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Words and Worth

The seal carries the reputation, family, and name of the nobelissimos George Manganes.

Inscriptions on seals could be used to express status or craft an identity. For the Byzantines, the form this took changed over time to meet their owner’s needs and the expectations of the society around them. Visually, inscriptions changed from monograms to linear text, and their content moved from a focus on status through service to state or Church to that granted by family connections. Recent arrivals to Byzantium or those living in the borderlands had to strike a careful balance between expressing their native identity and adopting elements from the empire in the quest for acceptance in their new home.

 

Exhibit Items