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Online Catalogue of Byzantine Seals

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For centuries the Byzantines, from humble monks and laymen to highly placed grandees and emperors, used lead seals to “lock” official and private correspondence and to validate or authenticate documents. The details contained on the thousands of seals preserved shed light on many aspects of the Byzantine world, principally the structure of its civil, military, and ecclesiastical administrations, the careers and locations of its officials, and the responses to the ever-changing fortunes of the empire over its millennial existence. Dumbarton Oaks preserves over 17,000 lead seals, available in an online, searchable database.