Lead seal of Patriarch Michael I Cerularius
On one side is depicted the Virgin, in the manner of Hodegetria (She who shows the Way), holding Jesus in her arms. To the left and right is the inscription ΜΡ ΘV (Mother of God). The other side bears the partially preserved inscription “Michael Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome”.
The owner of the seal was a Patriarch of a strong personality that connected his name with the Great Schism that split Christianity into Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy (1054). The seal predates 1054, as from that year onwards the patriarchal seal bore the title “Ecumenical Patriarch”.
Diameter 4,2 cm., weight 44,24 g.
Material of Construction
Zacos collection, bought at an auction