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The churches of Antioch (eighth century)

Accession number BZS 1955.1.5052
Diameter 21 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 5 no. 9.18.


Inscription of two lines, decorations above and below. Linear border.


Ἁγ(ίων) ἐκκλ(ησιῶν)


Inscription of two lines; above and below is a six-rayed star with a pellet on either side.




Ἁγίων ἐκκλησιῶν Θεουπόλεως

(Seal of) the holy churches of Theoupolis (= Antioch).


The seal "of the churches of Antioch" is one of several bearing this type of anonymous inscription (see also BZS.1947.2.187, BZS.1958.106.182, and BZS.1951.31.5.1987). In addition to these, see Oikonomides, "The Anonymous Seal," a seal "of the holy church of Emesa" (J. W. Nesbitt, "Byzantine Lead Seals from the Vicinity of the Governor's Palace and Warehouse," 2, no. 10), and another "of the church of Theoupolis" (Cheynet, Sceaux byzantins, no. 62). Oikonomides suggested that such seals were issued when the metropolitan was absent from his see or when the episcopal throne was vacant.

The double lambdas, signifying the plural, are clearly imprinted on the second line of the obverse; there is no reason to believe that this is a mistake on the engraver's part.