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Nikephoros I and Staurakios (803–11)?

Accession number BZS.1958.106.632 (formerly DO 58.106.632)
Diameter 31 mm
Field diameter 21 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 39.1; Zacos–Veglery, no. 44.


Half-length representations of a bearded emperor with mustache at left and an unbearded emperor with youthful face at right. Each figure is of equal height and wears a crown surmounted by a cross and a chlamys pinned together with a fibula on his right shoulder. No symbols of rulership or epigraphy are present. A small cross potent with elongated ends in the middle of the supper field. Border of dots.




Nikephoros promoted his son to the rank of co-emperor in December of 803, who succeeded him in 811 before being deposed by his brother-in-law Michael, reigning only two months (26 July to 2 October 811).

Zacos and Veglery were uncertain about the attribution of this seal. On the basis of stylistic considerations they felt that the specimen could be attributed to one of two joint reigns: (a) Leo IV and Constantine VI (776–80); or (b) Nikephoros I and Staurakios (803–11). Zacos and Veglery dismissed the first possibility because Leo and Constatntine were regularly shown on their gold and copper coins with representations of their predecessors, Leo III and Constantine V. On their gold coins Nikephoros and Staurakios appear with symbols of rulership in their hands, but on an anonymous bronze issue they are represented exactly as on our seal (for example, DOC 3.1:5.1 [pl. 16]). Each is of the same height. A small cross potent with elongated ends appears in the middle of the upper field.