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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Byzantine Coins ▸ Justinian Dynasty ▸ Justinian IView Options:  |  |  | 

Justinian I, 4 April 527 - 14 November 565 A.D.

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 North Africa, 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.
Byzantine Empire under Justinian 550 AD


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In May 540, the Byzantine general Belisarius conquered Mediolanum and the Gothic capital Ravenna. The Gothic king Vitiges and his wife Matasuntha were taken as captives to Constantinople. Vitiges later died there, without any children. After his death, Matasuntha married the patrician Germanus Justinus, a nephew of Justinian I by his sister Vigilantia.
SH71737. Bronze follis, DOC I 40b, Morrisson BnF 4/Cp/AE/60, Wroth BMC 58, Tolstoi 107, Ratto 507, Hahn MIBE 95a, SBCV 163, Sommer 4.20, Choice gVF, full circles strike on a huge flan, nice green patina, weight 23.632 g, maximum diameter 39.4 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 541 - 542 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINIANVS PP AVI, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, globus cruciger in right, shield on left ornamented with horseman, cross right; reverse large M (40 nummi), cross above, ANNO left, XY (regnal year 15) right, B (officina 2) below, CON (Constantinople) in exergue; $170.00 (€151.30)
 


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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.
BZ77229. Bronze 16 nummi, DOC I 98d, Wroth BMC 171, Morrisson BnF 4/Th/AE/9, Tolstoi 485, Hahn MIB 169c, SBCV 178, Sommer 4.41, VF, nice patina, well centered, light marks and bumps, light corrosion, weight 7.077 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 542 - 547 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINI-ANVS P P AVG, diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse large I and smaller S (16 nummi), Chi-Rho Christogram above, flanked by smaller A left and P right, TES in exergue; $95.00 (€84.55)
 


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Justinian's sole rule lasted almost four decades. He re-conquered North Africa, Italy, and parts of Spain, codified the legal system and built St. Sophia. Unfortunately most of his territory gains were lost shortly after his death.
BZ77952. Bronze follis, DOC I 38a, Wroth BMC 47, Morrisson 4/Cp/AE/36, Tolstoi 97, Ratto 498, Sommer 4.20.4, Hahn MIB 95a, SBCV 163, F, rough, pit on reverse, weight 19.560 g, maximum diameter 41.0 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 539 - 540 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINIANVS PP AVG, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, globus cruciger in right, shield on left, cross right; reverse large M (40 nummi), cross above, ANNO left, regnal year X/III (regnal year 13) right, A (1st officina) below, CON (Constantinople) in exergue; $90.00 (€80.10)
 


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Antioch was renamed Theoupolis after it was nearly destroyed by an earthquake on 29 November 528.
BZ72605. Bronze half-follis, Ratto 672, DOC I 211a (not in the collection, references Ratto), Hahn MIB 134, SRCV 226, Sommer 4.95, Morrisson BnF -, Wroth BMC -, Tolstoi -, VF, nice green patine with red earthen highlighting, tight flan, part of obverse legend unstruck, weight 6.797 g, maximum diameter 26.8 mm, die axis 315o, 1st officina, Theoupolis-Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 533 - 537 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINI-ANVS PP AVG, Justinian enthroned facing holding long scepter in right, globus cruciger in left; reverse large K (20 nummi), T-H/E-u/O/P (Theoupolis) on left divided by large cross, A (1st officina) right; very rare from 1st officina; $85.00 (€75.65)
 


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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 cuirassed bust 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; $65.00 (€57.85)
 


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BZ75996. Bronze decanummium, imitative; for prototype, see DOC I 158 (Byzantine official, Nikomedia mint, 561 - 562 A.D.), F, green patina, weight 1.813 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, die axis 180o, unofficial mint, c. 562 - 580 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINIANVS P P AVG, diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse large I surmounted by a cross between ANNO and X/XX/U (or similar), NIK in exergue; $50.00 (€44.50)
 


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In spring 593, Priscus, commander-in-chief in Thrace, defeated the Slavic tribes and Gepids on Byzantine territory south of the Danube. He crossed the river to fight in the uncharted swamps and forests of modern-day Wallachia. In autumn, Maurice ordered Priscus to spend the winter with his troops on the northern Danube bank, but he disobeyed the emperor's order and retreated to the port city of Odessus (Varna) on the Black Sea Coast.
BZ77956. Bronze decanummium, DOC I 266, Wroth BMC 338, Tolstoi 442, Sommer 7.107, Hahn MIB 160a, SBCV 239, Morrisson BnF - (p. 99, refs. Wroth), Ratto -, F, uneven strike, obverse off-center, corrosion, weight 2.727 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 135o, Theoupolis (Antioch) mint, 563 - 564 A.D.; obverse [...] - ΛOSLE (blundered nonsense), helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, helmet with plum, diadem and trefoil ornament, globus cruciger in right hand, shield with horseman ornamentation on left shoulder, cross in right field; reverse large I (10 nummi), between A/N/N/O and X/X/X/UII (year 37), cross above, THEUP (Theoupolis) in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $38.00 (€33.82)
 







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REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Friday, December 09, 2016.
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Byzantine Coins of Justinian I