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The "brothers" of St. Zotikos (twelfth century)

Accession number BZS.1955.1.5006
Diameter 22 mm
Condition Bent.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 5 no. 62.1; Laurent, Corpus 5.3: no. 1916.


St. Zotikos standinγ, orans. Inscription in two columns: ι|ο|σ|τ|ι.|ο : [Ὁ ἅγ]ιος [Ζ]ωτι[κ]ό(ς). Indeterminate border.


Inscription of four lines. Border of dots.


Σφραγ[ὶ(ς)] ἀδελφῶν τοῦ ὁσίου Ζωτικοῦ


Σφραγὶς ἀδελφῶν τοῦ ὁσίου Ζωτικοῦ.

Seal of the brothers of St. Zotikos.


A twelve-syllable verse. The reading of the columnar inscription on the obverse at left is uncertain. It could be, based on the wording of the inscription on the reverse, that we are to understand [Ὁ ὅσ]ιος.

The seal likely refers to the leprosarium of St. Zotikos, located on a hill below Galata. Antony of Novgorod visited the institution in 1200 and states that it consisted of a hospital and a church. It was the site of Zotikos's tomb. The "brothers" of this establishment might be medical specialists (possibly monks) who cared for the inmates, but Laurent could well be correct in his observation that the "brothers" might actually be the lepers. In other words, the lepers may have looked after one another.