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Leo Semnos archithytes (=metropolitan) of Naupaktos (twelfth century)

Accession number BZS.1958.106.1
Diameter 37 mm
Field diameter 33 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 6.1. Laurent, Corpus V/1, no. 680. Cf. Wassiliou-Seibt, Siegel mit metrischen Legenden I, no. 145.


The Virgin standing holding Christ. On either side, the sigla: ̅ΘΥ̅: Μήτηρ Θεοῦ. Border of dots.


Inscription of six lines, decorations above and below. Border of dots.


Ἀρχιθύτην Λέοντα Ναυπάκτου σκέποις, σεμνή με Σεμνόν, ἡ πανύμνητος Κόρη.


Ἀρχιθύτην Λέοντα Ναυπάκτου σκέποις, σεμνή με Σεμνόν, ἡ πανύμνητος Κόρη.

Revered and all-hymned Virgin, may you watch over me, Leo Semnos, metropolitan of Naupaktos.


The inscription consists of two dodecasyllabic verses. Note the play on words in the owner's name, Semnos ("revered," "august," "holy") and the epithet used of the Virgin.

Laurent rightly identified the owner as the metropolitan of Naupaktos Leo who signed a synodic letter of 5 May 1172 (Grumel, Regestes, no. 1125). He had not deciphered the family name, Semnos, which is also attested in an inscription set up in Naupaktos by this same metropolitan Leo (cf. Νέον Ἀθήναιον 4 [1963] 153). The metropolitan church of Naupaktos was dedicated to the Virgin and this may explain the choice of iconography of the obverse: cf. B. Katsaros, in Byzantina 13/2 (1985) 1522-26.