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John (Doukas), caesar (eleventh century, second half)

 
 

Obverse

Bust of the Mother of God orans, the medallion of Christ before her; details indistinct. Sigla on either side: ̅ΘΥ̅ : Μή(τη)ρ Θ(εο)ῦ. Within a border of thick dots, a circular inscription beginning with a cross at nine o’clock.

θκεοηθ,τσ..

Θ(εοτό)κε βοήθ(ει) τῷ σῷ [δού(λῳ)]

Reverse

Bust of the owner (bearded), holding a globus in his right hand. Within a border of thick dots, a partially legible circular inscription beginning at nine o’clock.

ι̣̣Τ̣̣ευτυχεστατΚ̣Α̣Ι̣Σ̣Α̣Ρ,

Ἰω(άννῃ) τῷ εὐτυχεστάτ(ῳ) καίσαρ(ι)

Obverse

Bust of the Mother of God orans, the medallion of Christ before her; details indistinct. Sigla on either side: ̅ΘΥ̅ : Μή(τη)ρ Θ(εο)ῦ. Within a border of thick dots, a circular inscription beginning with a cross at nine o’clock.

θκεοηθ,τσ..

Θ(εοτό)κε βοήθ(ει) τῷ σῷ [δού(λῳ)]

Reverse

Bust of the owner (bearded), holding a globus in his right hand. Within a border of thick dots, a partially legible circular inscription beginning at nine o’clock.

ι̣̣Τ̣̣ευτυχεστατΚ̣Α̣Ι̣Σ̣Α̣Ρ,

Ἰω(άννῃ) τῷ εὐτυχεστάτ(ῳ) καίσαρ(ι)

Accession number BZS.1958.106.633
Diameter 22.0 mm; field: 17.0 mm
Condition Poorly imprinted.

Translation

Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Ἰωάννῃ τῷ εὐτυχεστάτῳ καίσαρι.

Theotokos, help your servant John, the most fortunate caesar.

Commentary

Zacos attributed this series of seals to John Doukas, the famous caesar and brother of Constantine X Doukas (1059–67). These seals are remarkable for their depictions of John Doukas himself on the reverse. Although John was caesar (kaisar) from 1060, upon the accession of Constantine X, until his death in 1088, Zacos assigned these seals to the narrower period from 1060 to 1071, when John became basileopator (BZS.1955.1.3008).