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Basil I and Constantine (869–79)

Accession number BZS.1955.1.4289 (formerly DO 55.1.4289)
Diameter 27 mm
Condition More than half the seal is missing.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 51.7.

Obverse

Half-length representation of Christ, largely missing: only his right shoulder and the right transverse bar of the cross behind his head are visible. Remains of a circular inscription at right. Border of dots.

......RISOS

[Iηsus Χ]ristos.

Reverse

Two half-length figures, only the left one visible: Basil I, bearded, wearing a crown surmounted by a cross and a loros. Constantine, at right, is lost, but the left-most portion of the labarum held between them is visible. Remains of a circular inscription at left. Border of dots.

ASILIOSE............

Basilios et C[onstant(inos) aug(usti)].

Translation

Iηsus Χristos.
Basilios et Constantinos augusti.

Jesus Christ.
Basil and Constantine, augusti.

Commentary

On solidi dating from Basil’s joint reign with Constantine, the obverse depicts Christ seated on a lyre-backed throne, while on the reverse are Basil to left and Constantine to right, holding between them a patriarchal cross on long shaft.  Basil wears a loros, and Constantine a chlamys (DOC 3.2:2a1 [pl. 30]). In common with the coinage as well is the employment of "augusti," present on the class 2 solidus as well as class 2d follis (DOC 3.2:9d.1 [pl. 31]).

Grierson explains the awkward relationship between the chronology of coinage and the depiction of Basil’s co-emperors in terms of the former's antipathy towards his middle son, Leo. Dating here follows that of the class 2 solidus, up to Constantine’s death in 879, rather than the class 2 follis, which includes Leo after his association with Basil in 870, and reflects the degree to which the design of imperial seals followed that of the solidus.

The labarum, decorated with a cross in center and streamers, is found on folles minted at Constantinople in the name of Basil I and Constantine and attributed by Grierson to the years 868–70 (see: DOC 3.2:8a.1–8a.4, and the table at BNC 2: p. 538).

Accession number BZS.1955.1.4289 (formerly DO 55.1.4289)
Diameter 27 mm
Condition More than half the seal is missing.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 51.7.

Notes

Accession number BZS.1955.1.4289 (formerly DO 55.1.4289)
Diameter 27 mm
Condition More than half the seal is missing.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 51.7.

Parallels

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