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John Komnenos Doukas (1240-42)

Accession number BZS.1955.1.4356
Diameter 43 mm
Condition Seemingly double struck.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 100.1; Zacos-Veglery no. 115.


Two standing figures. At left, the emperor wears a crown and loros and holds a short labarum in his right hand, an akakia in his left. At right, St. Demetrios, wearing a cuirass and holding a square shield, places his hand on the emperor’s shoulder. Visible in the background are the crenellated walls of Thessalonike. Inscription identifying the saint: (ὁ ἅγιος) Δ(η)μ(ήτριος). Traces of an inscription identifying the emperor. Border of dots.




[Ἰ]ω(άννης) [δ]ε[σπό]τη[ς]

John, despotes


Inscription of eight lines. Border of dots.


Ἰω(άννης) ἐ[ν] Χριστῷ τῷ Θεῷ πιστὸς βασιλεὺς καὶ αὐτοκράτορ Ῥωμέων Κομνηνὸς ὁ Δούκας.


Ἰωάννης ἐν Χριστῷ τῷ Θεῷ πιστὸς βασιλεὺς καὶ αὐτοκράτορ Ῥωμέων Κομνηνὸς ὁ Δούκας.

John Komnenos Doukas, basileus faithful to Christ the Lord and autokrator of the Romans.


The inscription on the reverse is followed by a decoration resembling a colon.

In addition to the type of seal published here, John also employed a seal of simpler design. The obverse bears a depiction of Christ standing, holding the right hand in blessing; on the reverse appears a representation of John standing, holding a cross scepter in the right hand and an akakia in the left. See Seibt–Zarnitz, no. 1.1.11.

This seal was illustrated in Oikonomides, Byzantine Lead Seals, no. 52, and C. Morrisson, "The Emperor, the Saint, and the City: Coinage and Money in Thessalonike from the Thirteenth to the Fifteenth Century," DOP 57 (2003), no. 15.