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The diakonia of the property of Athanasios (seventh century)

 
 

Obverse

St. Stephanos standing with arms raised at his sides. Inscription in two columns: Ο|.|ΓΙ.ΣΣ|Τ|ΕΦ|Ν|ΟΣ : Ὁ [ἅ]γι[ο]ς Στέφανος. Indeterminate border.

Reverse

Inscription of four lines. Wreath border.

ΙΚ
ΟΝΙΣΤ
ΝΘ
.ΣΙ

Διακονίας τῶν Ἀθα[ν]ασίου

Obverse

St. Stephanos standing with arms raised at his sides. Inscription in two columns: Ο|.|ΓΙ.ΣΣ|Τ|ΕΦ|Ν|ΟΣ : Ὁ [ἅ]γι[ο]ς Στέφανος. Indeterminate border.

Reverse

Inscription of four lines. Wreath border.

ΙΚ
ΟΝΙΣΤ
ΝΘ
.ΣΙ

Διακονίας τῶν Ἀθα[ν]ασίου

Accession number BZS.1958.106.181
Diameter 28.0 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 5 no. 29.1; J. W. Nesbitt, "Byzantine Copper Tokens," 71–72; Zacos–Veglery, no. 1281b (seventh/eighth century). Parallel specimen: Zacos–Veglery, no. 1281a.

Translation

Διακονίας τῶν Ἀθανασίου.

The diakonia of the property of Athanasios.

Commentary

In using the term "of the property" we are simply re-employing Laurent's heading "La diaconie du domaine d'Athanase." As Laurent observes, the phrase τῶν Ἀθανασίου should refer to "the old eponym where the diaconate was established." No source preserves any information about the founder of this diaconate and its location within the capital. Note that the specimen is a tessera and as such may have served as a grain token.

Laurent lists this specimen in Corpus 5.2: no. 1210 (tenth century), where he has republished with a photo a parallel specimen found in the Dobroudja and originally published by C. C. Seăšanu, "Sigilli ši lessere bizantine găsile Dobrogea," Rasarital (7–8 din 1938): 3–8.