Sigillography


The purpose of the project is the scholarly study and analysis of the published and unpublished sigillographic material in collections all over the world, based on the latest research methods (editing the inscription, accurate dating, commentary on the content and its historical context) in order to make this important source accessible for further historical and philological research.

The foremost aim of the project is the edition of the Corpus of Byzantine Seals with Metrical Legends (more than 15.000 seals, representing some 5000 types). Most of these legends are dodecasyllables and date primarily from the 10th to 13th centuries.

Seal of Constantine Aspietes sebastos, grandson of a sebastokrator (2nd half of 12th c.) (private collection A.-K. Wassiliou-Seibt, no. 455 © Alexandra-Kyriaki Wassiliou-Seibt)

In addition, work on the catalogue of Byzantine lead seals in Austria (and in other collections, such as in Dumbarton Oaks) continues. Shorter publications deal with problems in Byzantine prosopography, administrative history and historical geography on the basis of seals.

Further work is dedicated to the systematic exploration of and commentary on new publications (including auction catalogues) on Byzantine sigillography, which is published at regular intervals in Studies in Byzantine Sigillography and Byzantinische Zeitschrift.

The study collection of photographs of Byzantine seals (currently ca. 40.500 images) is continuously expanded.