Antiquities > Seals and Tesserae

Byzantine Late Roman? Seal of Basil? 17.35 mm 6.44g Corrected Bassianus!

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pogh_poor:
I recently acquired an interesting Byzantine / Late Roman? seal.  It measures approximately 17.35 mm and weighs 6.44g. 
On the obverse, there is a bust right inside a beaded circle. 
On the reverse, there is 

R  :Greek_Alpha: C
C  :Greek_Iota:  :Greek_Lambda: :Greek_Iota:
 :Greek_Omicron: C

inside a beaded circle. I believe it solves RΑCCΙΛIΟC Basileios Basil.  I think that it is Byzantine 5th/6th Century.  Am I correct? 
Who is the bust?  The owner of the seal or St. Basil perhaps?

Pogh_poor

Gert:
Hi,
No, I think it can't be Basil, because there's only one S in that name. I think the unclear letter must be N completing BAC/CIAN/OC. The portrait likely depicts the owner of the seal, whose name was Bassianus. The portrait looks 4th century to my eye, and I would propose to date it to the 2nd half of the 4th century. There are several persons named Bassianus for this period (a notarius of the East 371/72, a prefect of Egypt in 379 and a rationalis rei privatae in 384), any of whom could be the other owner - or of course another Bassianus unknown from other sources.
Regards
Gert

pogh_poor:
Thank Gert! 

Would you call this interesting seal Late Roman, Early Byzantine, or something right at the cusp of the two Empires? 

Pogh_poor

Gert:
Unless my proposed dating is wrong, this would be late Roman. It is one of those objects in the period bridging what we now call Roman and Byzantine times. But that is a modern distinction, the "Byzantines" saw themselves as Romans.
Regards
Gert

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