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ID number:  BIRBI-B1325
Object type:  Coin
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Named collection:  P. D. Whitting Collection
Collector:  Whitting, Philip D.
Maker:  Justin II (565-578)
Denomination:  Half Follis
Place made:  Mint of Thessalonica
Culture:  Byzantine
Date made:  567-568
Metal:  Copper
Weight (g):  4.20

Description:  Obverse: Bust of Justinian I wearing cuirass, and plume topped helmet with diadem and pendilia. Justinian holds a globus cruciger in his right hand and a shield with a horseman device with his left.
Reverse: K (mark of value, 20 nummi), cross above.

Justinian I nominated Justin as his successor. Justin was not only the nephew of Justinian, but was also married to Sophia, the niece of Empress Theodora. The reign of Justin II saw the empire at war on almost every front. In 568 the Lombards invaded Byzantine Italy and in just a few years had conquered much of the country. Justin refused to pay tribute to the Avars and Persians, which sparked a war with these two powers. Justin II became insane and in 574 nominated Tiberius, Count of the Excubitors as Caesar and retired from public life. When Justin died in 578 Tiberius succeeded him as Augustus.

Inscriptions:  Obverse: DNIVSTI NVSP[…] (Our Lord Justin Eternal [Augustus])
Reverse: K (mark of value), TεS (mint mark of Thessalonica), ANNO to left, III (regnal year) to right.

Bibliography:  Bellinger, A.R. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection (Washington D.C. 1966) coin 63.3-63.4
Grierson, P. Byzantine Coins (London 1982) 43-83.
Whitting, P.D. Byzantine Coins (London 1973) 111-112.

2 Related People

Whitting, Philip David
Justin II
October 578
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