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The church of Antioch (ninth century)

Accession number BZS 1951.31.5.1987
Diameter 25 mm
Condition Oxidized
Previous Editions

DO Seals 5 no. 9.17; Laurent, Corpus 5.2: no. 1514 (dated to the ninth/tenth centuries). Parallel specimens in Sig., 315, nos. 6 and 7.


Inscription of two lines. Thick linear border.


Ἁγ(ίας) ἐκκλ(ησίας)


Inscription of two lines followed by a row of pellets. Thick linear border.




Ἁγίας ἐκκλησίας Θεουπόλεως.

(Seal of) the holy church of Theoupolis (= Antioch).


The seal "of the church of Antioch" is one of several bearing this type of anonymous inscription (see also BZS.1947.2.187, BZS.1958.106.182, and BZS.1955.1.5052). In addition to these, see Oikonomides, "The Anonymous Seal," one "of the holy church of Emesa" (J. W. Nesbitt, "Byzantine Lead Seals from the Vicinity of the Governor's Palace and Warehouse," 2, no. 10), and "of the church of Theoupolis" (Cheynet, Sceaux byzantins, no. 62). Oikonomides suggested that such seals were issued when the metropolitan was absent from his see or when the episcopal throne was vacant.

BZS.1955.1.5052 reads, on the obverse, "holy churches," indicated by double lambdas. The editors of DO Seals 5 note that this reading for the present specimen is not out of the question.