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Numismatics

ID number:  BIRBI-B1585
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:  Pentanummium
Place made:  Mint of Ravenna
Culture:  Byzantine
Date made:  565-578
Metal:  Copper
Weight (g):  1.56
BIRBI-B1585.jpg

Description:  Obverse: Bust of Justin II wearing cuirass, paludamentum (military cloak) and diadem.
Reverse: ε (mark of value, 5 nummi), cross to right, all within a wreath.

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. Ravenna at this time was the capital of Byzantine Italy.

Inscriptions:  Obverse: DNIVSTI NVSPPAV (Our Lord Justin Eternal Augustus)
Reverse: ε (mark of value)

Bibliography:  Bellinger, A.R. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection (Washington D.C. 1966) coin 217
Grierson, P. Byzantine Coins (London 1982) 43-83.
Whitting, P.D. Byzantine Coins (London 1973) 111-112.

2 Related People

Justin II
Byzantine
c.520
October 578
Whitting, Philip David
British
1903
1988
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