The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, the Lapworth Museum of Geology and the University of Birmingham Collections - Objects
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ID number: BIRBI-B0429
Institution: The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Named collection: P.D. Whitting Collection
Artist / Maker: Justinian I (527-565)
Title / Object name / Definition: Follis
Object type: Coin
Place made: Mint of Constantinople
Date made: 538-539
Collector: P.D. Whitting
Measurements: 23.02 g
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. Cross in right field.
Reverse: M (mark of value, 40 nummi) Cross above. In 538/9 Justinian changed the bust from the side facing type too a forward facing type. From this point on the forward facing bust became more and more common on Byzantine coins. Justinian came to power in 527 as co-emperor to his uncle, the ailing Justin I. When Justin died a few months later Justinian became sole emperor. Today Justinian is best known for his attempts to reconquer the western provinces of the Roman Empire, his codification of Roman law, and the building of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.
Inscriptions / Translations: Obverse: DNIVSTINI ANVSPPAVC (Our Lord Justinian Eternal Augustus)
Reverse: M (mark of value) A (officina [workshop] A) beneath, ANNO to left, XII to right (regnal year), CON (mint mark of Constantinople) in exergue.
Bibliography: Bellinger, A.R. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection (Washington D.C. 1966) coin 37a
Grierson, P. Byzantine Coins (London 1982) pp43-83.
Whitting, P.D. Byzantine Coins (London 1973) pp106-111
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