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Nikephoros I (802–3)?

Accession number BZS.1955.1.4275 (formerly DO 55.1.4275)
Diameter 25 mm
Condition One-quarter missing
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 37.1; Zacos–Veglery, no. 42.


Bust of Nikephoros, bearded. He wears a crown and a chlamys pinned together with a fibula on his shoulder. He wears his hair long at the sides, and the ends are curled inward. He holds a cross potent on a base in his right hand and in his left an akakia. No epigraphy. Linear border.




Nikephoros ruled from 802 to 811. In December of 803 he raised his son Staurakios to the rank of co-emperor. On gold coins issued when Nikephoros reigned alone the obverse shows the bearded bust of the emperor, holding a cross potent on base in his right hand and in his left an akakia (for example, DOC 3.1:1a.2 [pl. 15]).

This seal is very similar to the portrait on Nikephoros's solidus, but lacking an inscription, it is impossible to state definitively that it belongs to him.