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Constantine X Doukas (1059-67)

 
 

Obverse

Christ enthroned on a lyre-backed throne, wearing a tunic and himation and holding the right hand in blessing. Sigla visible at left: (ησοῦ)ς [Χ(ριστό)ς]. Border of dots.

Reverse

Bust of an emperor (Constantine X?) wearing a crown with a cross and pendilia and a loros. He holds a globus cruciger in the left hand. Circular inscription. Border of dots.

.Τ,ΔΕΣΠΟΤ,

[Κωνσταν]τ(ῖνος) δεσπότ(ης)?

Obverse

Christ enthroned on a lyre-backed throne, wearing a tunic and himation and holding the right hand in blessing. Sigla visible at left: (ησοῦ)ς [Χ(ριστό)ς]. Border of dots.

Reverse

Bust of an emperor (Constantine X?) wearing a crown with a cross and pendilia and a loros. He holds a globus cruciger in the left hand. Circular inscription. Border of dots.

.Τ,ΔΕΣΠΟΤ,

[Κωνσταν]τ(ῖνος) δεσπότ(ης)?

Accession number BZS.1958.106.503 (formerly DO 58.106.503)
Diameter 24.0 mm; field: 17.0 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 79.1.

Translation

Κωνσταντῖνος δεσπότης?

Constantine, despotes.

Commentary

Since the inscription employs Greek letters on the reverse, one cannot doubt that the specimen dates from the XIth century. But the question remains: does it belong to Constantine IX, Constantine X, or still another Constantine? We note that on the gold seal of Constantine IX his title is given as δεσπότης. On the other hand, Constantine X’s seals feature, as seen above, a lyre-backed throne on the obverse. One reviewer has called attention to the bust’s youthful appearance and so it could be that the seal belonged to Michael VII’s brother Constantius or his son Constantine. The question remains open.