Seals and the Prosopography of the Byzantine Empire

Werner Seibt

in Fifty Years of Prosopography

Published by British Academy

Published in print July 2003 | ISBN: 9780197262924
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734434 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Seals and the Prosopography of the Byzantine Empire

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For certain periods of the middle Byzantine era, seals, especially lead seals (molybdoboulla), played much the same role as do inscriptions for the Roman epoch. This chapter begins by stressing the impressive size of the epigraphic material. The number and importance vary through the centuries, but even from the most casual glance, one gets the impression that in two respects, both important to prosopography, developments reached their summit in the eleventh century: the number of seals, and the data that they offer. Working with such material involves at least three steps: reading, dating and interpretation.

Keywords: Roman epoch; Byzantine Empire; lead seals; prosopography; molybdoboulla

Chapter.  3275 words. 

Subjects: Methods and Historiography

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