Seals of Princess Marina Cover Image

Печати княгини Марины
Seals of Princess Marina

Author(s): Branislav Lesák, Natalia V. Khamaiko, Olena Ye. Chernenko
Subject(s): History, Archaeology, Middle Ages, 6th to 12th Centuries
Published by: Издательский дом Stratum, Университет «Высшая антропологическая школа»
Keywords: Old Rus’; Kyiv; Chernihiv; Bratislava; seal; Princess Marina; Vsevolod Yaroslavich; Eupraxia-Adelheid
Summary/Abstract: The article proposes a comparative analysis of new finds of the Old Rus’ian female lead seals of two types from Chernihiv and Bratislava castle.The first seal was discovered in 2007 near the so-called «Blagovishchenska» Church (Annunciation Church) on the citadel of the Old Rus’ian Chernihiv, in cultural layers dated by the late 11th — early 12th centuries. The seal was stamped twice with a rotation up to 160°, which led to the imposition of images and inscriptions. The seal almost completely repeats type 116 by V. L. Yanin, attributed to “Princess Mary” and previously known for two finds in Kyiv. The Chernihiv specimen was made by another pair of stamps or by renovated ones.Seal from excavations in 2009 in the courtyard of the Bratislava castle comes from the middle part of the filling of the pit dated to the end of the 11th — the first half of the 12th century. The Bratislava seal represents the same iconographic type and the invocative inscription as type 116, but it differs in details and the inscription includes a longer form of the name of the seal’s owner — “Marina”. These features allow us to distinguish the seal as a separate type 116a.The new finds of the seals independently confirm the dating of both types to the last quarter of the 11th — early 12th centuries. They also clarify the princess’s full name. In the context of the attribution of the seals to the second wife of the Grand Duke of Kyiv Vsevolod Yaroslavich, we can offer an explanation for the discovery of the Old Rus’ian female lead seal in Bratislava castle through a prism of the correspondence mailed by the princess Marina to her daughter Eupraxia-Adelheid during the latter’s brief stay in Hungary on the way to Rus’ in 1097.

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