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N., Patriarch of Constantinople

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.1888
Diameter 41 mm
Condition Holed.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 129.1; Laurent, Corpus 5.1: no. 39 (Gerasimos, 1320–21).

Obverse

Faint outline of the Mother of God's head, surrounded by a nimbus.

Reverse

Inscription of eight lines. Border of dots.

.....ΟΣΕ
ΛΕΩΘ.ΑΡΧΙΕ
ΠΙΣΚΟ.ΟΣΚΩΝ
.ΑΝΤ......ΕΩΣ
.ΕΑΣΡΩΜΗΣΚΑΙ
ΟΙΚΜΕΝΙΚΟΣ
ΠΡΙΑΡΧΗΣ

[.....]ος ἐλέῳ Θ(εο)[ῦ] ἀρχιεπίσκο[π]ος Κων[στ]αντ[ινουπόλ]εως [Ν]έας Ῥώμης καὶ οἰκουμενικὸς π(ατ)ριάρχης.

Translation

.....ος ἐλέῳ Θεοῦ ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Κωνσταντινουπόλεως Νέας Ῥώμης καὶ οἰκουμενικὸς πατριάρχης.

N., by the grace of God, archbishop of Constantinople, the New Rome, and ecumenical patriarch.

Commentary

Laurent read the first letters of line one on the reverse as ΓΕΡAC.... The construction of the initial letter does involve an upright bar, and the second letter is lunate. But after that one has difficulty in reading the name as Gerasimos.

The transcription from DO Seals has been retained, as has the listed anonymity of the seal's owner. We note below, however, possible changes to the reading, as well as a possible identification based on two factors: the layout of the text, and the visible letter shapes of the second line.

First, the layout of the text, with the second line ending in a spelled-out "APXIE", the fourth line beginning ".(.)ANT." The lunate letter terminating the first line could be a sigma, with first epsilon for ἐλέῳ beginning the second line (as Laurent suggested), or it otherwise it could be the initial epsilon (as Nesbitt suggested). Second, the letter forms on the second line, of which lunate or circular seem to prevail. There is space for eight or nine letters.

A possible attribution of this seal, keeping in mind these two criteria, is Dositheos, patriarch for nine days in February 1189, and again from September/October of the same year until September 1191 (see Zacos, Seals 2, no. 31).

There are, however, problems. His seals, illustrated in Zacos (Seals 2, no. 31a) and Laurent (V.1, no. 28), terminate the first line with a lunate sigma, and begin the fourth with a sigma-tau ligature. The reading of the first line has been noted above, but we should also mention here that there is room for the full spelling of ἐλέῳ at the beginning of the second line. As for the fourth line, unfortunately its beginning is obliterated. There appears to be a lunate shape on the extreme left, but with space for two letters, "CT" seems a more likely reading.

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.1888
Diameter 41 mm
Condition Holed.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 129.1; Laurent, Corpus 5.1: no. 39 (Gerasimos, 1320–21).

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.1888
Diameter 41 mm
Condition Holed.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 129.1; Laurent, Corpus 5.1: no. 39 (Gerasimos, 1320–21).

Notes

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.1888
Diameter 41 mm
Condition Holed.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 129.1; Laurent, Corpus 5.1: no. 39 (Gerasimos, 1320–21).

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