Maurice Tiberius, 13 August 582 - 22 November 602 A.D.
Joint rule with Theodosius (his son), 29 March 590 - 22 November 602 A.D.Maurice Tiberius, a successful general, was selected by Tiberius II Constantine as his successor. Although he achieved a favorable peace in Persia and was able to stem the losses of territory in Italy and Africa, much of the Balkans were lost. Focas, a junior officer, led a military revolt against Maurice and was declared emperor in November 602. Maurice and Theodosius, his son and co-emperor, were captured and murdered.
In 583, Maurice decided to end the annual tribute to the Avars, a mounted people who swept across Russia and threatened the Balkan Peninsula. The result was sixteen years of Avar attacks, raids, sackings, and devastation. In 599, after Maurice refused to pay ransom, the Avars slaughtered 12,000 captured Byzantine soldiers. That summer, the Byzantines defeated the Avars in open battle, pursued the fleeing tribes, and then invaded and devastated the Avar homeland. In 602, after a few more defeats, the Avars agreed to accept Byzantine rule. However, the high cost of the war in blood and treasure had cost Maurice his popularity. He was forced to witness the slaughter of his supporters and his five sons, and then beheaded.
SH70981. Gold solidus, SBCV 478, DOC I 5, Sommer 7.5, Hahn MIB 6, F+, uneven strike, with unstruck flat areas, weight 4.238 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople mint, 583 - 602 A.D.; obverse D N mAVRC - TIb P P AVΓ, helmeted and cuirassedbust facing, globus cruciger in right, shield in left; reverse VICTORI-A AVCC [...], Victory standing front, staurogram (rho-cross) staff in right, globus cruciger in left; ex Moneta Nova (Bremen, Germany); $350.00 (€262.50)
Maurice Tiberius achieved peace with Persia and stemmed losses in Italy and Africa, but lost much of the Balkans. When Focas, a junior officer, revolted Maurice and his son Theodosius were murdered.
BZ69201. Bronze decanummium, DOC I 64c, Sommer 7.29, Tolstoi 107, Hahn MIB 73A, SBCV 498, Wroth BMC -, Morrisson BnF -, Ratto -, Choice VF, weight 3.103 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, obverse D N TIBER P P AV, crowned, draped and cuirassedbust facing; reverse large I (10 nummi), cross above, star left, E right, CON (Constantinople) in exergue; scarce; $140.00 (€105.00)
By 602, Maurice ordered the troops to stay beyond the Danube over winter, but they revolted and marched back to Constantinople under the leadership of Phocas. On 27 November, Maurice was captured trying to escape, he was forced to witness the slaughter of his five sons and all his supporters, and was beheaded. His wife, Constantina and his three daughters were spared, and sent to a monastery. Phocas was proclaimed the emperor.
BZ69192. Bronze decanummium, Anastasi 24c, DOC I 281, Hahn MIBE 140, Wroth BMC 249, Tolstoi 306, Ratto 1169, Sommer 7.100, SBCV 583, F, weight 3.225 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 588 - 602 A.D.; obverse D N mAVRIC - TIb P P AVC (or similar), helmeted, draped, and cuirassedbust facing, helmet with crest and pendilia, globus cruciger in right; reverse large X (10 nummi), SE-CI-LI-A in angles; $110.00 (€82.50)
BZ69563. Bronze decanummium, SBCV 566, DOC I 255, Morrisson BnF 23, Hahn MIB 126, Wroth BMC 241, Sommer 7.83, Tolstoi 304, Ratto 1164, F, encrustations, weight 2.996 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 225o, Carthage mint, 602 A.D.(?); obverse D N mA-VRICI P (or similar), diademed, draped and cuirassedbust left, IND (indictione) ϖ below; reversecross potent on two steps, N-M (nummi) across field, X (10) below; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; rare; $55.00 (€41.25)
Around 587, Maurice constructed additional fortifications along the Danube frontier, separating the Byzantine Empire from the realms of the Avars and Slavs.
BZ69560. Bronze half follis, DOC I 178, Morrisson BnF 58, Ratto 975, Sommer 7.64, Hahn MIB 97, SBCV 534, Wroth BMCTiberius II 113, TolstoiTiberius II 97, aVF, weight 6.108 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 180o, Theopolis (Antioch) mint, 586 - 587 A.D.; obverse D N mAVr - NS PP AV (or similar, blundered), bust facing, crown with trefoil ornament and pendilia, consular robes, mappa in right, eagle tipped scepter in left; reverse large XX (20 nummi) pellet between, cross above, ANN[O?] downward on left, U (regnal year 5) right, e below; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $50.00 (€37.50)
In 584 the Byzantines founded the Exarchate of Ravenna; the exarchate was organised into a group of duchies, mainly coastal cities on the Italian Peninsula. The civil and military head of these Byzantine territories was the exarch (governor) in Ravenna.
BZ69575. Bronze follis, DOC I 92b, Sommer 7.41, Hahn 75B, SBCV 511, Morrisson BnF -, Wroth BMC -, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, aVF, legend unstruck, pitting on obverse, weight 12.617 g, maximum diameter 30.0 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 583 - 584 A.D.; obverse [D N TIbER mAVRC P P A] (or similar, unstruck), crowned and cuirassedbust facing, crown with cross and pendilia, three pellets on cuirass, globus cruciger in right, shield in left ornamented with horseman spearing fallen enemy; reverse large M (40 nummi) between A/N/N/O and II/I (regnal year 3), cross above, B (2nd officina) below, NIKO (Nicomedia) in ex; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; rare; $50.00 (€37.50)
Maurice Tiberius, a successful general, was selected by Tiberius II Constantine as his successor. Although he achieved a favorable peace in Persia and was able to stem the losses of territory in Italy and Africa, much of the Balkans were lost. Focas, a junior officer, led a military revolt against Maurice and was declared emperor in November 602. Maurice and Theodosius, his son and co-emperor, were captured and murdered.
BZ69709. Bronze pentanummium, DOC I 68d, Ratto 1087, Sommer 7.33, Hahn MIB 74c, Berk 407, SRCV 501A, Wroth BMC -, Tolstoi -, VF, nice glossy green patina, ragged flan, earthen encrustation, weight 1.456 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 225o, 4th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 582 - 602 A.D.; obverse d N mAVRIC PP AV (or similar, obscure, AV ligate), diademed, draped and cuirassedbust right; reverse large E (5 nummi), smaller ∆ (4th officina) right; scarce; $50.00 (€37.50)
In 594, the Slavs invaded Moesia and Macedonia. The towns of Aquis, Scupi and Zaldapa in Dobruja were destroyed. In 595, a Byzantine force under Priscus marched up the the northern bank of the Danube to Novae (modern Bulgaria). The Avars plundered and abandoned Singidunum (Belgrade) on the Byzantines' approach. The Avars retreated and raided Dalmatia.
BZ67005. Bronze decanummium, DOC I 274, Wroth BMC 258, Tolstoi 292, Sommer 7.99, Hahn MIB 137D, SBCV 581, Ratto -, aF/F, weight 3.190 g, maximum diameter 13.7 mm, die axis 225o, Catania mint, 594 - 595 A.D.; obverse D N Tib MAV P P AVC, crowned and cuirassedbust facing, holding shield; reverse large I (10 nummi) between ANNO and X/III (year 13), CAT (Catania) in exergue; $40.00 (€30.00)
The ruins of Antioch on the Orontes lie near the modern city of Antakya, Turkey. Founded near the end of the 4th century B.C. by Seleucus I Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's generals, Antioch's geographic, military and economic location, particularly the spice trade, the Silk Road, the Persian Royal Road, benefited its occupants, and eventually it rivaled Alexandria as the chief city of the Near East and as the main center of Hellenistic Judaism at the end of the Second Temple period. Antioch is called "the cradle of Christianity,” for the pivotal early role it played in the emergence of the faith. It was one of the four cities of the Syrian tetrapolis. Its residents are known as Antiochenes. Antioch was renamed Theoupolis after it was nearly destroyed by an earthquake on 29 November 528. Once a great metropolis of half a million people, it declined to insignificance during the Middle Ages because of warfare, repeated earthquakes and a change in trade routes following the Mongol conquests, which then no longer passed through Antioch from the far east.
BZ69561. Bronze decanummium, DOC I 197, Sommer 7.66, Hahn MIB 100b, SBCV 536, Wroth BMCTiberius II 125, Morrison BnF - (but notes Wroth coin), Tolstoi -, Ratto -, F, full circles strike, weight 3.688 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 180o, Theoupolis (Antioch) mint, 586 - 587 A.D.; obverse ΠATST-ITM AVΓ (or similar, blundered), bust facing, crown with trefoil ornament and pendilia, consular robes, mappa in right, eagle tipped scepter in left; reverse large X (10 nummi) between ANNO and Y (regnal year 5), cross above, e in ex; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $35.00 (€26.25)
Cassander of Macedonia founded Thessalonica in 315 B.C. He named it after his wife Thessalonike, a half-sister of Alexander the Great. Thessalonica became the capital of Roman Macedonia in 168 B.C. and was later the administrative center for all of Greece. Its location at the nexus of both the East-West and North-South trade routes was ideal. In 1423, Andronicus ceded the city to Venice to protect it from the besieging Ottomans. The Venetians held Thessaloniki until it was taken by the Sultan Murad II on 29 March 1430.
BZ69557. Bronze half follis, DOC I 81a, Sommer 7.40, Wroth BMC 118, Tolstoi 202, Hahn MIB 113D, SBCV 509, Morrisson BnF -, Ratto -, F, weight 5.228 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 584 - 585 A.D.; obverse D N mAVRC TIb P P AVC, helmeted and cuirassedbust facing, helment with plume, globus cruciger in right, shield on left shoulder; reverse large K (20 nummi) between A/N/N/O and UI/II (regnal year 8), cross above, TES (Thessalonica) below; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $30.00 (€22.50)
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