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The imperial kommerkia of Mesembria (732/3)

Accession number BZS.1955.1.4398
Diameter 32 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 77.6.
Zacos-Veglery, no. 247.


Half-length images of Leo III (left), bearded, and Constantine V, beardless, holding between them a cross set on globus; both wear chlamys and crown with a cross. No visible border.


Inscription of six lines. No visible border.


Τῶν βασιλικῶν κομμερκίων Μεσημβρίας.  Ἰνδικτιὼν αˊ


Τῶν βασιλικῶν κομμερκίων Μεσημβρίας.   Ἰνδικτιὼν αˊ.

(Seal of) the imperial kommerkia of Mesembria.  Indiction 1.


In line 4, Zacos-Veglery read an Ε instead of Β, which would give Μεσημερίας, but we think that this is a round beta broken on its side, and should be read as Β.

For this seal, we follow the classification of Zacos-Veglery, the principles of which are explained ibid., I, 301-3. The two emperors of the obverse are identified as Leo III and Constantine V. In the period of their join reign, after the declaration of Iconoclasm, that is, in 730-741, Constantine V is represented beardless and smaller than his father; during his sole reign (between 741 and the coronation of his son Leo IV in 751), Constantine is still represented together with his father in the same posture but is now bearded and of equal height.