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Constantine VII and Zoe (914–19)

 
 

Obverse

Half-length representation of Christ, lightly bearded, wearing a tunic and himation. He raises his right hand in blessing and holds a book in his left hand. He has a cross behind his head. Circular inscription. No visible border.

SSX...OS

[I]ηsus X[ris]tos.

Reverse

Two half-length figures: at left, Constantine VII, wearing a crown surmounted by a cross and a loros; at right, Zoe, wearing a crown with a large jewel in front, long pendilia, and a tripartite decoration on top. She wears a chlamys pinned together with a fibula on her right shoulder. They hold between them a patriarchal cross. Circular inscription. Border of dots.

.CO..ASZVHASILˊ.

Con[st]ant(inos) (καὶ) Zωη basil(is) [R(omeon)].

Obverse

Half-length representation of Christ, lightly bearded, wearing a tunic and himation. He raises his right hand in blessing and holds a book in his left hand. He has a cross behind his head. Circular inscription. No visible border.

SSX...OS

[I]ηsus X[ris]tos.

Reverse

Two half-length figures: at left, Constantine VII, wearing a crown surmounted by a cross and a loros; at right, Zoe, wearing a crown with a large jewel in front, long pendilia, and a tripartite decoration on top. She wears a chlamys pinned together with a fibula on her right shoulder. They hold between them a patriarchal cross. Circular inscription. Border of dots.

.CO..ASZVHASILˊ.

Con[st]ant(inos) (καὶ) Zωη basil(is) [R(omeon)].

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.1652
Diameter 32.0 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 56.1; Zacos–Veglery, no. 62b.

Credit Line Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Thomas Whittemore.

Translation

Iηsus Xristos.
Constantinos καὶ Zωη basilis Romeon.

Jesus Christ.
Constantine and Zoe, basileis of the Romans.

Commentary

The design of the seal closely resembles Grierson’s class 1 follis (DOC 3.2:22.2 [pl. 38]), with a difference in the spelling of Zoe’s name (ZOH on the coin).