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Numismatics

ID number:  BIRBI-B1201
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:  Tremissis
Place made:  Mint of Constantinople
Culture:  Byzantine
Date made:  565-578
Metal:  Gold
Weight (g):  1.50
BIRBI-B1201.jpg

Description:  Obverse. Bust of Justin II wearing cuirass, paludamentum (military cloak) and diadem.
Reverse. Victory holding a wreath in her right hand and a globus cruciger in her left. Star in the 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. The Reverse type of this coin had been used in the Eastern Empire since the fifth century. The plural Augustorum is a relic of the fourth and fifth centuries when there were multiple emperors.

Inscriptions:  Obverse. DNIV[…] NVSPPAVI (Our Lord Justin Eternal Augustus)
Reverse. VICTORI AAVCVSTORVM (Victory of the Augusti) CONOB (CON=Mint mark of Constantinople, OB=obrizum, refined gold) 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 13
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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