Lead bull of the Ekdikoi of Hagia Sophia

Lead bull of the Ekdikoi of Hagia Sophia, Constantinople. On the obverse, the Virgin is depicted left and the emperor right holding a model of the church of Haghia Sophia, as the inscription (Γ/Ι/Α/C/O/Φ/I/A) states. On the reverse, an inscription reads: “To the most God-fearing presbyters (elders) and ekdikoi of the church”. The figures on the lead bull are raised and carefully rendered, while the letters of the inscription are well-formed and clear. The lead bull casts light on the administrative organization of Church at the highest level of hierarchy, which mirrored well-structured administration of the state. The Ekdikoi, a body of clerics within the ranks of the clergy of Haghia Sophia in Constantinople headed by the Protekdikos, had judicial powers and defended the weak against the highhandedness of the administration and the powerful on the basis of canon law.

Skampavias K. 2007. Catalogue no. 35, in Skampavias K.—Chatzidakis N. (eds), Paul and Alexandra Canellopoulos Museum.Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Art, Athens, 50.