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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Byzantine Coins ▸ Justinian Dynasty ▸ Maurice TiberiusView Options:  |  |  | 

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.
Map of Europe 600 A.D.


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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.
BZ79566. Bronze half follis, Wroth BMC 231, DOC I 244 (not in the collection, refs. Wroth), Hahn MIB 118B, SBCV 559, Sommer 7.77, Morrisson BnF -, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, aVF, uneven strike left side of obverse weak, weight 12.083 g, maximum diameter 23.9 mm, die axis 180o, Carthage mint, c. 582 - 583 A.D.; obverse D N TIb mAVRIC P P AVC, helmeted and cuirassed facing bust, globus cruciger in right hand, shield on left shoulder ornamented with a horseman riding right; reverse round shield containing star, surmounted by cross; K/R-T/G (Carthage) flanking, XX between NM (20 nummi) in exergue; ex CGB; very rare; $160.00 (€142.40)
 


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Tiberius II and Maurice both issued similar folles of this type. Tiberius II has a cross on his crown; Maurice has a trefoil ornament. Also, the obverse legends for Tiberius II are mostly recognizable, the obverse legends for Maurice are completely blundered illiterate nonsense, as on this coin. Many older references failed to distinguish between them.
BZ77959. Bronze follis, Wroth BMC 97 (Tiberius II), DOC I 155 var. (ς only for year 6), Hahn MIB 95b, SBCV 532, Sommer 7.62.2, Morrisson BnF -, F, some corrosion, edge flaw, weight 11.146 g, maximum diameter 28.9 mm, die axis 180o, Theoupolis (Antioch) mint, 587 - 588 A.D.; obverse ΠTITHOCS - SITIΛTITATC (or similar, blundered nonsense), bust facing wearing consular robes, crown with trefoil ornament, mappa in right hand, eagle tipped scepter in left hand; reverse large M (40 nummi) between A/N/N/O and YI (regnal year 6), cross above, THEUP' in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; very rare date variety; $40.00 (€35.60)
 


Byzantine Empire, Maurice Tiberius, 13 August 582 - 22 November 602 A.D.

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Tiberius II and Maurice both issued similar folles of this type. Tiberius II has a cross on his crown; Maurice has a trefoil ornament. Also, the obverse legends for Tiberius II are mostly recognizable, the obverse legends for Maurice are completely blundered illiterate nonsense, as on this coin. Many older references failed to distinguish between them.
BZ71846. Bronze follis, DOC I 155, Wroth BMC 89 (Tiberius II), Ratto 964 (Tiberius), Tolstoi 61, Hahn MIB 95b, SBCV 532, Sommer 7.62.2, Morrisson BnF -, VF, centered, green patina, edge bump, weight 11.940 g, maximum diameter 32.0 mm, die axis 180o, Theoupolis (Antioch) mint, 585 - 586 A.D.; obverse OMITACOM-NANTAPPY (blundered), bust facing, crown with trefoil ornament, consular robes, mappa in right, eagle tipped scepter in left; reverse large M (40 nummi) between A/N/N/O and II/II (regnal year 4), cross above, THEUP' in exergue; $70.00 (€62.30)
 


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In 591, seeing an opportunity to end the prolonged war to the advantage of Constantinople, Maurice assisted Khosrau II regain the Persian throne. He sent a Byzantine army of 35,000 men into Mesopotamia through Syria and another expeditionary force in Armenia advanced through Caucasian Iberia into Media (modern Azerbaijan). The Byzantines defeated a Persian army of about 40,000 men under king Bahram VI at the Battle of Blarathon, in the lowlands near Ganzak (northwestern Iran). Bahram fled to seek refuge with the Turks in Central Asia and settled in Fergana, but was murdered by a hired assassin of Khosrau II. In the summer, Maurice began a series of military expeditions to defend the Balkans from the Avars and Slavs. He stabilized the Danube frontier (Limes Moesiae) from the Delta to the fortress city of Singidunum (Belgrade) and the Byzantines reasserted their authority in the interior.
BZ72002. Bronze follis, DOC I 33a, Ratto 1054, SBCV 494, Sommer 7.21, Wroth BMC -, Morrisson BnF -, Tolstoi -, aVF, nice green patina, some areas of weakness, light corrosion, weight 11.485 g, maximum diameter 32.8 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 591 - 592 A.D.; obverse D N mAVRC TIbER PP AV, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, globus cruciger in right, shield in left; reverse large M (40 nummi) between ANNO and X (regnal year 10), cross above, A (1st officina) below, CON (Constantinople) in exergue; $70.00 (€62.30)
 


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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.
SH76123. Gold solidus, DOC I 5b, Wroth BMC 3, Morrisson BnF 7/Cp/AV/3, Tolstoi 10, Ratto 998, Hahn MIB 6, Sommer 7.5, SBCV 478,, VF, well centered, bumps and marks, die wear, reverse right a little weakly struck, weight 4.478 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 583 - 602 A.D.; obverse D N mAVRC - TIb P P AVC, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, globus cruciger in right hand, fold of paludamentum over left shoulder, helmet with plum, circlet in front and pendilia; reverse VICTORI-A AVCC B, angel standing facing, staff topped with staurogram (rho-cross) in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, CONOB in exergue; $550.00 (€489.50)
 


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SH76236. Gold light weight solidus, 23 siliquae; DOC I 7b, Hahn MIB II 11, SBCV 481, Wroth BMC-, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, Morrisson BnF -, Sommer -, VF, centered, uneven strike with weak areas, bumps and marks, overstruck(?), weight 4.183 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 583 - 25 Nov 602 A.D.; obverse D N mAVRC - TIb P P AVC, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, helmet with plum and pendilia, globus cruciger in right hand, shield in left, * in right field; reverse VICTORI-A AVGG B, angel standing facing, staurogram (rho-cross) topped staff in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, star in right field, CONOB in exergue; ex Rudnik Numismatics; rare officina for scarce issue; $340.00 (€302.60)
 


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In 584 the Byzantines founded the Exarchate of Ravenna; the exarchate was organized 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 MIB II 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 cuirassed bust 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 exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; rare; $50.00 (€44.50)
 


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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. 6th Century Antioch
BZ69561. Bronze decanummium, DOC I 197, Sommer 7.66, Hahn MIB II 100b, SBCV 536, Wroth BMC Tiberius II 125, Morrisson 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 (€31.15)
 


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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 cuirassed bust facing, helmet with crest and pendilia, globus cruciger in right; reverse large X (10 nummi), SE-CI-LI-A in angles; $85.00 (€75.65)
 


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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 cuirassed bust facing; reverse large I (10 nummi), cross above, star left, E right, CON (Constantinople) in exergue; scarce; $110.00 (€97.90)
 










REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Sunday, September 25, 2016.
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Byzantine Coins of Maurice Tiberius