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Eirene (Doukaina?) (twelfth century)

Accession Number:
BZS.1958.106.490 (formerly DO 58.106.490)

Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 90.1; Zacos-Veglery, no. 105 (unattributed).

Details

Diameter:
35 mm
Condition:
Overstruck.

Obverse

Eirene (Doukaina?) (twelfth century)

Christ seated on a high-back throne, wearing a tunic and himation and holding the right hand in blessing and a book in the left. His feet rest on a dais. Sigla at left and right: ΙΣ̅ΧΣ̅ : Ἰ(ησοῦ)ς Χ(ριστό)ς. Remains of a circular inscription at left: οεμ : Ὁ Ἐμ[μανουήλ]. Border of dots.

Reverse

Eirene (Doukaina?) (twelfth century)

Half-length representation of Eirene wearing a crown with triangular projections and double pendilia. Her dress features a jeweled collar and circular shoulder ornaments. She holds a scepter terminating in a leaved ornament in the right hand and a globus cruciger in the left. Circular inscription. Border of dots.

ΕΙΡΗΝΗΑΥΓΑ

Εἰρήνη αὐγούστα.

Translation

Εἰρήνη αὐγούστα.

Eirene, augusta.

Audio

Commentary

The empress may be the wife of Alexios Komnenos (rejected by Seibt, Bleisiegel, 106), John II, or Manuel I. The somewhat archaic scepter that she holds favors an attribution to Alexios Komnenos’s wife, but for epigraphic reasons, in particular, the form of the omicron-upsilon ligature, which much date after the 1130s, this identification is to be excluded. The empress represented on BZS.1951.31.5.43, whom we are inclined to identify as the wife of John II, holds a similar scepter. One reviewer has expressed a preference for identification of the empress with the wife of Manuel I. One could justify an ascription to Manuel I’s wife based on the consideration that on Manuel’s seals the Christ's sigla appear in conjunction with the epithet Ὁ Ἐμμανουήλ. On the other hand the manner in which Christ is depicted on Manuel I’s seals is quite different from what we find here.

On the reverse, partially in the field at lower right, one sees what can best be described as a countermark. Within a dot border can be discerned a bust holding the right arm aloft. To the right of the head appears the letter P; above this letter, as part of a circular inscription, can be seen the letter T.

 

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