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Nikephoros proedros and "first" of the judges (eleventh century, second half)

Accession number BZS.1955.1.3734
Diameter 31 mm
Condition Corroded.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 5 no. 129.1; Laurent, Corpus 5.3: no. 1791 (with misreadings). Similar specimen in the Fonds Zacos, BnF 3176; it is illustrated in Zacos, Seals II, pl. 63 (no. 638), but appears with the wrong entry number. See also Auktion Elsen 63, September 16 (2000), no. 1743. Cf. Seibt's review in BSl 35 (1974): 76.

Obverse

The Mother of God orans standing on a pedestal (?), the medallion of Christ on her breast. Two saints stand on either side of her. No inscription is visible. Border of dots.

Reverse

Inscription of seven lines, a decoration below. Border of dots.

συνμη
τριστερ
μαρτυριθυη
πολσκεπο..
προεδρον...
.ριτννι
κηφορον


Σὺν μητρί, Σῶτερ, μάρτυρι, θυηπόλῳ σκέποις πρόεδρον καὶ κριτῶν Νικηφόρον

Translation

Σὺν μητρί, Σῶτερ, μάρτυρι, θυηπόλῳ σκέποις πρόεδρον καὶ κριτῶν Νικηφόρον.

Savior, together with your Mother, the martyr, and the bishop, protect Nikephoros, proedros and "first" of the judges.

Commentary

Two twelve-syllable verses.

In his edition of the seal Laurent read Μαδύτων and μαρτυρίου πόλῳ; both are erroneous. The reading of lines five and six is problematic, but the Zacos specimen supplies the missing portions.

The difficulty here is interpreting the word κριτῶν (line 6). What the inscription implies is that Nikephoros was a proedros and "first" of the judges. Does this mean he was a μέγας δρουγγάριος τῆς βίγλας? Concerning the office of the droungarios of the watch, see Laurent, Corpus 2: 465. Note also, in the same volume, no. 165, the seal of Thomas, "president" of the notaries.

W. Seibt identifies the saints as Demetrios and Nicholas, and the owner of the seal as one of the nephews of the patriarch Michael Keroularios (1043–1058) in a discussion of a seal in the Zacos Collection (Mech. 26), which depicts a similar composition of three figures on the obverse (Österreich II, no. 54, and p. 82).

Accession number BZS.1955.1.3734
Diameter 31 mm
Condition Corroded.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 5 no. 129.1; Laurent, Corpus 5.3: no. 1791 (with misreadings). Similar specimen in the Fonds Zacos, BnF 3176; it is illustrated in Zacos, Seals II, pl. 63 (no. 638), but appears with the wrong entry number. See also Auktion Elsen 63, September 16 (2000), no. 1743. Cf. Seibt's review in BSl 35 (1974): 76.

Accession number BZS.1955.1.3734
Diameter 31 mm
Condition Corroded.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 5 no. 129.1; Laurent, Corpus 5.3: no. 1791 (with misreadings). Similar specimen in the Fonds Zacos, BnF 3176; it is illustrated in Zacos, Seals II, pl. 63 (no. 638), but appears with the wrong entry number. See also Auktion Elsen 63, September 16 (2000), no. 1743. Cf. Seibt's review in BSl 35 (1974): 76.

Notes

Accession number BZS.1955.1.3734
Diameter 31 mm
Condition Corroded.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 5 no. 129.1; Laurent, Corpus 5.3: no. 1791 (with misreadings). Similar specimen in the Fonds Zacos, BnF 3176; it is illustrated in Zacos, Seals II, pl. 63 (no. 638), but appears with the wrong entry number. See also Auktion Elsen 63, September 16 (2000), no. 1743. Cf. Seibt's review in BSl 35 (1974): 76.

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