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John I (969–76)

Accession number BZS.1958.106.642 (formerly DO 58.106.642)
Diameter 22 mm
Field diameter 20 mm
Condition No channel for suspension
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 66.2; Zacos–Veglery, no. 74b.

Obverse

Half-length representation of Christ, wearing a tunic and himation. He raises his right hand in blessing and holds a book in his left. Circular inscription. Border of dots.

ISXRSREXRENANTI

Iηs(us) Xr(istu)s rex regnanti<u>m.

Reverse

Two half-length figures: at left, John I, bearded, wearing a cross-topped crown and a loros; at right, the Mother of God raising her right arm and blessing the emperor by setting her hand on his crown. Circular inscription. Border of dots.

.EOTOC.....ΩESP

[Θ]εοτοc(e) [bοήθ(ει) Ἰ]ω(άννῃ) desp(oti).

Translation

Iηsus Xristus rex regnantium.
Θεοτοce bοήθει Ἰωάννῃ despoti.

Jesus Christ, King of Kings.
Mother of God, help John, despotes.

Commentary

John I Tzimiskes reigned from 969–76. After his assassination of Nikephoros II, he sent Theophano into exile and married Theodora, a daughter of Constantine VII. His gold coin, the design of which this seal follows closely, features a half-length representation of Christ on the obverse and on the reverse half-length representations of the emperor and the Mother of God. She touches the emperor’s crown with her right hand. Above the emperor’s head appears the manus Dei (DOC 3.2:3.7 [pl. 42]; BNC 2:40/Cp/AV/05 [pl. 80, AV/05]).

This specimen, along with BZS.1958.106.643, may be a tessera.

Whether the manus Dei appears on the reverse of this seal is uncertain.

Accession number BZS.1958.106.642 (formerly DO 58.106.642)
Diameter 22 mm
Field diameter 20 mm
Condition No channel for suspension
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 66.2; Zacos–Veglery, no. 74b.

Notes

Accession number BZS.1958.106.642 (formerly DO 58.106.642)
Diameter 22 mm
Field diameter 20 mm
Condition No channel for suspension
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 66.2; Zacos–Veglery, no. 74b.

Parallels

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