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Herakleios and Herakleios Constantine (ca. 616–ca. 625)

Accession number BZS.1955.1.4255 (formerly DO 55.1.4255)
Diameter 25 mm
Condition Chipped.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 14.1; similar specimens: Likhachev, “Nekotorye,” 508–9, figs. 28 and 29, and Likhachev, Molivdovuly, no. LXXVI.2.


The Mother of God standing, wearing a chiton and maphorion, and holding Christ before her. A cross potent with an elongated vertical shaft at left and right. Wreath border.


Bust of the emperor Herakleios at left, and a smaller bust of Herakleios Constantine at right. Each wears a crown with a cross on top and a chlamys fastened with a fibula on the left shoulder. Herakleios is shown with a beard of medium length and Herakleios Constantine is beardless. Herakleios wears his hair long at the sides; while the left sidelock seems to be combed down and outward, the right seems to curl inward. A circular inscription beginning at left. Wreath border.


[D(omini)] n(ostri) Heracl[ius et] Hera(clius) C[onst(antinus) p(er)p(etui) aug(usti)].


Domini nostri Heraclius et Heraclius Constantinus perpetui augusti.

Our lords Herakleios and Herakleios Constantine, eternal augusti.


On the seals dated ca. 616–ca. 625, Herakleios has a longer beard and Herakleios Constantine’s bust is now somewhat larger than on earlier specimens.  Dating follows the numismatic evidence.

Seibt (Bleisiegel, 69) has employed the following criteria for classifying and dating seals, from ca. 616–ca. 625, with representations of Herakleios and Herakleios Constantine.  (1) ca. 616–ca. 625: the imperial hair style changes, as the ends now curl outward; the Virgin’s right foot supports her weight. (2) ca. 620–25: Herakleios’s beard is longer and thicker.

Likhachev's specimen, fig. 28, depicts the Mother of God’s left leg bent at the knee; additionally, the cross at right on the reverse is set higher than the one at left.