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John I (969–76)

Accession number BZS.1955.1.4316 (formerly DO 55.1.4316)
Diameter 31 mm
Field diameter 23 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 67.1; Zacos–Veglery, no. 73 (with a slightly different reading).

Obverse

Half-length representation of Christ, bearded, wearing a tunic and himation. He raises his right hand in blessing and holds a blook in his left. He has a nimbus cruciger, each limb of which is decorated with a row of two dots. At left and right, sigla IC-XC: Ἰ(ησοῦ)ς Χ(ριστό)ς. Circular inscription. Border of dots.

ISXRSREXRENANTIV

Iηs(us) Xr(istu)s rex regnantium.

Reverse

Half-length representation of John I, bearded, wearing a crown surmounted by a cross and a chlamys. He holds in his right hand a globus surmounted by a patriarchal cross and in his left seemingly a small cross. Circular inscription. Border of dots.

ΙΩAEXΩAVTOKATRˊ

Ἰωάnn(ης) ἐn Χ(ριστ)ῷ αὐτοκ<ρ>άτ(ωρ) Ῥωm(αίων).

Translation

Iηsus Xristus rex regnantium.
Ἰωάnnης ἐn Χριστῷ αὐτοκράτωρ Ῥωmαίων.

Jesus Christ, King of Kings.
John, in Christ, autokrator of the Romans.

Commentary

John I Tzimiskes reigned from 969–76. After his assassination of Nikephoros II, he sent Theophano into exile and married Theodora, a daughter of Constantine VII.

The first portion of the circular inscription on the reverse cannot be read with any confidence, and attribution is by process of elimination. There are too many letters for Romanos’s name and it is impossible to read Nikephoros’s. The seal is similar to a specimen on which its editor, Likhachev, Molivdovuly, pl. LXXVI, no. 10, believed that he could read the name John.

Zacos and Veglery have correctly noted that the combination on the obverse of the inscription Iηs(us) Xr(istu)s rex regnantium with the sigla IC-XC for Ἰ(ησοῦ)ς Χ(ριστό)ς is unusual.

Accession number BZS.1955.1.4316 (formerly DO 55.1.4316)
Diameter 31 mm
Field diameter 23 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 67.1; Zacos–Veglery, no. 73 (with a slightly different reading).

Accession number BZS.1955.1.4316 (formerly DO 55.1.4316)
Diameter 31 mm
Field diameter 23 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 67.1; Zacos–Veglery, no. 73 (with a slightly different reading).

Notes

Accession number BZS.1955.1.4316 (formerly DO 55.1.4316)
Diameter 31 mm
Field diameter 23 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 67.1; Zacos–Veglery, no. 73 (with a slightly different reading).

Parallels

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