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Anonymous (twelfth/thirteenth century)

 
 

Obverse

Christ standing on a suppedion, almost completely effaced; at left, partial remains of the inscription of the sigla and faint traces of the epithet Chalkites. Sigla preserved at left: Ι̣Σ: Ἰ(ησοῦ)ς [Χ(ριστὸ)ς]. Partially preserved epithet: Ο̣|Χ̣|Α̣|Λ̣ : ὁ Χαλ[κίτης]. Indeterminate border.

Reverse

Equestrian saint, most likely George, given the thick curly hair and beardless face, facing right and letters of the partial remains of an overstruck six-line inscription visible. Inscription in six lines: .Α|.Τ|Ο..Α̣..|Σ̣Ρ̣Α̣ΓΙ.|.....|.Τ̣Η.. Border of dots.

Obverse

Christ standing on a suppedion, almost completely effaced; at left, partial remains of the inscription of the sigla and faint traces of the epithet Chalkites. Sigla preserved at left: Ι̣Σ: Ἰ(ησοῦ)ς [Χ(ριστὸ)ς]. Partially preserved epithet: Ο̣|Χ̣|Α̣|Λ̣ : ὁ Χαλ[κίτης]. Indeterminate border.

Reverse

Equestrian saint, most likely George, given the thick curly hair and beardless face, facing right and letters of the partial remains of an overstruck six-line inscription visible. Inscription in six lines: .Α|.Τ|Ο..Α̣..|Σ̣Ρ̣Α̣ΓΙ.|.....|.Τ̣Η.. Border of dots.

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.3718
Diameter 35.0 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 7, no. 19.7.

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

Commentary

This token was published by Nesbitt, “Overstruck Seals,” 71-72 and assigned to the twelfth century. He makes no mention of an epithet. The image of Christ standing on a suppedion is found on seals of emperors and empresses from the end of the twelfth-beginning of the thirteenth century (Euphrosyne Doukaina, 1195-1203) to those from the Palaiologan period (see Zacos-Veglery, BLS 1:1, nos. 111-128bis and DOSeals 6, nos. 103.1-104.2 and 108.1). For this reason it seems better to assign our token to the twelfth/thirteenth century. In addition, the epithet Chalkites for Christ is more commonly encountered during these years. Among the published collections, the image of Christ Chalkites is found on eight seals, six of which are assigned to the twelfth/thirteenth and thirteenth centuries. The epithet refers to the image of Christ of the Chalke gate of the imperial palace in Constantinople. For more recent discussion of this image, see Brubaker-Haldon, Iconoclast Era, 128-135. Epithets pertaining to Christ are very few in number compared to the vast collection of epithets known for the Virgin. Among the major published collections of seals, there are just eight known epithets accompanying images of Christ. Regarding the equestrian military saints, among the published collections, there are 47 such examples on seals. Of those that are clearly identified, George is the most commonly found: 12 examples.