around the representation of the Empress arranged in two vertical columns:
Irene pious divine sebasta Komnene Doukaina Palaiologan
The molybdobulla is housed in the National Museum of History in Sofia.

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