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Basil archbishop of Nikopolis (ninth century)

Accession number BZS.1947.2.117
Diameter 24 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 2, no. 2.10.
Laurent, Corpus V/1, no. 671.
Cf. parallel specimen in Lihačev, Molivdovuly, 157 (pl. LXVIII, no. 5).


Bust of the Virgin holding the medallion of Christ before her. Small crosses on either side. Within concentric circles of dots, traces of a circular inscription remain (starting at 7 o'clock).


περαγία Θεοτόκε μου βοήθει


Inscription of five lines. No border visible.


τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Βασιλείῳ ἀρχιεπισκόπῳ Νικοπόλεως


Ὑπεραγία Θεοτόκε μου βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ Βασιλείῳ ἀρχιεπισκόπῳ Νικοπόλεως.

All holy Mother of God, help your servant Basil, archbishop of Nikopolis.


No firm reading of the circular inscription of the obverse can be given, even with reference to the Hermitage specimen. The right side is relatively well preserved. The editors read (starting at 1 o'clock): ΘΕΟΤΟΚΕΠΡ and proposed the verb προνοῶ, which makes no sense and has no parallels. We wonder whether the last two letters could be read as Μ, in which case the inscription could be read as Θεοτόκε μου βοήθει. This solution appears possible on the photograph, but is opposed by the editors (p. 158, note 2). The question remains open.