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Manuel I Komnenos (1143–1180)

Accession number BZS.1955.1.4350 (formerly DO 55.1.4350)
Diameter 39 mm
Condition Scrape (rev.).
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 93.3; Zacos–Veglery, no. 107b. For a similar seal, sea Seibt, Bleisiegel, no. 29a.


Half-length representation of a beardless Christ, wearing a tunic and himation and holding the right hand in blessing and a scroll in the left. He has a nimbus cruciger; each arm contains a decoration. Sigla at left and right: [(ησοῦ)]ς Χ(ριστό)ς. Inscription in two columns: []μ[μ]ανουήλ. Border of dots.


Manuel standing to front on a dais, wearing a crown and a loros, an end of which is draped over the left wrist and is decorated with seven pellets. He holds a labarum in the right hand and an akakia in the left. Circular inscription, beginning at 6:30. Border of dots.


Μαν[ουὴ]λ δε[σπό]τ(ης) πορφυρογέννητ(ος).


Μανουὴλ δεσπότης ὁ πορφυρογέννητος.

Manuel porphyrogennetos, despotes.


On the obverse the upsilon in the ligature of omicron and upsilon is in the shape of a horseshoe. The ligatures in the reverse inscription identifying the emperor are also found on a similar, but not identical, seal published by Likhachev, Molivdovuly, pl. LXXVIII, no. 7. The decoration of the central panel of the emperor’s costume is also found on the emperor’s bronze coinage, as for example DOC 4.1:15.31 (dated by Hendy to the period 1152–ca. 1160?).