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Michael III (856–67)

Accession number BZS.1947.2.415 (formerly DO 47.2.415)
Diameter 35 mm
Condition Two halves with loss of metal along the channel.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 49.3.
Zacos-Veglery, no. 56.

Obverse

Half-length representation of Christ, bearded with a cross behind the head, wearing a tunic and himation. He raises his right hand in blessing and holds in his left a book with a cover ornamented with four rows of pellets, two pellets in each row. Circular inscription. No visible border.

...SX.ISOS

[Iηs]us X[r]istos.

Reverse

Half-length representation of Michael III, wearing a loros and crown surmounted by a cross, and holding a labarum in his right hand. Circular inscription. No visible border.

MIXAH..PERASIL

Miχaη[l i]mper(ator) basil(eus).

Translation

Iηsus Xristos.
Miχaηl imperator basileus.

Jesus Christ.
Michael, imperator [and] basileus.

Commentary

After Theodora’s fall from power in 856 Michael appears alone, wearing a loros, on the reverse of his gold coinage (DOC 3.1:3.1 [pl. 28]).

Zacos and Veglery optimistically read the circular inscription on the obverse as IhSUSX[R]ISTOS*: Iηsus Xristos. In their discussion of this specimen they erroneously describe the decoration of the labarum as consisting of five pellets. In fact the ornament is a simple cross composed of four pellets. On folles that Grierson assigns to the years 866–67 Michael is identified as IMPERAT. Grierson (DOC 3.1: p. 456; see also note 17) repeats the argument that the reason for the revival of the title was to show that the imperial court was fully acquainted with the Latin language.

Accession number BZS.1947.2.415 (formerly DO 47.2.415)
Diameter 35 mm
Condition Two halves with loss of metal along the channel.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 49.3.
Zacos-Veglery, no. 56.

Accession number BZS.1947.2.415 (formerly DO 47.2.415)
Diameter 35 mm
Condition Two halves with loss of metal along the channel.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 49.3.
Zacos-Veglery, no. 56.

Notes

Accession number BZS.1947.2.415 (formerly DO 47.2.415)
Diameter 35 mm
Condition Two halves with loss of metal along the channel.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 49.3.
Zacos-Veglery, no. 56.

Parallels

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