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Basil poimenarches (= metropolitan) of Corfou (twelfth/thirteenth century)

Accession Number:
BZS.1958.106.439

Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 5.3.
Laurent, Corpus V/3, no. 1795.

Details

Diameter:
36 mm
Field:
28 mm

Obverse

Basil poimenarches (= metropolitan) of Corfou (twelfth/thirteenth century)

Saints Peter and Paul standing; St. Peter holds a scepter over his shoulder and two keys. St. Paul blesses and holds a book. Between their haloes, the letter Ο; on one side the inscription: Π|Ε|Τ|Ρ|Ο|Σ. On the right: Π|Α|Υ|Λ|Ο|Σ: ὁ ἅγιος Πέτρος - ὁ ἅγιος Παῦλος. Border of dots.

Reverse

Basil poimenarches (= metropolitan) of Corfou (twelfth/thirteenth century)

Inscription of seven lines, beginning with a cross (obliterated). Decoration below. Border of dots.

.ΣΟ
Φ..ΞΥΝ
ΡΙΣΤΑΠΟ
ΟΛΝΣΚΕΠΟΙΣ
ΑΣΙΛΕΙΟΝΣΟΝ
ΠΟΙΜΕΝΑΡΧ
ΚΕΡΚΥΡΑΣ

Σοφῶν ξυνωρὶς πρωταποστόλων σκέποις Βασίλειον σὸν ποιμενάρχην Κερκύρας

Translation

Σοφῶν ξυνωρὶς πρωταποστόλων σκέποις Βασίλειον σὸν ποιμενάρχην Κερκύρας.

May you, pairing of the wise and first among the apostles, watch over your servant Basil, metropolitan of Corfou.

Audio

Commentary

Two dodecasyllabic verses. Laurent may well be correct that the owner was the rhetor Basil Pediadites who mounted the throne of Corfou before 1202 and died about 1219. But it must be admitted that the high quality of the engraving points to a 12th rather than a 13th-century date.

The present specimen is not a seal (it has no channel) but rather a beautifully executed tessera or medallion, the purpose of which we can only surmise.

 

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