Byzantine Emperor Alexander
, holding the akakia
in his left hand (on the righthand side of the image). Mosaic from the Hagia Sophia
The akakia (Greek: ἀκακία, literally "guilelessness") was a cylindrical purple silk roll containing dust, held by the Byzantine emperors during ceremonies, and symbolizing the mortal nature of all men. It possibly developed from the mappa, the cloth used by the Roman consuls to start the races at the hippodrome.
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