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(The monastery of the Theotokos) Psychosostis (twelfth century)

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.454
Diameter 18 mm
Field diameter 14 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 5 no. 57.1; Laurent, Corpus 5.2: no. 1188.


Bust of the Mother of God orans with medallion of Christ on her chest. At left and right: μρ̅θυ̅ : Μ(ήτη)ρ Θ(εο)ῦ. Border of dots.


Inscription of five lines. Border of dots.


Σώζ(οις), Πάναγνε, πάντας ὁς Ψυχοσῶστις


Σώζ(οις), Πάναγνε, πάντας ὡς Ψυχοσῶστις.

As the saviour of souls, all-holy One, save us all.


Twelve-syllable verse.

Laurent is correct in asserting that, although the legend on the reverse does not specifically mention any monastery or church, the fact that the inscription includes a Marian epithet is a strong indication that the specimen was issued by an ecclesiastical institution dedicated to the Theotokos Psychosostis. One such sanctuary is known from Constantinople. On the basis of a hagiographical source we know that it had a hegoumenos named Theodosios who was active toward the end of the eleventh century. See Janin, Églises, 243–44, who is inclined to place the institution in the area of the Blachernae. We note that the monastery is mentioned in the typikon of the Pantokrator. The reference relates to some property bought by the Pantokrator from the monastery Psychosostis.