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John ... of the Nikopoloi (seventh/eighth century)

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.1186
Diameter 34 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 2.13.
Zacos-Veglery, no. 1241.


St. Anastasia standing frontally holding a small cross. Crosses in the upper fields. Inscription in two columns: |ΑΓ|ΙΑ|ΑΝ|Α|Σ.|Α..|Α.|Π..|Θ: Ἁγία Ἀναστασία παρθένος. Wreath border.


Cruciform monogram consisting of Ω, in the middle; , at top; Δ and Α in ligature, at bottom; Χ (?), at l.; and , at r.; in the quarters: ΤΩΝΝΙΚ|.ΠΟ|ΛΩΝ.

Ἰωάννου (?) ....... τῶν Νικοπόλων


Ἰωάννου (?) ....... τῶν Νικοπόλων (?)

John (?) ....... of the Nikopoloi.


The epithet ἡ παρθένος (not read by Zacos-Veglery) of St. Anastasia seems reasonably secure but cannot be considered as absolutely certain because both surviving letters are muddle. In the Synaxarium of Constantinople three martyrs bearing the name of Anastasia are mentioned, all Roman, of whom only one is called "the virgin"'; her memory is celebrated on 12 October or 29 October (Syn. Eccl. CP, 133, 171). This saint must have enjoyed a special devotion in the church of Nikopolis, as her portrait appears on this seal and BZS 1955.1.4704.

Zacos-Veglery recognized that the monogram is a composite one. They read the name Ἰωάννου (reasonably enough) and the word διακόνου or διακονία which is also reasonable and can be formed by the letters on the seal, but this solution is not comprehensive because it ignores the illegible letter or letters at the left arm of the monogram: their traces resemble a Χ (ἀρχιδιακόνου? this letter, combined with the horizontal line of the monogram provides also a Σ and an Ε) but could as well be a Μ (in this case the name could also be Δαμιανοῦ) or a combination of letters. But this is uncertain.