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The Ekdikoi of the Hagia Sophia

CNG 111, Lot: 879. Estimate $1500.
Sold for $1400. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Ekdikoi of the Hagia Sophia. Circa 12th century. PB Seal (54mm, 100.35 g, 12h). [+VΠЄPA]ΓIA ΘЄOTOKЄ ROHΘ[ЄI], The Theotokos and Justinian I supporting model of Church of Hagia Sophia between them; –/A above, Γ/C/O/Φ/I’ below model / + TOIC ΘЄ/OCЄRЄCTA/TOIC ΠPЄC/RVTЄPOIC/I ЄKKΛHCЄ/K ΔIKOIC in six lines. BLS II 64. VF, tan patina, a few scrapes.

The ekdikoi were a college of priests responsible for the administration of holy sites, and had a further judicial function, in that accused criminals who sought asylum in churches would be judged by them. The office was established by Justinian I, but did not acquire a real presence in the administration of church affairs until the eleventh century.