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Anonymous (twelfth century)

 
 

Obverse

St John the Baptist standing, holding a staff cross over his left shoulder and raising his right hand in the call for repentance. Inscription on either side: ο|ι|οπ|ρ|ο|ρο|μ|ο|σ : ὁ (ἅγιος) Ἰω(άννης) ὁ Πρόδρομος. Border of thick dots.

Reverse

Inscription of five lines beginning with a cross. Border of thick dots.

σφρ
γιστπ
νολ̣Ιγο
ν̣Ουπε
λ̣

σφραγὶς ταπεινοῦ ὀλιγόνου πέλω

Obverse

St John the Baptist standing, holding a staff cross over his left shoulder and raising his right hand in the call for repentance. Inscription on either side: ο|ι|οπ|ρ|ο|ρο|μ|ο|σ : ὁ (ἅγιος) Ἰω(άννης) ὁ Πρόδρομος. Border of thick dots.

Reverse

Inscription of five lines beginning with a cross. Border of thick dots.

σφρ
γιστπ
νολ̣Ιγο
ν̣Ουπε
λ̣

σφραγὶς ταπεινοῦ ὀλιγόνου πέλω

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.1905
Diameter 22.0 mm
Previous Editions

Cf. Wassiliou-Seibt, Siegel mit metrischen Legenden II, no. 2920.

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

Translation

σφραγὶς ταπεινοῦ ὀλιγόνου πέλω.

I am the seal of a humble man of limited understanding.

Commentary

In her commentary on the vocabulary of this metrical inscription, emphasizing the owner's humility and ignorance, Wassiliou-Seibt proposes that the seal belonged to a monk; in turn, the image of St John the Baptist on the obverse suggests either the monastic name taken by the owner or a connection to the monastery to which he belonged.