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Anonymous (eleventh century, second half)

 
 

Obverse

St Peter standing on a suppedion, holding a cross-staff with his left hand; his right hand is indistinct. Inscription in two columns: Ο|Α̣|Γ|Ι|Ο|ΣΠ|Ε|Τ|Ρ|Ο : ὁ ἅγιος Πέτρο(ς). Border of dots.  

Reverse

St Paul standing, blessing with his right hand and holding a book in his left. Inscription in two columns: Ο̣|Α̣|Γ|Ι|Ο|ΣΠ||Υ|ΛΟ|Σ : ὁ ἅγιος Παύλος. Border of dots. 

Obverse

St Peter standing on a suppedion, holding a cross-staff with his left hand; his right hand is indistinct. Inscription in two columns: Ο|Α̣|Γ|Ι|Ο|ΣΠ|Ε|Τ|Ρ|Ο : ὁ ἅγιος Πέτρο(ς). Border of dots.  

Reverse

St Paul standing, blessing with his right hand and holding a book in his left. Inscription in two columns: Ο̣|Α̣|Γ|Ι|Ο|ΣΠ||Υ|ΛΟ|Σ : ὁ ἅγιος Παύλος. Border of dots. 

Accession number BZS.1947.2.1853
Diameter 25.0 mm; field: 18.0 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 7, 14.3. 

Commentary

It is interesting to observe on this seal how Peter stands on a suppedion, thus indicating a sense of priority, while Paul does not. In the Eastern Church, Peter and Paul are usually referred together as the chief of the Apostles, the protokoryphaioi, and are most often depicted as equals. Here, our seal seems to prioritize Peter, a special dignity the Eastern Church always upheld, but in a different light from the western, papal Petrine prerogative, even during the period of the eleventh-century schism between the Roman and Eastern Churches, a period to which our seal is assigned. For the Byzantine understanding of the position of Saint Peter, see Meyendorff, “St. Peter,” 67-90.