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Manuel I Komnenos (1143–1180)

Accession Number:
BZS.1958.106.607 (formerly DO 58.106.607)

Previous Editions

DO Seals 6 no. 93.1; Zacos-Veglery, no. 107a; Oikonomides, Byzantine Lead Seals, 17, no. 49.

Details

Diameter:
44 mm
Field:
32 mm
Weight:
47.70 g

Obverse

Manuel I Komnenos (1143–1180)

Half-length representation of a beardless Christ, wearing a tunic and himation, blessing with his right hand and holding a scroll in his left. He has a nimbus cruciger; each arm contains a decoration of five pellets. At left and right, sigla: IC-XC: Ἱ(σοῦ)ς Χ(ριστό)ς. Inscription in two columns: ὁ Ἐμμανουήλ. Border of dots.

Reverse

Manuel I Komnenos (1143–1180)

Manuel standing, wearing a crown and a loros, an end of which is draped over his left wrist and decorated with seven pellets. He holds a labarum in his right hand and an akakia in his left. Circular inscription beginning at 6:30. Border of dots.

Manuel I Komnenos (1143–1180)

Μανουὴλ δεσπότης ὁ πορφυρογέννητος.

Translation

Μανουὴλ δεσπότης ὁ πορφυρογέννητος.

Manuel despotes, the porphyrogennetos.

Audio

Commentary

On the obverse, the letter H in the columnar inscription at right is carved like a backwards N. On the reverse, note the that the omicron-upsilon ligature is no longer shaped like a horseshoe.

A gold bulla of Manuel I is to be found in the archives of the Lavra monastery on Mount Athos. An illustration of the specimen may be conveniently consulted in Lavra 1: pl. LXXX, no. 6. The obverse is decorated with a half-length depiction of Christ Emmanuel; on the obverse appears a representation of Emperor Manuel holding a labarum in his right hand.

The number of pellets at the end of the loros, draped over the emperor's left wrist, varies in number from six (on some coins) to eight (on the specimen preserved in Seibt-Zarnitz). The scroll that Christ holds is more clearly delineated on Seibt-Zarnitz, no. 1.1.9, Seyrig, no. 8, and Seibt, Bleisiegel, no. 29b, although Christ's face is better preserved on the current seal and BZS.1955.1.4350 than on those three as well as Seibt, Bleisiegel, no. 29a.

 

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