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The Virgin (named) Daphnin (eleventh/twelfth century)

Accession Number:
BZS.1955.1.5056

Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 11.1a.
Cf. Laurent, Corpus V/2, no. 1244, who published three more specimens.

Details

Diameter:
18 mm
Field:
12 mm
Condition:
Corroded on obv. Lines engraved between each row of letters.

Obverse

The Virgin (named) Daphnin (eleventh/twelfth century)

Bust of the Virgin orans, the medallion of Christ before her. Μ̅Θ̅: Μήτηρ Θεοῦ. On either side the inscription. Border of dots.

Reverse

The Virgin (named) Daphnin (eleventh/twelfth century)

Inscription of three lines, a cross above and a decoration below. Border of dots.


ΗΘΚΟΣ
ΤΟΔΑ
ΦΝΙΝ

Ἡ Θεοτόκος τὸ Δαφνίν

Translation

Ἡ Θεοτόκος τὸ Δαφνίν.

The Theotokos (named) Daphnin.

Audio

Commentary

Laurent dated these seals to the tenth century, but the cross above on a separate line as well as the long and pointed oblique bar of Κ and the high relief of the obverse point, in our opinion, to an eleventh or twelfth century date.

The toponym Daphni is by no means uncommon, and accordingly, the two small bullae (this seal and its parallel, BZS.1958.106.2516), might not have been struck at the famous monastery of Daphni near Athens; but since this monastery was dedicated to the Virgin, and as her bust appears on our specimens, it is not unreasonable to list them here. The monastery is first attested in the Life of St. Meletios the Younger (died ca. 1105) and may well have existed earlier. But it should be stressed that there is no reason for placing its foundation before 1048 (as Koder-Hild do) because the typikon of the confraternity of the Virgin Naupaktitissa was signed by a priest of the monastery of Daphnin toward the end of the 11th century: J. Nesbitt and J. Wiita, "A Confraternity of the Comnenian Era," BZ 68 (1975) 375, 376. Cf. Koder-Hild, Hellas, 141-42; Janin, Grands centres, 311-12.

 

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