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John (eleventh century, second half)

 
 

Obverse

Standing figure of the Mother of God, her hands upraised in prayer. On either side, an inscription: ̅ΘΥ̅: Μή(τη)ρ Θ(εο)ῦ. Border of dots.

Reverse

Inscription of five lines beginning with a cross. Border of dots.

ΠΡΑ
ΕΙΣΣ
Ρ̣ΑΓΙΚ̣Α̣
Ι̣ΛΟΓΣ̣
Ι̅

πράξεις σφραγίζω καὶ λόγους Ἰω(άννου)

Obverse

Standing figure of the Mother of God, her hands upraised in prayer. On either side, an inscription: ̅ΘΥ̅: Μή(τη)ρ Θ(εο)ῦ. Border of dots.

Reverse

Inscription of five lines beginning with a cross. Border of dots.

ΠΡΑ
ΕΙΣΣ
Ρ̣ΑΓΙΚ̣Α̣
Ι̣ΛΟΓΣ̣
Ι̅

πράξεις σφραγίζω καὶ λόγους Ἰω(άννου)

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.423
Diameter 20.0 mm
Previous Editions

Cf. Wassiliou-Seibt, Siegel mit metrischen Legenden II, no. 1823 (with a different, somewhat improbable reading).

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

Translation

πράξεις σφραγίζω καὶ λόγους Ἰωάννου.

I seal John's acts and correspondence.

Commentary

The reading of the inscription is not wholly satisfactory. The inscription seems to present a commonplace formula, but the last two letters of the third line are not clear, and the first letter of the following line appears to be the standard abbreviation for καὶ (S). We have read these letters as καὶ, but with misgivings. Wassiliou-Seibt read the last letter of the fourth line as Ο and transcribed the last part as ὁ Ἰω(άννης); but in our mind, the Ο is in fact C (poorly engraved) and forms the last letter of λὀγους.