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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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The last recorded act of the Senate of the Western Roman Empire in Rome was to acclaimed new statues of Emperor Phocas and Empress Leontia in 603. 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.
SH83916. Gold solidus, DOC II part 1, 5c; Morrisson BnF 8/Cp/AV/3; Wroth BMC 4; Ratto 1191; Hahn MIB II 7; Sommer 9.6; SBCV 618; Tolstoi -, gVF, well centered, scratches on obverse, reverse die wear and crack, weight 4.478 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 225o, 3rd officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 603 - 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 Γ (victory of the two emperors), angel standing facing, staurogram (cruciform Christ monogram) staff in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, CONOB in exergue; $450.00 (€400.50)
 


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The Column of Phocas at Rome was erected before the Rostra and dedicated to the Emperor on 1 August 608. It was the last addition made to the Forum Romanum. The Corinthian column has a height of 13.6 m (44 ft). Both the column and the marble base were recycled from earlier use. The column still stands in its original location, but the gold statue was probably taken down immediately after Phocus' death. Silt and debris completely covered the marble base (socle) when Giuseppe Vasi and Giambattista Piranesi made engravings and etchings of the column in the mid-18th century. The square foundation of brick was probably underground when the column was dedicated. The Forum was excavated down to its earlier Augustan paving in the 19th century.Column of Phocas
SH70001. Gold solidus, DOC II part 1, 10i; Morrisson BnF 8/Cp/AV/21; Tolstoi 16; Ratto 1186; Hahn MIB 9; Sommer 9.8; SBCV 620; Wroth BMC 19 var. (PER vice PERP), aEF, uneven strike, reverse off-center, weight 4.441 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 225o, 9th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 607 - 609 A.D.; obverse d N FOCAS PERP AVG, bust facing, bearded, locks of hair at sides, wearing cuirass, paludamentum, and crown with cross on circlet and no pendilia, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse VICTORIA AVGU Θ (victory of the Emperor, 9th officina), angel standing facing, long staurogram staff in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, CONOB in exergue; $400.00 (€356.00)
 


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In 609 or 610, the Pantheon was consecrated to the Virgin Mary and all saints by Pope Boniface IV.
SH70039. Gold solidus, DOC II part 1, 10j.6; Morrisson BnF 8/Cp/AV/25; Wroth BMC 22; Tolstoi 20; Sommer 9.10; Hahn MIB 11; SBCV 620; Ratto -, gVF, graffiti, weight 4.436 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 225o, 10th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 609 - 610 A.D.; obverse D N N FOCAS PERP AVG, bust facing, bearded, locks of hair at sides, wearing cuirass, paludamentum, and crown with cross on circlet and no pendilia, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse VICTORIA AVGu I (victory of the Emperor, 10th officina), angel standing facing, staurogram staff in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, CONOB in exergue; $400.00 (€356.00)
 


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The Column of Phocas at Rome was erected before the Rostra and dedicated to the Emperor on 1 August 608. It was the last addition made to the Forum Romanum. The Corinthian column has a height of 13.6 m (44 ft). Both the column and the marble socle were recycled from earlier use. It still stands in its original location, but the statue that was once on top was probably taken down soon after Phocus' death. An English translation of the inscription follows: To the best, most clement and pious ruler, our lord Phocas the perpetual emperor, crowned by God, the forever august triumphator, did Smaragdus, former praepositus sacri palatii and patricius and Exarch of Italy, devoted to His Clemency for the innumerable benefactions of His Piousness and for the peace acquired for Italy and its freedom preserved, this statue of His Majesty, blinking from the splendor of gold here on this tallest column for his eternal glory erect and dedicate, on the first day of the month of August, in the eleventh indiction in the fifth year after the consulate of His Piousness.Column of Phocas
SH70044. Gold solidus, DOC II part 1, 10e.1; Morrisson BnF 8/Cp/AV/12; Wroth BMC 10; Tolstoi 8; Ratto 1181; Hahn MIB 9; Sommer 9.8; SBCV 620, aEF, weak legends, light graffiti, weight 4.342 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 225o, 5th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 607 - 609 A.D.; obverse d N FOCAS PERP AVC, bust facing, bearded, locks of hair at sides, wearing cuirass, paludamentum, and crown with cross on circlet and no pendilia, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse VICTORIA AVGY E (victory of the Emperor, 5th officina), angel standing facing, staurogram staff in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, CONOB in exergue; $400.00 (€356.00)
 


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The Column of Phocas at Rome was erected before the Rostra and dedicated to the Emperor on 1 August 608. It was the last addition made to the Forum Romanum. The Corinthian column has a height of 13.6 m (44 ft). Both the column and the marble base were recycled from earlier use. The column still stands in its original location, but the gold statue was probably taken down immediately after Phocus' death. Silt and debris completely covered the marble base (socle) when Giuseppe Vasi and Giambattista Piranesi made engravings and etchings of the column in the mid-18th century. The square foundation of brick was probably underground when the column was dedicated. The Forum was excavated down to its earlier Augustan paving in the 19th century.Column of Phocas
SH70055. Gold solidus, DOC II part 1, 10j.1; Morrisson BnF 8/Cp/AV/23; Wroth BMC 23; Tolstoi 19; Ratto 1186; Sommer 9.8; Hahn MIB 9; SBCV 620, gVF, uneven strike, weight 4.425 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 225o, 10th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 607 - 609 A.D.; obverse d N FOCAS PERP AVG, bust facing, bearded, locks of hair at sides, wearing cuirass, paludamentum, and crown with cross on circlet and no pendilia, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse VICTORIA AVGu I (victory of the Emperor, 10th officina), angel standing facing, staurogram staff in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, CONOB in exergue; $400.00 (€356.00)
 


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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
BZ71752. Bronze follis, DOC II, part 1, 88; Morrisson BnF 8/An/AE/14; Wroth BMC 109; Tolstoi 147; Ratto 1274; Hahn MIB 83a; Sommer 9.56; SBCV 671, VF, green patina, well centered on a tight flan, weight 9.172 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch as Theoupolis (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 607 - 608 A.D.; obverse O N FOCA NE PE AV, Focas on left and Leontia on right standing facing, emperor holds globus cruciger, empress holds cruciform scepter, cross between their heads; reverse large M (40 nummi) between ANNO and UI (year 6), cross above, THEUP' (Theoupolis) in exergue; scarce; $60.00 (€53.40)
 


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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; $45.00 (€40.05)
 







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Catalog current as of Sunday, May 28, 2017.
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Byzantine Coins of Focas