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Numismatics

ID number:  BIRBI-B1505
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 Antioch
Culture:  Byzantine
Date made:  566-567
Metal:  Copper
Weight (g):  6.07
BIRBI-B1505.jpg

Description:  Obverse: Bust of Justin II, wearing cuirass, and plume topped helmet and diadem with pendilia. Justin holds a globe surmounted by Victory in his right hand and a shield with a horseman device in his left. Victory is crowning Justin with a wreath. Cross in right field.
Reverse: K (mark of value, 20 nummi), cross above, star to the right.

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. Antioch was renamed Theopolis in 528 after being rebuilt, following a devastating earthquake, hence the abbreviated mint mark of P.

Inscriptions:  Obverse: […]VA[…] (Blundered inscription)
Reverse: K (mark of value), P (mint mark of Antioch), ANNO to left, II (regnal year) to right.

Bibliography:  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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