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The monastery of Kokkinobaphos (eleventh/twelfth century)

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.1596
Diameter 20 mm
Condition Corroded.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 51.1.

Laurent, Corpus V/2, no. 1259.


Bust of the Virgin holding Christ in her right arm. On left side the sigla: υ|̅ : [Θ(εο)]ῦ Μ(ήτη)ρ. Indecipherable traces of a circular inscription visible at right. Indeterminate border.


Inscription of five lines. Border of dots.


Ἡ κυρία (καὶ) κτητόρισα τῆς τοῦ Κ[ο]κκινοβάφ(ου) μονῆς


Ἡ κυρία καὶ κτητόρισα τῆς τοῦ Κοκκινοβάφου μονῆς.

The mistress and foundress of the monastery of Kokkinobaphos.


Note that in the second, third, and fifth lines, the engraver produced S instead of Η, an error which we have tacitly corrected in transcribing the inscription. The first S of line 2 could also be read as an eta, resulting in the reading: ἡ κυρία ἡ κτητόρισσα. We assume that "Lady and Foundress" of the monastery refers to the Virgin.

The location of this monastery is unknown. It is listed here because C. Stornajolo (Le miniature delle omilie di Giacomo monaco [Rome, 1910], 5) and R. Devresse (Codices Vaticani Graeci II [Rome, 1937], 10) have postulated that it was located near Proussa in Bithynia. The monastery is well known due to a group of six sermons that the monk James of Kokkinobaphos authored and were illustrated in the 1130s (J. Anderson, "The Illustrated Sermons of James the Monk: Their Dates, Order and Place in History," Viator 22 [1991] 85). See Laurent, Corpus V/2, 178; Janin, Grands centres, 163.