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Seal of Hosios Loukas of Steirion (eleventh century)

 
 

Obverse

Inscription of three lines, a cross above. Border of dots.


ΦΡΑ
ΓΙΣΟΣΙ
ΛΚΑ

Σφραγὶς ὁσίου

Reverse

Indistinct.

Λουκᾶ τοῦ Στειριώτου

Obverse

Inscription of three lines, a cross above. Border of dots.


ΦΡΑ
ΓΙΣΟΣΙ
ΛΚΑ

Σφραγὶς ὁσίου

Reverse

Indistinct.

Λουκᾶ τοῦ Στειριώτου

Accession number BZS.1947.2.1140
Diameter 13.0 mm; field: 9.0 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 20.1.
Laurent, Corpus V/2, no. 1262 (dated 10th/11th c.).

Translation

Σφραγὶς ὁσίου Λουκᾶ τοῦ Στειριώτου.

Seal of Hosios Loukas of Steirion.

Commentary

Laurent correctly assumed that the obliterated side read τοῦ Στειριώτου, which we have followed in our edition. Cf. BZS 1955.1.5025, and Laurent, Corpus V/2, no. 1261 (seal with the same metrical inscription).

The place today is called Steiri. The town is attested from the 5th century and became famous with the construction of the monastery of Hosios Loukas in the 10th and 11th centuries, a major religious and healing center. See Koder-Hild, Hellas, 263, and N. Oikonomides, "The First Century of the Monastery of Hosios Loukas," DOP 46 (1992) 245-55. It is not obvious to us whether the non-personalized specimens mentioning Hosios Loukas of Steirion were all used as seals (this seems to be the case of this seal) or as amulets carrying the benediction of the monastery (this could be the case of BZS.1955.1.5025). More such specimens from different boulloteria, are in Laurent, Corpus V/2, no. 1261 (one found in Athens: SBS 2 [1990] 241).