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Priests and ekklesiekdikoi (of Saint Sophia) (fourteenth century)

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.2932
Diameter 47 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 5 no. 42.18. Illustrated in Oikonomides, Byzantine Lead Seals, no. 39.


Justinian (left) and the Mother of God (right) holding between them a model of the church of Saint Sophia, which offers a view within of a cross set on an altar. Inscription above the heads of Justinian and the Mother of God: ΗΑΓΙΑ : Ἡ Ἁγία; in center: ΣΟ|ΦΙ|Α : Σοφία; at left: ΙΟΥ|Ι|ΝΙ|Α|ΝΟΝ|ΔΕΣ|ΠΟΤ| : Ἰουστινιανὸν δεσπότην; and at right: ̅|ΘΥ̅|ΗΒ..|Θ|Ι|Α : Μ(ήτη)ρ Θ(εο)ῦ – Ἡ Β[οή]θια. Border of dots.


Inscription of five lines preceded by decoration. Border of dots.


τοῖς θεοσεβεστάτο[ις] πρεσβυτέρο[ις] καὶ ἐκκλη[σ]εκδίκοι[ς]


Τοῖς θεοσεβεστάτοις πρεσβυτέροις καὶ ἐκκλησεκδίκοις.

The most reverent priests and judges of Hagia Sophia.


For a discussion of the ekklesiekdikoi, who formed a tribunal, operating out of Saint Sophia, and the iconography associated with their seals, see the brief introduction in DO Seals 5, pages 88–89, as well as J. Cotsonis, "The Virgin and Justinian on Seals of the Ekklesiekdikoi of Hagia Sophia."

There appears to be an accent mark on Σοφία on the obverse.