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Basil I and Constantine (869–79)

Accession number BZS.1955.1.4293 (formerly DO 55.1.4293)
Diameter 25 mm
Condition More than half the seal is missing. Reverse is corroded.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 51.17.

Obverse

Bust of Christ, although only his left shoulder and the right transverse bar of the cross behind his head are visible. Remains of a circular inscription at right. Border of dots.

..SSXRISS

[Iηsus X]ristos.

Reverse

Two figures, although only the left is visible: Basil I, bearded, wearing a crown surmounted by a cross. He and Constantine (missing from this specimen) hold a labarum between them. Remains of a circular inscription. Border of dots.

.....LCE.OSAA

[Bas]ilios ce C[onstant(inos) aug(usti)].

Translation

Iηsus Xristos.
Basilios ce Constantinos augusti.

Jesus Christ.
Basil and Constantine, augusti.

Commentary

On solidi dating from Basil’s joint reign with Constantine, the obverse depicts Christ seated on a lyre-backed throne, while on the reverse are Basil to left and Constantine to right, holding between them a patriarchal cross on long shaft.  Basil wears a loros, and Constantine a chlamys (DOC 3.2:2a1 [pl. 30]). In common with the coinage as well is the employment of "augusti," present on the class 2 solidus as well as class 2d follis (DOC 3.2:9d.1 [pl. 31]).

Grierson explains the awkward relationship between the chronology of coinage and the depiction of Basil’s co-emperors in terms of the former's antipathy towards his middle son, Leo. Dating here follows that of the class 2 solidus, up to Constantine’s death in 879, rather than the class 2 follis, which includes Leo after his association with Basil in 870, and reflects the degree to which the design of imperial seals followed that of the solidus.

The labarum, held between Basil and Constantine, is found on classes 1 and 2 folles minted in Constantinople, dated by Grierson to 868–70 (DOC 3.2: 8-9).

Accession number BZS.1955.1.4293 (formerly DO 55.1.4293)
Diameter 25 mm
Condition More than half the seal is missing. Reverse is corroded.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 51.17.

Accession number BZS.1955.1.4293 (formerly DO 55.1.4293)
Diameter 25 mm
Condition More than half the seal is missing. Reverse is corroded.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 51.17.

Notes

Accession number BZS.1955.1.4293 (formerly DO 55.1.4293)
Diameter 25 mm
Condition More than half the seal is missing. Reverse is corroded.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 51.17.

Parallels

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