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Numismatics

ID number:  BIRBI-B1508
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:  Half Follis
Place made:  Mint of Antioch
Culture:  Byzantine
Date made:  571-572
Metal:  Copper
Weight (g):  5.75
BIRBI-B1508.jpg

Description:  Obverse: Justin II, left, and Sophia, right, both nimbate, enthroned, wearing crowns with trefoil ornament and pendilia. Justin and Sophia hold a globus cruciger between them and long sceptres.
Reverse: K (mark of value, 20 nummi), cross above.

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. Antioch was renamed Theopolis in 528 after being rebuilt, following a devastating earthquake, hence the abbreviated mint mark of P.

Inscriptions:  Obverse: VHTI[…] TPVT (Blundered inscription)
Reverse: K (mark of value), P (mint mark of Antioch), ANNO to left, uII (regnal year) to right.

Bibliography:  Bellinger, A.R. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection (Washington D.C. 1966) coin (167a)
Grierson, P. Byzantine Coins (London 1982) 43-83.
Whitting, P.D. Byzantine Coins (London 1973) 111-112.

2 Related People

Whitting, Philip David
British
1903
1988
Justin II
Byzantine
c.520
October 578
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