a type of seal most commonly associated with medieval documents. Pendant seals were impressed in wax, lead, gold, or silver and were suspended on cords from documents.
The term “bulla” refers to metal pendant seals, but in the sources it sometimes also designates wax ones. In sphragistics, lead pendant seals are called molybdobulls. Gold pendant seals are known as chrysobulls. Pendant seals were first used in Rome at the end of the fourth century. They were widely used throughout Western Europe, Byzantium, and Russia (from the 11th century to the end of the 15th). Pendant seals are still used in the Vatican.
Ancient Russian pendant seals have been found primarily in Novgorod, where archaeological excavations have led to the discovery of many that belonged to the posadniki (governors of medieval Russian city-states), tysiatskie (commanders of the militia, Novgorod’s second highest officials), princes, archbishops, namestniki (vicegerents), and stewards (tiuny).