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

Focas, 23 November 602 - 5 October 610 A.D.

Focas became emperor through a military revolt in the winter of 602 A.D. He was an oppressive evil tyrant. His reign was a period of disaster with invasions in the East and West, persecution of the aristocracy and civil unrest. Focas restored recognizable portraiture to the coinage - An oddity considering his appearance is often described as grotesque.


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In 603, the senate acclaimed the statues of emperor Phocas and empress Leontia. This trivial event was the last ever mention of the Roman Senate in the Gregorian Register. The institution must have vanished by 630 when the Curia was transformed into a church by Pope Honorius I. The Senate at Constantinople continued to exist in the Eastern Roman Empire's capital until at least the mid-14th century when the ancient institution finally vanished from history.
BZ77960. Bronze half follis, DOC II, part 1, 36a (also with obv. leg. d N N...); Tolstoi 149 (same); cf. Hahn MIB 65; SBCV 643; Sommer 9.28; Morrisson BnF -; Ratto -; Wroth BMC -, aVF, overstruck, crude, ragged flan, some corrosion, weight 2.983 g, maximum diameter 23.9 mm, die axis 229o, 1st officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 603 - 610 A.D.; obverse d N N FOCA PER AVC (or similar), crowned bust facing, bearded, wearing consular robes, mappa in right hand, cross in left hand; reverse large XX (20 nummi), cross above, CONA in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; rare legend variety; $40.00 (€34.00)
 


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Hahn and Berk attribute this style variation to Thessalonica. Other reference fail to distinguish the type from similar Constantinople issues. Hahn identifies the Greek number following the reverse legend as the regnal year.
SH86280. Gold solidus, MIBEC p. 181 and pl. 31, N3; Berk Gold 109; other references do not distinguish this type from Constantinople issues, Choice EF, well centered and struck, graffiti on reverse, weight 4.362 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica(?) mint, c. 607 A.D.(?); obverse o N FOCAS PERP AVC, bust facing, bearded, wearing cuirass, paludamentum, and crown with cross on circlet and without pendilia, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse VICTORIA AVCC E (victory of the two emperors, 5th officina? or regnal year 5?), angel standing facing, staurogram staff in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, CONOB in exergue; graffiti reading ƆMΘ (retrograde, Greek additive number 249?) or less likely ΘEC (Thessalonica?); ex Numismatik Naumann auction 58, lot 626; very rare; SOLD


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Certificate of Authenticity issued by David R. Sear. 

The smallest gold fraction in the Byzantine series. One of three known.
SH15443. Gold half-tremissis, SBCV 635; cf. DOC II part 1, 20; cf. Hahn MIB 29, aEF, weight 0.723 g, maximum diameter 14.4 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 607 - 610 A.D.; obverse d N FOCAS PER AV, diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, beardless; reverse VICTORI FOCAS AV, cross potent, CONOB beneath; extremely rare; SOLD







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REFERENCES

Adelson, H. Light Weight Solidi and Byzantine Trade during the Sixth and Seventh Centuries. ANSNNM 138. (New York, 1957).
Anastasi, M. Monete Bizantine di Sicilia. (NP, 2009).
Berk, H.J. Eastern Roman Successors of the Sestertius. (Chicago, 1987).
Berk, H.J. Roman Gold Coins of the Medieval World, 383 - 1453 A.D. (Joliet, IL, 1986).
Carson, R.A.G., P.V. Hill & J.P.C. Kent. Late Roman Bronze Coinage. (London, 1960).
Grierson, P. Byzantine Coins. (London, 1982).
Grierson, P. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection: Vol. 2, Part 1: Phocas and Heraclius 602-641. (Washington, D.C., 1968).
Hahn, W. Moneta Imperii Byzantini, Volume 2: Justinus II - Phocas (565 - 610). (Vienna, 1975).
Hahn, W. & M.A. Metlich. Money of the Insipient Byzantine Empire Continued. (Vienna, 2000).
Hennequin, G. Catalogue des monnaies musulmanes de la Bibliotheque Nationale. (Paris, 1985).
Metlich, M. A. The Coinage of Ostrogothic Italy. (London, 2004).
Morrisson, C. Catalogue des Monnaies Byzantines de la Bibliothèque Nationale I, 491 - 711. (Paris, 1970).
Ranieri, E. La monetazione di Ravenna antica dal V all' VIII secolo: impero romano e bizantino, regno ostrogoto e langobardo. (Bologna, 2006).
Ratto, R. Monnaies Byzantines et d'autre Pays contemporaines à l'époque byzantine. (Lugano, 1930).
Sabatier, J. Description générale des monnaies Byzantines. (Paris, 1863).
Sear, D.R. Byzantine Coins and Their Values. (London, 1987).
Sommer, A.U. Die Münzen des Byzantinischen Reiches 491-1453. Mit einem Anhang: Die Münzen des Kaiserreichs von Trapezunt. (Regenstauf, 2010).
Tolstoi, I. Monnaies byzantines. (St. Petersburg, 1913 - 14).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1908).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Coins of the Vandals, Ostrogoths, Lombards and of the Empires of Thessalonica, Nicaea, and Trebizond in the British Museum. (London, 1911).

Catalog current as of Sunday, April 22, 2018.
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Byzantine Coins of Focas