Anonymous, circa 10th century.
Medallion (Lead, 44 mm, 23.34 g, 12 h), "Eulogia" of St. Symeon Stylites the Younger. +EVΛOΓIA TOV AΓI૪ CVMЄⲰN TO ΘAVMATOVPΓOV + AINЄITЄ TON ΘN ЄN TOIC AΓIOIC AVTOV ('Blessing of Saint Symeon the Miracle Worker - Praise God in his Saints') Nimbate half-length bust of St. Symeon the Younger, wearing monastic hood and holding book of Gospels, seated on column, flanked by two angels, the left angel ascending on a flight of stairs, holding a cross, the other angel flying on the right of the stylite; crosses to his left and right; below, on the left side of the column, Symeon’s disciple Konon nimbate, standing right; on the right side of the column, Symeon’s mother St. Martha nimbate, standing left, both saints with their hands raised in a gesture of supplication; in the outer left field, AN/ΓЄ/ΛOV / ΘV ("Angel of God"); to the left of Konon, K/O/N/Ⲱ/N ("Konon"); in outher right field, H / A/ΓI/A – M/A/P/Θ/A (“Saint Martha”). Rev.
Large ornate cross with globules on each corner. Cf. Gary Vikan: Art, Medicine, and Magic in Early Byzantium, in: DO Papers 38 (1984), p. 65-86, fig. 7. A wonderful Byzantine eulogia token with intriguing iconography. Good very fine.
From a European collection, acquired before 2021.
The phrase 'Praise God in his Saints' is a quotation from Psalm 150 (first verse). As their name suggests, 'eulogia' tokens were material blessings that pilgrims could take home with them after they visited a holy site or a stylite saint, such as Saint Symeon the Younger, who reportedly lived on top of a pillar for 68 years. Originally made out of terracotta, later eulogia tokens such as ours were often produced in lead