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Michael hegoumenos of the monastery of St. Alypios (eleventh century)

Accession number BZS.1958.106.174
Diameter 19 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 5 no. 94.1.


Half-length depiction of St. Michael holding a scepter decorated with a row of five pellets. Inscription: μχ|α : Μ(ι)χα(ήλ). Border of dots.


Inscription of four lines preceded and followed by decoration. Border of dots.


Μιχαὴ(λ) ἡγουμ(ένῳ) μον(ῆς) τοῦ ἁγ(ί)ου 'Aλυπί(ου)


Μιχαὴλ ἡγουμένῳ μονῆς τοῦ ἁγίου Ἀλυπίου.

Michael hegoumenos of the monastery of St. Alypios.


The editors of DO Seals 5 suggest that the reading of the final word could be "Olympios," noting that a monastery of St. Olympios is known to have existed at Constantinople in the sixth century (Janin, Églises, 382). W. Seibt (BZ 100 [2007]: 235), on the other hand, suggests St. Alypios (Janin, Grands centres, 19).

On the whole, the second reading seems more likely. There are two letters after ΑΓ and before Λ on the third and fourth lines of the reverse, which is too many for either Olympios or Alypios, but the first letter of the final line appears to be pyramidal rather than circular (thus an A rather than an O). The final letter of the third line, moreover, appears rounded, though not for the entire height of other letters; it is possible that this is an omicron-upsilon ligature (cf. the third letter of the second line), yielding: ἁγ(ί)ου.