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The abbot of the monastery of Auxentios (eleventh/twelfth century)

Accession number BZS.1958.106.5527
Diameter 22 mm
Condition Struck off-center.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 3, no. 74.1. Laurent, Corpus V/3, no. 1934. Cf. Wassiliou-Seibt, Siegel mit metrischen Legenden I, no. 160.

Parallel specimens published in Zacos, Seals II, no. 1037; Seyrig, no. 280.


Inscription of five lines preceded by a crosslet. Border of dots.



Ἄστυ κράτιστον, ἀνάστασις ἁγία


Inscription of six lines. Border of dots.



Αὐξεντίου μάνδρας με ποιμὴν ὁ γράφων


Ἄστυ κράτιστον, ἀνάστασις ἁγία. Αὐξεντίου μάνδρας με ποιμὴν ὁ γράφων.

O city most mighty, O Holy Resurrection. The abbot of the monastery of Auxentios is the one who wrote me.


The inscription consists of two dodecasyllabic verses. The crosslet at the beginning of the obverse shows where one should start.

The reading given here differs from Laurent's, who read Σ[θέν(ος)] in the first line of the obverse. He also read the word "με" (line 3, rev.) as the preposition "μετά," but it is simply a pronoun.

The monastery of the Holy Resurrection is mentioned for the first time under this name in the twelfth century and was celebrating the synaxis of St. Auxentios (February 14) who was also buried therein (Janin, Eglises, 20). The inscription on this seal would indicate that the community of monks on Mount Auxentios had some affiliation with the monastery of the Holy Resurrection (Anastasis) in the "mighty city" of Constantinople.

Mount Auxentios or Saint Auxentios is located some 12 km to the southeast of Chalcedon. From the eighth century to the thirteenth century it was the site of several monasteries. One was the monastery of Auxentios, a coenobitic establishment of the mid-eighth century which derived its name from a community of hermits originally founded during the reign of Theodosios II by a Syrian ascete of this name (d. 473). The monastery fell victim to Iconoclasm and was destroyed in 760, but there are indications that a coenobitic community may have returned to the mount after 843. See Janin, Grand centres, 44-45; Laurent, Corpus V/3, 238. Cf. also a seal of uncertain reading in Speck, Bleisiegel, no. 104.