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Argyros (tenth/eleventh century)

 
 

Obverse

A patriarchal cross mounted on a base of one step. Large pellets adorn the ends of both transverse bars; stars on either side. Within concentric borders of dots, a circular inscription beginning with a cross at twelve o'clock:

σταρσοτιριαταργυρου

σταβρ(ὸς) σοτιρία τοῦ Ἀργυροῦ

Reverse

Inscription of four lines, a decoration above and below. Border of dots.


σρα
γι..δΨ
υχικ,σ
τηρια


σφραγὶ[ς ἥ]δ(ε) ψυχικ(ῆς) σωτηρία(ς)

Obverse

A patriarchal cross mounted on a base of one step. Large pellets adorn the ends of both transverse bars; stars on either side. Within concentric borders of dots, a circular inscription beginning with a cross at twelve o'clock:

σταρσοτιριαταργυρου

σταβρ(ὸς) σοτιρία τοῦ Ἀργυροῦ

Reverse

Inscription of four lines, a decoration above and below. Border of dots.


σρα
γι..δΨ
υχικ,σ
τηρια


σφραγὶ[ς ἥ]δ(ε) ψυχικ(ῆς) σωτηρία(ς)

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.3000
Diameter 21.0 mm; field: 19.0 mm
Credit Line Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Thomas Whittemore.

Translation

σταβρὸς σοτιρία τοῦ Ἀργυροῦ. σφραγὶς ἥδε ψυχικῆς σωτηρίας.

The Cross is Argyros' salvation. This seal is the sign of spiritual salvation.

Commentary

This is not a seal but a copper token, afterwards punctured in the middle to allow for suspension. Note the horizontal rather than vertical axis on which it rotates.