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The imperial kommerkia of Mesembria (736/7?)

Accession number BZS.1958.106.690
Diameter 31 mm
Condition One-third missing.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 77.7.
Zacos-Veglery, no. 251.
A parallel specimen has been published several times; cf. Bibicou, Douanes, 231, no. 63.


Two emperors represented half-length holding a cross set on globus between them; only the figure on the right, wearing chlamys, is visible. No epigraphy or border visible.


Inscription of five lines. Wreath border.


Τῶν βασιλικῶν κομμερκίων Μεσημβρίας.   Ἰνδικτιὼν εˊ


Τῶν βασιλικῶν κομμερκίων Μεσημβρίας.   Ἰνδικτιὼν εˊ.

(Seal of) the imperial kommerkia of Mesembria.   Indiction 5.


For this seal, we follow the classification of Zacos-Veglery, the principles of which are explained ibid., I, 301-3. Leo III and Constantine V are typically shown on dated seals of 729-739 holding a cross set on a globus between them; after 741 the cross seems to be set on a rectangular base. In addition, the figure at r. seems to be beardless. Thus the seal should date to 736/7, four years before Constantine became sole emperor. The year 751/2 may be securely excluded, since in those years dated seals typically carry representations of three emperors.