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Leo VI and Alexander (886–912)

 
 

Obverse

Half-length representation of Christ, lightly bearded, wearing a tunic and himation. He raises his right hand in blessing and holds in his left a book with a cover decorated with pellets. He has a cross behind his head. Circular inscription. No visible border.

ISSXRISOS

Iηsus Xristos.

Reverse

Two half-length figures: at left, Leo VI, bearded, wearing a crown surmounted by 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 almost at front. They hold between them a labarum. Circular inscription. No visible border.

.EOSAL...A

[L]eon (καὶ) Al[exa]n(dros) aug(usti).

Obverse

Half-length representation of Christ, lightly bearded, wearing a tunic and himation. He raises his right hand in blessing and holds in his left a book with a cover decorated with pellets. He has a cross behind his head. Circular inscription. No visible border.

ISSXRISOS

Iηsus Xristos.

Reverse

Two half-length figures: at left, Leo VI, bearded, wearing a crown surmounted by 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 almost at front. They hold between them a labarum. Circular inscription. No visible border.

.EOSAL...A

[L]eon (καὶ) Al[exa]n(dros) aug(usti).

Accession number BZS.1955.1.4298 (formerly DO 55.1.4298)
Diameter 26.0 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 53.2; Zacos–Veglery, no. 60b. For a similar seal, but from a different boulloterion, see Speck, Bleisiegel, no. 3.

Translation

Iηsus Xristos.
Leon καὶ Alexandros augusti.

Jesus Christ.
Leo and Alexander, augusti.

Commentary

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.

In Athens (Konstantopoulos, no. 278β), see also a specimen bearing a bust of Christ with an inscription reading IhSUSX-RISTUS, with NICA absent. See Konstantopoulos, no. 278β.