Joint rule with Justin I (his uncle), 4 April - 1 August 527 A.D. Justinian I served his uncle, Emperor Justin I, throughout his reign formulating most imperial policy. Recognizing his brilliance, he was rapidly promoted and in the final months of Justin's reign he was made co-emperor. Justinian's sole rule began on 1 August 527 and lasted almost four decades during which he re-conquered much of the empire lost during the preceding century, including NorthAfrica, Italy, and parts of Spain. He is well known for his codification of the legal system. His grand scale building program included St Sophia, which still stands as the centerpiece of modern Istanbul. Unfortunately his ambitious efforts strained the empire's resources and depleted the treasure built by Anastasius. Most of the territory he gained was lost shortly after his death.
In 545, Justinian sent general Narses, to the rulers of the Heruli, to recruit troops for the campaigns in Italy and Syria. According to Procopius, the Heruli were polytheistic and practiced human sacrifice. He also claimed that the Heruli killed their sick and elderly and, following the death of their husbands, Heruli women were expected to commit suicide by hanging. With the ascent of Justinian, Procopius says that the Heruli within the empire converted to Christianity and "adopted a gentler manner of life."
SH70978. Gold solidus, DOC I 9j, Wroth BMC 18, Morrisson BnF 20, Tolstoi 39, Ratto 456, Sommer 4.3.4, Hahn MIB 7, SBCV 140, VF, scrapes and bumps, weight 4.443 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 545 - 565 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINIANVS PP AVG, helmeted, diademed and cuirassedbust facing, globus in right, shield decorated with horseman; reverseVICTORIA AVGGG I, angel standing facing in tunic and pallium, rho-cross staff in right, globus cruciger in left, star right, CONOBin ex; $350.00 (€262.50)
Salona (Solin, Croatia) was the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia. When the Diocletian retired, he erected his monumental "Diocletian's Palace" nearby (at modern Split, Croatia). Salona was largely destroyed in the invasions of the Avars and Slavs around the year 639 AD.
SH36378. Bronze half follis, SBCV 331, DOC I 360, BMC -, F, weight 1.974 g, maximum diameter 14.8 mm, die axis 180o, Dalmatia, Salona (Solin, Croatia) mint, 552 - 553 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINIANVS PP (or similar), diademed, draped and cuirassedbust right; reverse large K (20 nummi), plain border; rare; $180.00 (€135.00)
Byzantine Empire, Justin I and Justinian I, April - 1 August 527 A.D.
This tiny bronze from Antioch is the last coin type to depict the Tyche of Antioch by Eutychides and, indeed, it is the last ancient coin type to depict any classical deity. The sculpture, which first appeared on coins of Antioch in the second century B.C., was made in the late 4th Century B.C. by the Greek sculptor Eutychides of Sicyon for the then newly founded city of Antioch. The sculpture was imitated by many Asiatic cities. There is a small copy in the Vatican.
SH65333. Bronze pentanummium, DOC I 17, Hahn MIB 13, Wroth BMC 10 - 11, SBCV 133, Morrisson BnF -, Ratto -, F, weight 2.035 g, maximum diameter 13.0 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, obverse D N D N IVSTINVS ET IVSTINIANVS PP AVG (or similar), diademed, draped and cuirassed busts of Justin and Justinian facing; reverseTyche of Antioch seated left, reversed E left, all within a distyle shrine; very rare; $155.00 (€116.25)
Above the denomination (H) this type usually has nothing, or a cross, or a Christogram, and sometimes the symbol above is flanked by pellets or stars. CNG 60 (2002), lot 1985, is unique with ΘEIW above. This coin appears to have A∆K above with the ∆ a little larger, which is unpublished. It may be ancient counterfeit, or the "apparent" letters are the odd result of die damage or corrosion.
BZ62085. Bronze 8 nummi, unpublished with A∆K above); cf. SBCV 192, DOC I 100, Wroth BMC 177, Tolstoi 494, Hahn MIB 174d, aF, weight 2.785 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica(?) mint, obverse D N IVSTINI-ANVS P P AVG, diademed, draped and cuirassedbust right; reverse large H between smaller A and P, A∆K(?) above; unique(?); $140.00 (€105.00)
Under Justinian Nicomedia was extended with new public buildings. Situated on the roads leading to the capital, the city remained a major military center, playing an important role in the Byzantine campaigns against the Caliphate.
BZ69172. Bronze half follis, Hahn MIBE 96, DOC I 69 var (officina E only), SBCV 203, Sommer 4.68, Wroth BMC -, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, VF, well centered, weight 9.813 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, die axis 225o, 3rd officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 545 - 546 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINIANVS PP AVG, helmeted and cuirassedbust facing, globus cruciger in right, shield in left, cross right; reverse large K (20 nummi), cross above, ANNO left, XVI/III (year 19) right, Γ below; $110.00 (€82.50)
In 562, Belisarius stood trial for corruption in Constantinople, possibly with Procopius acting as praefectus urbi. He was found guilty and sent to prison.
BZ67007. Bronze decanummium, DOC I 353 (Ravenna), Wroth BMC 407 (Ravenna), SBCV 326 (Ravenna), Hahn MIB I 29a (Rome), Sommer 4.155 (Rome), Ratto -, F, nice green patina, weight 2.846 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, die axis 180o, Ravenna or Rome mint, 562 - 563 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINIANVS PP AVG, helmeted and cuirassedbust facing, holding globus cruciger in right, shield in left; reverse large I (10 nummi), ANNO left, XX/XVI (regnal year 36) right, all within wreath, no mintmark; $85.00 (€63.75)
In 549, the Ostrogoths Totila unsuccessfully besieged Rome for the third time since Belisarius returned to Constantinople. Totila offered a peace agreement, but this was rejected by Justinian. Totila took the city of Perugia in central Italy, captured the bishop Herculanus and ordered him to be completely flayed. The Ostrogoth soldier asked to perform this gruesome execution shows pity and decapitated Herculanus before removing the skin on every part of his body.
BZ69716. Bronze decanummium, DOC I 304, Wroth BMC 382, Morrison BnF 43, Ratto 709, Tolstoi 453, Berk 268, Sommer 4.132, Hahn MIB 200, SBCV 271, F, weight 4.415 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 0o, Carthage mint, 548 - 549 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTIN-IANVS P AVC (or similar, obscure), diademed, draped and cuirassedbust right; reverseVICTORIA AC, Victory standing facing, wreath in right, globus cruciger in left, X between two stars in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $60.00 (€45.00)
Byzantine Empire, Justinian I, 4 April 527 - 14 November 565 A.D.
In 563, Justinian I pardoned Belisarius, ordered his release from prison, restored his property and honors, and allowed the general to live in obscurity with a "veteran" pension.
BZ70534. Bronze decanummium, Ratto 640, DOC I 197 (not in the collection, refs Ratto), Morrisson BnF - (p. 91, same) Sommer 4.76, Hahn MIB 123a, SBCV 209, Tolstoi -, Wroth BMC -, gF, weight 2.592 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, die axis 225o, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 563 - 564 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINIA-NVS P, diademed, draped and cuirassedbust right; reverse large I (10 nummi), cross above, ANNO to left, XXXςI (year 37) right, KYZ (Cyzicus) in exergue; rare; $60.00 (€45.00)
In 540, General Solomon captured the Aurès Mountains from the Moors and extended Byzantine authority over Numidia and Mauretania Sitifensis. The city of Theveste (Algeria) was restored and fortified.
BZ90821. Bronze nummus, DOC I 303, Hahn MIB 305; Morrisson BnF 65, SBCV 279, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, Wroth BMC -, Sommer -, VF, weight 1.069 g, maximum diameter 11.4 mm, die axis 90o, Carthage mint, 540 - 541 A.D.; obverse diademed, draped and cuirassedbust right, pseudo legend; reverse VOT / XIIII (regnal year 14) in two lines within linear border, within wreath; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; rare; $55.00 (€41.25)
This type is missing from most references and the major Byzantine coin collections.
BZ69704. Bronze follis, DOC I 32.2, Hahn MIB 88, Berk 128, SBCV 162, Wroth BMC -, Morrisson BnF -, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, F, near black patina, weight 17.930 g, maximum diameter 32.6 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 527 - 537 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINI-ANVS PP AVG, diademed, draped and cuirassedbust right; reverse large M (40 nummi), cross above, star left, crescent horns right on right, E (5th officina) below, CON (Constantinople) in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; rare; $50.00 (€37.50)
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