17.1 Seal of Makarios, Metropolitan of Thessaloniki
16th c., 1st half
Copper alloy, diameter 2.6 cm (1st side),2.4 cm (2nd side), height 6 cm
Double matrix belonging to Metropolitan Makarios of Thessaloniki, for use with sealing wax. The two matrices are joined by a multi-faceted knob which serves as a handle. Matrix (a) bears the legend: +MAKAPI | OΣ EΛEΩ Θ(EO)Y APX | IEΠIΣKOΠOΣ ΘEΣΣ | AΛONIKHΣ YΠEPTIM | OΣ K(AI) EΞAPXOΣ ΠA | ΣHΣ ΘETTAΛI(AΣ) ('Makarios by the grace of God Archbishop of Thessaloniki and all Thessaly'), while on the second face is engraved a bust of the warrior saint Demetrios, the symbol of the Church in Thessaloniki and patron saint of that city, together with his name: O AΓ(IO)Σ ΔHMHTPIOΣ.
This is the only known example of the personal seal of an early post-Byzantine Archbishop of Thessaloniki. It belonged to the scholar-prelate Makarios who, having occupied the episcopal throne of Thessaloniki from 1517 to nearly 1527, then retired to the Vatopedi Monastery, where until his death in 1546 he lived as Brother Michael, a monk of the highest rank. Apart from his personal belongings, he left the Monastery a considerable number of very fine manuscripts, now preserved in its library.
Bibliography: Glavinas 1973, pp. 167-77. Chrysochoidis 1996, p. 58, figs. 37, 38, 39.