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Anonymous (eleventh century)

 
 

Obverse

Bust of St Prokopios in military costume holding a lance in his right hand and a shield in his left. Inscription in two columns: ||Ρ̣Ο̣|Ο|Ι|Ο : ὁ ἅ(γιος) Προκόπιο(ς). Border of dots.

Reverse

Bust of St Theodote holding a small cross in her right hand, the left hand is indistinct, possibly raised before her breast. Inscription in two columns: Η|Α|ΓΙ|ΑΘΕ̣|Ο̣|Ο|Τ, : ἡ ἁγία Θεοδότ(η). Border of dots.

Obverse

Bust of St Prokopios in military costume holding a lance in his right hand and a shield in his left. Inscription in two columns: ||Ρ̣Ο̣|Ο|Ι|Ο : ὁ ἅ(γιος) Προκόπιο(ς). Border of dots.

Reverse

Bust of St Theodote holding a small cross in her right hand, the left hand is indistinct, possibly raised before her breast. Inscription in two columns: Η|Α|ΓΙ|ΑΘΕ̣|Ο̣|Ο|Τ, : ἡ ἁγία Θεοδότ(η). Border of dots.

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.3550
Diameter 27.0 mm; field: 23.0 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 7, no. 16.11.

Commentary

The depiction of female saints in general is less common than that of male saints on seals and that of Theodote is extremely rare. Among the major published collections, of 11,506 seals with religious figural imagery, she appears only once: Jordanov, Bulgaria 3, 2586A. On our seal, Theodote holds a small cross indicting her status as a martyr. The SynaxCP, 1093, records twelve saints named Theodote, eight of which are martyrs. In his alphabetical listing of Orthodox saints, Eustratiades, γιολόγιον, 176-177, lists nine saints named Theodote, eight of which are martyrs. None of these are connected to Saint Prokopios so it is impossible to determine which Theodote is represented. In the hagiographical literature, the mother of Prokopios is named Theodosia, and she, too, died as a martyr along with her son. Possibly the owner of our seal erroneously confused the names Theodote and Theodosia. The letter T at the end of the right-hand column of her inscription is clearly present, thus properly identifying the figure.