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ID number:  BIRBI-B1410
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 Nicomedia
Culture:  Byzantine
Date made:  575-576
Metal:  Copper
Weight (g):  7.25

Description:  Obverse: Justin II, left, and Sophia, right, both nimbate, enthroned, wearing crowns with pendilia. Justin holds a globus cruciger in his right hand, Sophia holds a cross topped sceptre in her right hand.
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 NVSPPAVC (Our Lord Justin Eternal Augustus)
Reverse: K (mark of value), NI (mint mark of Nicomedia), ANNO to left, XI (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 113
Grierson, P. Byzantine Coins (London 1982) 43-83.
Whitting, P.D. Byzantine Coins (London 1973) 111-112.

2 Related People

Justin II
October 578
Whitting, Philip David
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