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  • Paten (detail)

    Paten (detail)


Diameter: 18.300 cm

Britain, Europe and Prehistory


    Hispano-Visigothic, 7th-8th century AD
    Found in León, Spain

    Church plate used in the Mass or for baptism

    The paten, or communion plate, is made of copper alloy, turned on a lathe. It has an incised inscription in rustic Latin round the centre: + IN NOMINE D[OMI]NI DEOCICI MANEFICIV[M] ADMIRARE (‘In the name of the Lord, look on the handiwork of Deocicus’) and round the rim: +VICIT LEO DE TRIBVS IVDA RADIS DAVID ALLELVIA (‘The Lion of Judah's tribe, the Scion of David, he has won ..., Alleluia’, Revelation 5:5). The name Deocicus is not recorded elsewhere.

    The paten is probably a local copy of a Byzantine model and was inscribed in Spain, which suggests that the Visigoths continued their commercial links with Byzantium (Constantinople, modern Istanbul in Turkey). It is possible that it formed part of a hoard of church plate hidden at the time of the Moorish invasion in the eighth century.

    R.L.S. Bruce-Mitford and S.M. Youngs, 'The silver' in The Sutton Hoo ship-burial, vol. 3 (London, The British Museum Press, 1983)


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