Over 40,000 lead seals from the early Byzantine Empire remain today. Apart from the rare cases where the seal authent...

Timur on February 1, 2015

Clarification

What makes (A) correct?

1 Reply

Melody on February 3, 2015

Conclusion: "the number of early Byzantine documents sealed in such a fashion must have been many times the number of remaining lead seals."

Why? We know that other than in the rare cases where a seal is used to authenticate a document of special importance, the majority of seals served their purpose on a document when that document was opened. Since these seals were not free, once they had served their purpose, i.e. once most of these documents were open, they would have been recast.

So, to conclude that during the early Byzantine Empire, documents sealed in such a fashion must have been many times the number of remaining lead seals, we must know that most of these documents that had been sealed were then opened. Since, if many of these documents sealed in the early Byzantine Empire had not been opened, then the seals would not have served their purpose and so they would not have been recast--"most lead seals would have been recast once they had served their purpose."

Answer choice (A) reiterates this exact point: "Most of the lead seals produced during the early Byzantine Empire were affixed to documents that were then opened during that period."

Hope that clears things up! Please let us know if you have any other questions.