Феодор Гавра и его печати
This publication examines the life of Theodore Gabras, one of the highest
Byzantine dignitaries in the 1080–1090s. The early stage of his career is uncovered
by a miniature from a manuscript residing in St. Petersburg which depicts a scene
with ktetores, patrikios, and topoteretes Theodore Gabras and his wife Irene. The
similarity of this miniature and an eleventh-century fresco in the Senty Church in
Alania (modern Karachay-Cherkessia) indicates that Irene was probably of Alanic
origin like his second wife. The account of Theodore Gabras appeared in Anna
Komnene’s Alexiad and John Zonaras’ chronicle. In 1075, Theodore Gabras freed
Chaldia from Seljuks, and when Alexios I Komnenos ascended to power and tried to
make Theodore one of his supporters, he appointed the latter the doux of the theme
of Chaldia. In the late eleventh century, Theodore Gabras was de facto independent
ruler of Trebizond. In 1098, he died as a martyr for refusing to convert to Islam.
Already in the twelfth century, Theodore Gabras was a locally venerated saint, and
in the fourteenth century he was canonized. In the year of his death, Theodore held
the title of sebastos, which was among the highest in late eleventh century Byzantium.
This paper analyses four known seals of Theodore Gabras, which legends
mentioned his title of sebastos and position of the doux (of Chaldia). The Appendix
lists eighteen known seals from the eleventh and twelfth century which belonged to
at least fifteen members of the aristocratic family of Gabrades.