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Stratum plus. 2015. No4

M. M. Choref (Nizhnevartovsk, Russian Federation)

To the Question of Chersonesos-Bosporus Contacts by Sigillographic Data

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Pages: 267-276

The article is devoted to the unique artefact — an ancient seal found in the area of Chersonesos. This bull certified a document, a contract apparently, notarized by the authorities of Bosporus state and sent to Chersonesos magistrates. This is implied by the fact that it had the name and the title of the ruler — King Asander — stamped on its face, and the symbol of Panticapaeum — a bow and an arrow, with the city's monogram — on its reverse. Trying to explain the fact that this seal was discovered in Chersonesos, we referred to the account of Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos from Chapter 53 of De administrando imperio. This emperor and scholar brought a description of contacts between the authorities of Bosporus and Chersonesos, where, most importantly, the actors were not only the King Asander, but also his subjects. The account is about an attempt to usurp Chersonesos undertaken by a son of Asander. While we do not insist on absolute truth of this account, we assume that Bosporus authorities under the rule of Asander indeed concluded a union with Chersonesos, the evidence of which, in fact, is the seal in question. Based on this, we infer that this fragment of De administrando imperio also contains authentic information.

Keywords: Bosporus, Chersonesos, Asander, Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos, seal.

Information about author:

Michael Choref
(Nizhnevartovsk, Russian Federation). Candidate of Historical Sciences. Nizhnevartovsk State University. Lenin St., 56, Nizhnevartovsk, Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District — Yugra, 628605, Russian Federation
E-mail: [email protected]

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