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Michael VIII Palaiologos (1261-1282)

Accession number BZS.1955.1.4358
Diameter 27 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 104.2.


Christ bearded standing before a low thokos, wearing a tunic and himation and holding the right hand in blessing and a book in the left. He has a nimbus cruciger. Sigla visible at left: ΙΣ̅ : Ἰ(ησοῦ)ς [Χ(ριστό)ς]. Border of dots.


The emperor Michael VIII standing, wearing a crown and chlamys. He holds a labarum in the right hand and an akakia in the left. So far as one can tell the emperor’s chin is covered with a short beard. One can discern, in an abbreviated and stylized form, the manus Dei in the upper right field. Inscription in two columns. Border of dots.

..                    Ο
ΔΕ                   ΠΑ
ΣΠΟ                  Λ
 ΤΙ                     ΕΟ
  Σ                      ΛΟ

[Μ(ι)χ(αὴλ)] δεσπότις ὁ Παλεολόγος.


Michael Palaiologos, despotes.


Zacos and Veglery have published two variant types. On their type A Michael is represented holding a short labarum in the right hand and a globus surmounted by a patriarchal cross in the left (Zacos–Veglery, no. 120). A superb example of this type is preserved in the Istanbul Collection. See Ébersolt, Sceaux, pl. VII, no. 6. On this specimen it is possible to discern that the emperor is wearing a long, pointed beard. In the upper right. field the manus Dei appears quite clearly. On their type B (no. 121) the emperor wears a loros, an end of which is draped over the left forearm. He holds a cross scepter in the right hand and an akakia in the left.