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The imperial kommerkia of Mesembria and Thrace (741-750)

Accession number BZS.1947.2.109
Diameter 28 mm
Condition One-third missing.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 71.17.
Zacos-Veglery, no. 259d. Two other similar specimens, in the Zacos collection, are published by Zacos-Veglery, nos. 259b-c, and two more by Lihačev, "Datirovannye," 196, no. 3, cf. Bibicou, Douanes, 231, nos. 64, 69.


Half-length figures of Leo III, bearded, and Constantine V (right), seemingly bearded, holding between them a long cross on globus (?); each wears chlamys and crown with a cross (visible only on Constantine). No visible border.


Inscription of seven lines. No visible border.


Τῶν βασιλικῶν κωμμερκίων Μεσημβρίας σὺν τῆς Θρᾴκης


Τῶν βασιλικῶν κωμμερκίων Μεσημβρίας σὺν τῆς Θρᾴκης.

(Seal) of the imperial kommerkia of Mesembria together with Thrace.


The attribution of the present specimen to Leo III and Constantine V has been proposed by Zacos-Veglery, who dated it between 730 and 741. This date fits well with the representation of a cross on globus (cf. DO Seals 1, no. 77.7; but the globus is not visible with certainty). On the other hand, Constantine is bearded and this feature would rather point to his sole reign (after 741). Moreover, the unusual formulation of the inscription invites us to put this specimen at the same time period as BZS.1955.1.4400, between 741 and 750, possibly at the very beginning of that decade. One may assume that the last line of the rev. would have contained the indiction number.