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Kosmas I, patriarch of Constantinople (1075–81)

Accession Number:
BZS.1955.1.4954 (formerly DO 55.1.4954)

Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 119.2; for another specimen, from the same boulloterion and perhaps from the same stock of blanks, see Laurent, Corpus 5.1: no. 19 bis (= Zacos, Seals 2: no. 18a).


52 mm
31 mm
Two holes.


Kosmas I, patriarch of Constantinople (1075–81)

The Mother of God, seated on a backless throne. At right, sigla ΘV: [Μ(ήτη)ρ] Θ(εο)ῦ. Linear border.


Kosmas I, patriarch of Constantinople (1075–81)

Inscription of eight lines. Border of dots.


Κοσμᾶς ἐλέῳ Θ(εο)ῦ ἀρχ(ι)επίσκοπος [Κ]ων[στα]ντ(ι)ν[ου]πόλ[εως Ν]έας [Ῥ]ώμ[ης κ]αὶ ο[ἰκ]ουμενικ(ὸς) π(ατ)ριάρχ(ης).


Κοσμᾶς ἐλέῳ Θεοῦ ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Κωνσταντινουπόλεως Νέας Ῥώμ[ης καὶ οἰκουμενικὸς πατριάρχης.

Kosmas, by the grace of God, archbishop of Constantinople, the New Rome, and ecumenical patriarch.



Before ascending the patriarchal throne on 8 August 1075, Kosmas had come to Constantinople from Jerusalem and had lived at the capital in a monastery near the palace of the Blachernai. He was esteemed for his piety and became patriarch after the death of John VIII Xiphilinos on 2 August. Sitting at the head of a holy synod, he advocated for the abdication of Michael VII (1071–78) and the succession of Nikephoros III Botaneiates, a general whom he crowned in April of 1078. He opposed as adulterous Botaneiates’ marriage to Michael VII’s wife, Maria. When Alexios Komnenos raised the standard of revolt, Kosmas, in league with Caesar John Doukas, intimated to Botaneiates that the time had come for him in turn to step down from the imperial throne. After crowning Alexios in 1081, and obliging by synodal decree the emperor and his followers to undergo penance for certain deadly attacks that had occurred in Constantinople, Kosmas gave up the patriarchal throne and retired to the monastery of Kallios, that is, the monastery of St. Anthony Kauleas (see commentary at BZS.1958.106.309). See Skoulatos, Personnages, 165–66.


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