Leu Numismatik

Web Auction 13

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Leu Numismatik, Web Auction 13

Celtic, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Medieval and Modern coins

Part 1: Sa, 15.08.2020, from 02:00 PM CEST
Part 2: Su, 16.08.2020, from 02:00 PM CEST
Pre bids are accepted until:
Part 1: Sa, 15.08.2020, until 01:45 PM CEST
Part 2: Su, 16.08.2020, until 01:45 PM CEST


Georgios Aplesphares, patrikios and primikerios, 2nd half 11th century. Seal (Lead, 22 mm, 11.56 g, 12 h). Θ / ΓЄ/Ⲱ/P-Γ/IO/C Saint George, standing facing, nimbate, holding spear in his right hand, and resting left hand on a shield. Rev. XЄ CⲰZЄ / ΓЄⲰPΓ, ΠPI / S ΠPIMIKHP / TON AΠΛЄC/ΦAPHN ("Christ, save Georgios Aplesphares, patrikios and primikerios") in five lines. Sandrovskaja-Seibt p. 39 (quoting one unpublished and poorly preserved seal in Paris that could only partially be read). Good very fine.

Another seal type that likely belongs to the same individual attests the court rank of magistros. His office of primikerios, as mentioned on this seal, was traditionally the courtier in charge of the emperor's bedchamber and indicates he was most probably a eunuch. The Aplesphares family name is Arabic (Abu’l-Aswar), related to the Kurdish Shaddadid dynasty who resided in Dvin and ruled parts of Armenia and Arran in the 10th-12th centuries. The Byzantine Aplesphares family were likely Shaddadids who had converted to Christianity and entered the service of the Byzantine emperor. Several family members are attested on seals, many of them bearing very high court dignities.

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