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John imperial episkeptites (eleventh century)

 
 

Obverse

Bust of St John the Baptist offering a blessing with his right hand and holding a rotulus in his left. Traces of epigraphy at left: |. : ὁ ἅ(γιος) [Ἰ]ω(άννης) [ὁ Πρόδρομος]. Border of dots.

Reverse

Inscription of four lines (presumably beginning with a cross). Border of dots.

κε.
..σ.̣,
..⸣ Ε.σ
κ̣ΕΤ,τ

Κ(ύρι)ε β(οή)[θ(ει) τῷ] σῷ [δ]ού(λῳ) [Ἰω(άννῃ)] β(ασιλικῷ) ἐπ[ι]σκεπτ{τ}(ί)τ(ῃ)

Obverse

Bust of St John the Baptist offering a blessing with his right hand and holding a rotulus in his left. Traces of epigraphy at left: |. : ὁ ἅ(γιος) [Ἰ]ω(άννης) [ὁ Πρόδρομος]. Border of dots.

Reverse

Inscription of four lines (presumably beginning with a cross). Border of dots.

κε.
..σ.̣,
..⸣ Ε.σ
κ̣ΕΤ,τ

Κ(ύρι)ε β(οή)[θ(ει) τῷ] σῷ [δ]ού(λῳ) [Ἰω(άννῃ)] β(ασιλικῷ) ἐπ[ι]σκεπτ{τ}(ί)τ(ῃ)

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.2072
Diameter 24.0 mm
Credit Line Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Thomas Whittemore.

Translation

Κύριε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Ἰωάννῃ βασιλικῷ ἐπισκεπττίτῃ.

Lord, help your servant John, imperial episkeptites.

Commentary

We have restored the owner's name as John on the basis of the room available at the beginning of the third line, where the standard abbreviation Ἰω(άννης) could fit. This reading has been confirmed by the parallel seal listed in this entry.