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Anonymous (eleventh/twelfth century)

 
 

Obverse

Bust of the Virgin orans. Sigla: μρ̅θυ̅ : Μ(ήτη)ρ Θ(εο)ῦ. Border of dots.

Reverse

Two saints standing and embracing, most likely Peter (left) and Paul (right). Inscription in two columns (only part of the right survives): |.Α|.|. : ὁ ἅ(γιος) [Π]α[ύλος]. Border of dots.  

Obverse

Bust of the Virgin orans. Sigla: μρ̅θυ̅ : Μ(ήτη)ρ Θ(εο)ῦ. Border of dots.

Reverse

Two saints standing and embracing, most likely Peter (left) and Paul (right). Inscription in two columns (only part of the right survives): |.Α|.|. : ὁ ἅ(γιος) [Π]α[ύλος]. Border of dots.  

Accession number BZS.1955.1.1899
Diameter 27.0 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 7, 5.36. 

Commentary

Among the published collections there are just nine examples of the image of Peter and Paul embracing, all belonging to the eleventh and eleventh/twelfth centuries. This image has been understood in various ways within the context of eleventh-century ecclesiastical events: as an emblem of reconciliation between Rome and Constantinople following the schism of 1054; as an image of current Byzantine liturgical Eucharistic practices; and as a visual statement of anti-Latin polemics regarding Eucharistic practices of concelebrating clergy. For a discussion of published seals bearing the image of Peter and Paul embracing, see Cotsonis, “Contribution,” 419-421 and Stepanenko, “The Sts. Apostles Sts. Peter and Paul,” 319-321. For discussion of the historical and liturgical understandings of the image, see Gerstel, “Apostolic Embraces,” 141-148; eadem, Beholding the Sacred Mysteries, 59-63; and Sinkević, Nerezi, 33.