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Nikephoros I and Staurakios (803–11)

 
 

Obverse

The Mother of God standing, wearing a chiton and maphorion, and holding Christ, who has a nimbus cruciger, on her left arm. Invocative monograms reading [Θ]εοτόκε βοήθει at left and right. No visible border.

[Θ]εοτόκε βοήθει

Reverse

Cross potent on three steps. Circular inscription. No visible border.

IC...........ASILROM

Nic[ifor(os) (καὶ) Staur(acios) b]asil(is) Rom(aion).

Obverse

The Mother of God standing, wearing a chiton and maphorion, and holding Christ, who has a nimbus cruciger, on her left arm. Invocative monograms reading [Θ]εοτόκε βοήθει at left and right. No visible border.

[Θ]εοτόκε βοήθει

Reverse

Cross potent on three steps. Circular inscription. No visible border.

IC...........ASILROM

Nic[ifor(os) (καὶ) Staur(acios) b]asil(is) Rom(aion).

Accession number BZS.1958.106.654 (formerly DO 58.106.654)
Diameter 31.0 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 40.1; Zacos–Veglery, no. 46a. For a similar specimen, but not from the same boulloterion, see Likhachev, “Nekotorye,” 532, fig. 68.

Translation

Θεοτόκε βοήθει Niciforos καὶ Stauracios basilis Romaion.

Mother of God, help Nikephoros and Staurakios, basileis of the Romans.

Commentary

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).

Unlike the depiction on BZS.1955.1.4285, Christ does not appear to be holding a scroll. The legend on the reverse has been restored according to the reading of a seal in the Athens Museum described and illustrated in Zacos–Veglery, no. 46 (b). On this specimen Christ is perched upright on the Virgin’s arm, while on the Athens seal he leans to the right.