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Priests and ekklesiekdikoi (of Saint Sophia) (fourteenth century)

Accession Number:

Previous Editions

DO Seals 5 no. 42.22; Zacos, Seals II, no. 73c (twelfth century); Laurent, Corpus 5.3: no. 1654C (fifteenth century).


49 mm
Cut on two sides and bent.


Priests and ekklesiekdikoi (of Saint Sophia) (fourteenth century)

Justinian (left) and the Mother of God (right) holding between them a model of the church of Saint Sophia, which offers a view within of a cross set on an altar. Inscriptions: above and in center: ΗΑΓΙΑ|σο|φι|α : Ἡ Ἁγία Σοφία. Remains of an inscription on left: Ν: [Ἰουστινιανὸν δεσπό]την; and remains of identifying inscription at right: Ο.Θ :[Μή(τη)ρ Θ(εο)ῦ – Ἡ Β]ο[ή]θ[εια]. No visible border.


Priests and ekklesiekdikoi (of Saint Sophia) (fourteenth century)

Inscription of five lines with cross above and followed by decoration. Border of dots.


Τοῖς θεοσεβεστάτ[οις π]ρεσβυτέρο[ις] καὶ ἐκκλη[σ]εκδίκοις


Τοῖς θεοσεβεστάτοις πρεσβυτέροις καὶ ἐκκλησεκδίκοις.

(The Mother of God is the aid to) the most God-revering priests and ekklesiekdikoi.



For a discussion of the ekklesiekdikoi, who formed a tribunal, operating out of Saint Sophia, and the iconography associated with their seals, see the brief introduction in DO Seals 5, pages 88–89, as well as J. Cotsonis, "The Virgin and Justinian on Seals of the Ekklesiekdikoi of Hagia Sophia."

This specimen is parallel to BZS.1955.1.4913, despite the poor condition of the present seal, for the following reasons, all of which refer to the reverse side. The pi and rho at the beginning of the third line, typically in ligature on later seals of the priests and ekklesiekdikoi, are on both seals separate. There is a notable space between the upsilon and tau in the middle of line three (πρεσβυτέροις), and in the final line the second kappa of ἐκκλησεκδίκοις is slightly lower than the other letters. Finally, both seals have identical decoration above and below the reverse inscription.


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