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Leo VI and Alexander (886–912)

Accession number BZS.1955.1.4294 (formerly DO 55.1.4294)
Diameter 30 mm
Condition Bent.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 53.1; Zacos–Veglery, no. 60a.


Half-length representation of Christ, lightly bearded, wearing a tunic and himation. He raises his right hand in bless and holds in his left a book with a cover decorated with five pellets, a row of two above and below and a one in the middle. He has a cross behind his head. Circular inscription. No visible border.


Iηsus Χri[s]tus nica.


Two half-length figures: at left, Leo VI, bearded, wearing a crown with a cross and a loros; at right, Alexander, more diminutive than Leo, wearing a crown surmounted by a cross and a chlamys pinned with a fibula on his right shoulder. They hold between them a labarum ornamented with an X in center and streamers. Circular inscription. No visible border.


Leon (καὶ) Al[exan(dros)] aug(usti).


Iηsus Χristus nica.
Leon καὶ Alexandros augusti.

Jesus Christ conquers.
Leo and Alexander, augusti.


Leo VI reigned from 29 August 886 until 11 May 912. Coins (for example, Grierson class 2 follis: DOC 3.2:6.2) depict emperor and his brother seated on a double throne, with Alexander as the smaller figure. They hold a labarum between them, decorated with an X, and Alexander holds an akakia in his left hand.

Note also a similar seal found in the village of Podgradina, in the valley of Livno (Croatia). The obverse has been tooled, to the degree that Christ’s head and identifying inscription are virtually re-engraved, but the reverse has remained intact. The circular legend on the reverse of the Livno seal ends with the letters ANGR,AUG,. The seal has recently been published by I. Mirnik, “Two Recent Finds of Mediaeval Lead Seals,” Folia Archaeologica Balkanica (Skopje, 2006): 480, fig. 3.