The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, the Lapworth Museum of Geology and the University of Birmingham Collections - Objects
ID number: BIRBI-B1204
Institution: The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Named collection: P.D. Whitting Collection
Artist / Maker: Justin II (565-578)
Title / Object name / Definition: Siliqua
Object type: Coin
Place made: Mint of Constantinople
Date made: 565-578
Collector: P.D. Whitting
Measurements: 2.05 g
Description: Obverse. Bust of Justin II wearing cuirass, paludamentum (military cloak) and diadem.
Reverse. Justin II nimbate, wearing military costume, holding a spear in his right hand and a globus cruciger in his left. Star in right field. 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. Silver coins did not form a regular part of the circulating currency at this time, so it is likely that this coin was struck as a commemorative coin.
Inscriptions / Translations: Obverse. DNIVSTI NVSPPAVI (Our Lord Justin Eternal Augustus)
Reverse. CLORIARO MANORVM (Glory of the Romans) COB (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 18
Grierson, P. Byzantine Coins (London 1982) pp43-83.
Whitting, P.D. Byzantine Coins (London 1973) pp111-112
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