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Christophoros episkeptites of Mesopotamia (eleventh century)

Accession number BZS.1958.106.3313
Diameter 20 mm
Condition Blank too small for die.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 4, no. 55.1.

Better preserved specimens are published in Zacos, Seals II, no. 398, and Ebersolt, Sceaux, no. 383.


Bust of a bishop-saint, no doubt St. Nicholas, blessing with his right hand and holding a book in his left hand. Remnants of a vertical inscription at right: ο|λ : [Ὁ ἅγιος Νικ]όλ[αος]. Border of dots.


Inscription of four lines, a decoration below. Border of dots.


[Χ]ριστ[οφ(όρῳ) ἐ]πισκεπτίτ(ῃ) Μεσοποταμ(ίας)


Χριστοφόρῳ ἐπισκεπτίτῃ Μεσοποταμίας.

Christophoros, episkeptites of Mesopotamia.


Another seal of an episkeptites of Mesopotamia is mentioned in the Mordtmann collection (A. Mordtmann, "Plombs byzantins de la Grèce et du Péleponnèse," RA 33 [1877], 297; still unpublished, as far as we know). These seals indicate that part of the land in Mesopotamia was converted into an episkepsis for direct exploitation by the state.