Chrysobull issued by Andronikos II Palaiologos

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The chrysobull was issued by Andronikos II Palaiologos (1282-1328) to confirm and extend a number of privileges that he had granted in the past to Nikolaos, the metropolitan bishop of Monemvasia (1283-1325). The beginning of the document is adorned by a miniature of the emperor handing the chrysobull to Christ. At the end is the emperor’s signature in red ink. The chrysobull comes from Monemvasia but was donated to the Christian Archaeological Society in 1903 by Euthymios Kavathas, Bishop of Kythera, where the document had been taken in the 18th c. Chrysobulls were imperial documents granting privileges and bore a gold seal (chryse boulla). Very few of the surviving Byzantine chrysobulls are adorned with a miniature of the emperor who issued them.