Akakia

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Byzantine Emperor Alexander, holding the akakia in his right hand. Mosaic from the Hagia Sophia.
For the French physician, see Martin Akakia.

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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