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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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Certificate of Authenticity issued by David R. Sear. 

Superb example of the return to portraiture. There is no mistaking this portrait for any other ruler. Unpublished year II consular type with mappa and eagle-scepter. Possibly unique.
SH15637. Bronze follis, cf. Hahn 69a (only years 3 and 4 noted); DOC II, part 1, 56 - 60 (lists only years 3 - 7); and SBCV 658 (only years 3 and 4), gVF for the type, weight 11.498 g, maximum diameter 32.2 mm, die axis 45o, 1st officina, Nicomedia mint, 603 - 604 A.D.; obverse d N FOCAS PERP AVG, bust facing wearing consular robes and crown with cross on circlet, mappa in right, eagle-tipped scepter in left; reverse XXXX (40 nummi), ANNO above, II right, NIKOA in exergue; fantastic portrait; unpublished year two; SOLD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

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Hahn, W. Moneta Imperii Byzantini, Volume 2: Justinus II - Phocas (565 - 610). (Vienna, 1975).
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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 Saturday, January 20, 2018.
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Byzantine Coins of Focas