Germanos, monk and abbott of the Monastery of St. Phokas, 10th century. Seal (Lead, 26 mm, 9.73 g, 12 h). +KЄ ROHΘЄI TⲰ CⲰ ΔOVΛ, ("Lord, help your servant"); in fields, Θ / Γ/Є/P-M/A/N -
Nimbate bust of Saint Germanos of Capua facing, wearing omophorion decorated with crosses on both shoulders, raising his right hand in benediction and holding book of Gospels in his left. Rev. +ΓЄPMA/NⲰ MONAXⲰ / K’HΓOVMЄNO / MONHC T૪ A/ΓI૪ ΦⲰK’ in five lines. Unpublished in the standard references. An exceptional seal of an important cleric with an extremely rare saint on the obverse. Surface cracks along the channel, otherwise, good very fine.
Our Germanos, a monk and abbot of the Monastery of St. Phokas, chose his namesake Germanos of Capua to adorn his seal. This bishop Germanos, whose bishopric of Capua was located in the Ostrogothic kingdom, was part of the papal delegation sent to the East in order to resolve the Acacian schism (519-520). After his death, he was venerated as a saint, although predominantly in the west. Thus, his image only very rarely occurs on Byzantine seals. The owner of our splendid seal was the abbott of the Monastery of Saint Phokas, located in Trebizond on the southern coast of the Black Sea. The seal legend calls him "kathegoumenos", not "hegoumenos", which means he was ordained previously.