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Constantine VI (790–92)

Accession number BZS.1958.106.561 (formerly DO 58.106.561)
Diameter 25 mm
Field diameter 21 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 35.1; Zacos–Veglery, no. 39.


Half-length representation of Constantine VI, beardless, wearing crown with a cross and a chlamys pinned together with a fibula on his right shoulder. He holds in his right hand a globus cruciger and in his left an akakia. Circular inscription. Wreath border.


Constantinos bas(ileus) Θ.


Cross potent on four steps. Wreath border. No inscription.


Constantinos basileus.

Constantine, basileus.


Constantine VI regularly appeared on his coins with his mother, Eirene. As there is no mention of the empress Eirene on this seal, suggesting that it was struck between October of 790, when Constantine confined her to quarters in the palace, and her recall in January of 792. Coins dated to the same period by Grierson do not depict Constantine alone, as with this seal, but instead have on their obverse the busts of Constantine at left and Eirene at right. Whereas before October of 790 Eirene, like Constantine, held a globus cruciger in her left hand, during the period of her confinement her globus cruciger disappeared from the coinage (DOC 3.1:2a.1 [pl. 13], and p. 336).

Zacos and Veglery state that this seal does not appear to have a channel, but this is incorrect.

The same inscription that appears on this seal, Constantinos bas(ileus) Θ, is found on a uniface seal published in Seyrig, no. 5, as well as one of Constantine's solidi (DOC 3.1:3a.3 [p. 14]). The legend on this seal copies the whole of the inscription appearing on the coin, including the control mark Θ (concerning control marks, see DOC 3.1: pp. 77–80).