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John metropolitan of Russia (eleventh century)

Accession number BZS.1947.2.358
Diameter 15 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 85.3.
Laurent, Corpus V/1, no. 781. Cf. Janin, Aktovye, 175, no. 50.

Obverse

Bust of the Virgin orans with medallion of Christ on her breast. Sigla: ̅ΘΥ̅: Μήτηρ Θεοῦ. No visible border.

Reverse

Inscription of four lines. Linear border.

Θ̅Κ̅Ε̅
,θ,Ι̅̅Ο
Π̅Ο̅ρσι

ασ

Θεοτόκε βοήθει Ἰωάννῃ μητροπολίτῃ Ῥωσίας

Translation

Θεοτόκε βοήθει Ἰωάννῃ μητροπολίτῃ Ῥωσίας.

Theotokos, help John, metropolitan of Russia.

Commentary

Laurent dated this specimen to the first half of the eleventh century and attributed it to a "Metropolitan John" who was reputedly active between 1008 and 1020. Yet both Baumgarten and Golobinskij consider this metropolitan a legendary figure (Baumgarten, Chronologie ecclésiastique, 33 and note 1). Janin, Aktovye, no. 50, cautiously attributes this seal to John IV (1164-66). In our view, the seal belongs to the late eleventh century; the office of metropolitan of Russia was then held by one John until 1089, who was succeeded by another John in 1091.

The location of the see varied. Its early history remains a matter of dispute, but we know that it was established at Kiev in the 1030s, was movied to Vladimir in 1298, and finally to Moscow in 1328. Cf. Laurent, Corpus V/1, 599-600.

Accession number BZS.1947.2.358
Diameter 15 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 85.3.
Laurent, Corpus V/1, no. 781. Cf. Janin, Aktovye, 175, no. 50.

Notes

Accession number BZS.1947.2.358
Diameter 15 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 85.3.
Laurent, Corpus V/1, no. 781. Cf. Janin, Aktovye, 175, no. 50.

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