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Numismatics

ID number:  BIRBI-B1870
Object type:  Coin
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Named collection:  P. D. Whitting Collection
Collector:  Whitting, Philip D.
Maker:  Maurice (582-602)
Denomination:  Semissis
Place made:  Mint of Constantinople
Culture:  Byzantine
Date made:  582
Metal:  Gold
Weight (g):  2.09
BIRBI-B1870.jpg

Description:  Obverse: Bust of Emperor Maurice wearing a diadem and paludamentum (military cloak).
Reverse: Cross above a circle.

Maurice, a successful general, was adopted by the ailing Tiberius II in 582, succeeding to the throne later in the same year. This coin is from an era when both facing and profile portraits were used on coins. As time passed the facing portrait would become the more popular model for Byzantine coins. The reverse image (cross over circle) is the traditional symbol for the semissis (1/2 solidus).

Inscriptions:  Obverse: DNTIBERIPPAVC (Our Lord Tiberius, Eternal Augustus)
Reverse: VICTORMAVRIAVC (Victory of Maurice Augustus) CONOB (CON=Mint mark of Constantinople, OB=obrizum, refined gold) in exergue.

Bibliography:  Grierson, P. Byzantine Coins (London 1982) 43-83.
Whitting, P.D. Byzantine Coins (London 1973) 114-118.

2 Related People

Whitting, Philip David
British
1903
1988
Maurice
Byzantine
c.539
602
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