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Nikephoros III Botaneiates (1078–81)

 
 

Obverse

Bust of Christ lightly bearded, wearing a tunic and himation and holding the right hand in blessing and a book in the left. He has a nimbus cruciger, each arm of which has one pellet. Sigla at left and right: (ησοῦ)ς Χ(ριστό)ς. Border of dots.

Reverse

The emperor Nikephoros III standing on a square dais, wearing a loros, an end of which is draped over the left wrist. He holds a labarum in the right hand and a globus cruciger in the left. Circular inscription. Border of dots.

Νικηφ[όρ()] δεσπότ() [τῷ] Βοτανιάτ(ῃ).

Obverse

Bust of Christ lightly bearded, wearing a tunic and himation and holding the right hand in blessing and a book in the left. He has a nimbus cruciger, each arm of which has one pellet. Sigla at left and right: (ησοῦ)ς Χ(ριστό)ς. Border of dots.

Reverse

The emperor Nikephoros III standing on a square dais, wearing a loros, an end of which is draped over the left wrist. He holds a labarum in the right hand and a globus cruciger in the left. Circular inscription. Border of dots.

Νικηφ[όρ()] δεσπότ() [τῷ] Βοτανιάτ(ῃ).

Accession number BZS.1948.17.4296 (formerly DO 48.17.4296)
Diameter 24.0 mm
Previous Editions

Grierson, "Byzantine Gold Bullae," no. 6; Zacos-Veglery, no. 96.

Translation

Νικηφόρ δεσπότ τ Βοτανιάτῃ.

Nikephoros Botaneiates, despotes

Commentary

The gold of this seal is very base, reflecting the devaluation of the gold coinage in the the eleventh century, which reached its lowest purity during the reigns of Nikephoros and his successor, Alexios I Komnenos.

The blank of this seal is smaller than that of the examples in lead from Nikephoros's reign, and the reverse inscription is correspondingly more abbreviated.