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Herakleios and Herakleios Constantine (613–ca. 616)

Accession number BZS.1958.106.495 (formerly DO 58.106.495)
Diameter 24 mm
Condition Chipped.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 13.4.


The Mother of God standing, wearing a chiton and maphorion, and holding Christ before her. A small cross potent at left and right. Border of dots.


Bust of Herakleios at left, with a short beard, and a tiny bust of Herakleios Constantine at right. Each wears a crown with cross and a chlamys. Herakleios’s hair curls inward. A small cross appears in the upper field. Circular inscription. Border of dots.


[D(omini) n(ostri)] Herac[lius] et Hera(clius) C[onst(antinus) p(er)p(etui) aug(usti)].


Domini nostri Heraclius et Heraclius Constantinus perpetui augusti.

Our lords Herakleios and Herakleios Constantine, eternal augusti.


The seals below bear depictions of Herakleios with a short beard and of his son Herakleios Constantine in diminutive bust. The latter was born in May of 612 to Herakleios’s first wife, Eudokia. On coins (see DOC 2.1:8j2; MIB 3: Prägetabelle 1, nos. 8–10) from the first three years after his son’s crowning Herakleios is represented with a short beard and is accompanied by a diminutive bust of Herakleios Constantine.

Seibt (Bleisiegel, 69) has employed the following criteria for classifying and dating seals, from 613–616, with representations of Herakleios and Herakleios Constantine. (1) 613–ca. 614: Herakleios Constantine (small); style of hair: inward curl. (2) 613–16: imperial representations remain the same; reverse blank. (3) 614–16: the Virgin’s right leg is bent. As possible examples of the latter he cites Zacos–Veglery, nos. 12a and c.

For a discussion of the emperor’s hair, particularly asymmetrical sidelocks, which also occur on coins, see DOC 2.1: p. 93.

The cross flanking the Mother of God at right is set higher than the one at left, and has a thick, triangular base. The crown seems to be a simple one.