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The orphanotrophos (eleventh/twelfth century)

 
 

Obverse

Half-length of St Paul, turned slightly to his left, holding a book in his left hand (or writing); details indistinct. On either side, sigla: ο̣|α̣|γ|ι|ο|σ̣π|αυ|λο|σ : ὁ ἅγιος Παύλος. Border of dots.

Reverse

Inscription of five lines, a cross above. Border of dots.


σφργισ
μτουτι̣
σεπτονορ
φνοτρ̣ο
φου

σφράγισμα τουτὶ σεπτὸν ὀρφανοτρόφου

Obverse

Half-length of St Paul, turned slightly to his left, holding a book in his left hand (or writing); details indistinct. On either side, sigla: ο̣|α̣|γ|ι|ο|σ̣π|αυ|λο|σ : ὁ ἅγιος Παύλος. Border of dots.

Reverse

Inscription of five lines, a cross above. Border of dots.


σφργισ
μτουτι̣
σεπτονορ
φνοτρ̣ο
φου

σφράγισμα τουτὶ σεπτὸν ὀρφανοτρόφου

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.1207
Diameter 34.0 mm; field: 30.0 mm

Translation

σφράγισμα τουτὶ σεπτὸν ὀρφανοτρόφου.

The august seal of the Orphanotrophos.

Commentary

An unusual inscription made more interesting by its anonymity and arrangement into a twelve-syllable verse. The adjective σεπτόν agrees with σφράγισμα but seems to be a transferred epithet emphasizing the prestige of the owner's office.