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Dometios orphanotrophos (sixth/seventh century)

 
 

Obverse

Busts of Sts. Peter and Paul, facing each other and wearing himations. St. Peter is on the left and has a short beard while St. Paul is on the right and has a long beard. Above them in the center, a cross. Wreath border.

Reverse

Cruciform monogram. Wreath border.

 - δ -  - ι - μ - ν - ο - ρ - τ - υ - 

Δομετίου ὀρφανοτρόφου

Obverse

Busts of Sts. Peter and Paul, facing each other and wearing himations. St. Peter is on the left and has a short beard while St. Paul is on the right and has a long beard. Above them in the center, a cross. Wreath border.

Reverse

Cruciform monogram. Wreath border.

 - δ -  - ι - μ - ν - ο - ρ - τ - υ - 

Δομετίου ὀρφανοτρόφου

Accession number BZS.1955.1.261
Diameter 23.0 mm
Previous Editions

Zacos-Veglery, no. 1169.

Translation

Δομετίου ὀρφανοτρόφου.

(Seal of) Dometios orphanotrophos.

Commentary

The obverse likely is a representation of the ecstatic meeting between Peter and Paul; Zacos describes that Schlumberger (Sigillographie, p. 380) published a related seal (also analyzed by Bury in The Imperial Administrative System) that has a similar obverse and a reverse that reads ὀρφανοτρόφ' in a circular inscription and a monogram that deciphers to (according to Bury) Ιουστίνου καὶ Σοφίας; Schlumberger and Bury associate this with the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul within the precincts of the Orphanotropheion, according to Theophanes, in 571-572, a terminus post quem for this and Schlumberger's seal. Zacos' resolution of the reverse is quite acceptable, as ὀρφανοτρόφου is assuredly present, and Δομετίου effectively completes the monogram.