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ID number:  BIRBI-B0793
Object type:  Coin
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Named collection:  P. D. Whitting Collection
Collector:  Whitting, Philip D.
Maker:  Justinian I (527-565)
Denomination:  Follis
Place made:  Mint of Antioch
Culture:  Byzantine
Date made:  539-540
Metal:  Copper
Weight (g):  22.40

Description:  Obverse: Facing bust of Emperor Justinian I, wearing a helmet with a crest, a diadem with pendilia (pearl ornaments which hung from the sides of a crown or diadem) and a cuirass. Justinian holds globus cruciger (cross-topped globe) in his right hand and a shield with a horseman device in his left.
Reverse: The M (mark of value, 40 nummi). ANNO XIII shows that this coin was struck in the thirteenth year of Justinian’s reign. The mint mark of stands for Theopolis, city of God.

Antioch was renamed Theopolis in 528 after being rebuilt, following a devastating earthquake. On this coin the emperor is shown in his traditional role as leader of the army. The reverse of this coin provides a glimpse of the complex dating and manufacture process operating in the mints of early Byzantium. This follis was part of the last issue of coins from Antioch before the great sack of the city by the Persians in 540. For two years after this Antioch would not produce any coins.

Inscriptions:  Obverse: DNIVSTINIANVSPPAVC (Our Lord Justinian, Eternal Augustus)
Reverse: M (mark of value), ANNO to left, XIII to right,  (officina [workshop] 4) below. mint of Antioch)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 21 var.
Grierson, P. Byzantine Coins (London 1982) 43-83.
Whitting, P.D. Byzantine Coins (London 1973) 106-111.

2 Related People

Whitting, Philip David
Justinian I
14th November 565
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