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Matthew I, patriarch of Constantinople (1397–1402; 1403–10)

Accession Number:
BZS.1958.106.316 (formerly DO 58.106.316)

Previous Editions

DO Seals 6 no. 127.1; Zacos, Seals 2: 51a; Laurent, Corpus 5.3: no. 1635; Oikonomides, Dated Lead Seals, no. 158. Cf. Galavaris, “Thokos,” no. 70 (p. 181).

Details

Diameter:
40 mm
Field:
30 mm
Weight:
51.13 g

Obverse

Matthew I, patriarch of Constantinople (1397–1402; 1403–10)

The Mother of God, seated on a backless throne, holding Christ on her knees. At left and right, two sets of sigla, M-P-ΘV: Μή(τη)ρ Θ(εο)ῦ, and IC-XC: Ἰ(ησοῦ)ς Χ(ριστό)ς. Border of dots.

Reverse

Matthew I, patriarch of Constantinople (1397–1402; 1403–10)

Inscription of eight lines. Border of dots.

Matthew I, patriarch of Constantinople (1397–1402; 1403–10)

Ματθαῖος ἐλέῳ Θ(εο)ῦ ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Κωνσταντινουπόλεως Νέας Ῥώμης καὶ οἰκουμενικὸς π(ατ)ρ(ι)άρχης.

Translation

Ματθαῖος ἐλέῳ Θεοῦ ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Κωνσταντινουπόλεως Νέας Ῥώμης καὶ οἰκουμενικὸς πατριάρχης.

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

Audio

Commentary

Matthew began his ecclesiastical career at age 15, when he entered the Charsianeites Monastery in Constantinople. He received instruction first from the abbot Mark and then his successor, Neilos, who later became patriarch and whom Matthew succeeded as abbot. He held this position throughout his reign as patriarch. He is remembered for writing a typikon of the monastery in which he reasserted the spiritual guidelines established by Mark and Neilos. See Janin, Églises, 501–2; ODB 2:1316; PLP 7, no. 17387; and Monastic Foundation Documents 4:1625.

In the last line on the reverse the alpha and rho are in ligature. Zacos (Seals 2: nos. 51b and c) has published two additional examples of Matthew’s seals: one from his own collection and a specimen from the Hermitage Collection (for this see also Likhachev, Molivdovuly, no. LXIX.11).

 

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