XI, 2015, 1

The Seals of the Boyars of Stephen the Great | p. 175–206

historiography, Medieval boyar’s sphragistics, Moldavian boyars, seals, Stephen the Great


The sphragistics of the boyars from the time of Stephen the Great was not up to now the object of an exhaustive study. The specialists concentrated on the princely heraldry, which offered multiple ways of analysis, using information from documents, epigraphy, numismatics, sigillography and so on, and paid little attention to boyar’s heraldry. The sphragistics of the Moldavian boyars is attested by the seal impressions on foreign and internal documents as a sign of validation and it gives a lot of insight into the practices of the chancery both from the genealogical and the heraldic point of view. The authors gathered a total of 35 representations, most of them in wax but also three seal matrices (in fact signet rings), which, when we think there was a total of 114 boyars in the princely council throughout the reign of Stephen the Great, amount to almost 30% of the total.

The present study aims at better understanding the medieval boyar sphragistics, which was at its best during the epoch of Stephen the Great. It presents the current bibliography on the topic, the statistics, it discusses the main points of view, it collects all available data and it uses the latest information on the topic.