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Hadrianos/Andronios imperial spatharios (eighth century)

Accession number BZS.1947.2.1637
Diameter 28 mm


Inscription in six lines. Border of dots.


Ἁγία Τριὰς ὁ Θεὸς βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ σου


Block monogram. Border of dots.

 - β - δ - θ - ι - κ - λ - ν - π - ρ - σ - ω

Ἀδριανῷ/Ἀνδρωνίῳ βασιλικῷ σπαθαρίῳ


Ἁγία Τριὰς ὁ Θεὸς βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ σου Ἀδριανῷ/Ἀνδρωνίῳ βασιλικῷ σπαθαρίῳ.

Holy Trinity, (our) God, help your servant Hadrianos/Andronios imperial spatharios.


In his unpublished catalogue of the Shaw collection, Laurent suggests Προκοπίου σκρίβονι or Σταυρακίῳ σκρίβονι for the reading of the reverse monogram. While the latter in particular could be possible, the is suspended through the top bar of the Π, creating a Θ that must be accounted for; thus, Hadrianos/Andronios seems the best reading, in combination with the title imperial spatharios. Additionally, Laurent dates it to the sixth/seventh century--likely because of the block monogram--while based on the particular invocation and the script, this seal should likely be dated to the 8th century, in which block monograms of this sort--while not as common as in the 6th century--are found.

With this reading, we can actually identify this individual as the owner of at least two other 8th century seal types containing invocations to the Holy Trinity. Here we learn that he was an imperial spatharios.