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The imperial kommerkia of Mesembria (736/7?)

 
 

Obverse

Two emperors represented half-length holding a cross set on globus between them; only the figure on the right, wearing chlamys, is visible. No epigraphy or border visible.

Reverse

Inscription of five lines. Wreath border.

ΑΣΙΛΙ
ΚΟΜΜ
ΚΙΩΝΜ
ΗΜΒΡΙΑ
Ε

Τῶν βασιλικῶν κομμερκίων Μεσημβρίας.   Ἰνδικτιὼν εˊ

Obverse

Two emperors represented half-length holding a cross set on globus between them; only the figure on the right, wearing chlamys, is visible. No epigraphy or border visible.

Reverse

Inscription of five lines. Wreath border.

ΑΣΙΛΙ
ΚΟΜΜ
ΚΙΩΝΜ
ΗΜΒΡΙΑ
Ε

Τῶν βασιλικῶν κομμερκίων Μεσημβρίας.   Ἰνδικτιὼν εˊ

Accession number BZS.1958.106.690
Diameter 31.0 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 1, no. 77.7.
Zacos-Veglery, no. 251.
A parallel specimen has been published several times; cf. Bibicou, Douanes, 231, no. 63.

Translation

Τῶν βασιλικῶν κομμερκίων Μεσημβρίας.   Ἰνδικτιὼν εˊ.

(Seal of) the imperial kommerkia of Mesembria.   Indiction 5.

Commentary

For this seal, we follow the classification of Zacos-Veglery, the principles of which are explained ibid., I, 301-3. Leo III and Constantine V are typically shown on dated seals of 729-739 holding a cross set on a globus between them; after 741 the cross seems to be set on a rectangular base. In addition, the figure at r. seems to be beardless. Thus the seal should date to 736/7, four years before Constantine became sole emperor. The year 751/2 may be securely excluded, since in those years dated seals typically carry representations of three emperors.