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The joint rule with Tiberius II (his regent), 26 September 574 - 5 October 578 A.D. Justin II was selected by his uncle, Emperor Justinian, to be his successor. Justinian's successful restoration of former Imperial territory had been an enormous burden on the financial resources of the state and Justin was unable to hold the territory. A few years into Justin's reign most of Italy was lost to the Lombards and the Visigoths retook areas in Spain. On the Eastern frontier, he refused to pay tribute to the Sassanid ruler Khusru I resulting in a protracted war. The burdens of office took their toll on Justin and he began to show clear signs of insanity. In 574, Tiberius was appointed as his regent and Caesar. Nine days prior to Justin's death, Tiberius was promoted to Augustus and co-emperor.
Justin, unable to handle the burden of his failures, fell into madness. He ordered an organ be played continuously to soothe his frenzied mind. He was pulled through the palace on a wheeled throne, biting attendants as he passed, and there were rumors that he had devoured a number of them. In 574, General Tiberius was adopted as his caesar, regent and heir. Tiberius received the diadem on his knees before the assembly. Justin, in a moment of sanity, addressed the new monarch saying: "If you consent, I live; if you command, I die: may the God of heaven and earth infuse into your heart whatever I have neglected or forgotten." The assembly applauded with sympathy, silence, and in tears for their prince. Sophia and Tiberius ruled as joint regents for four years, while Justin sank into growing insanity.BZ65909. Bronze decanummium, DOC I 175, Wroth BMC 226; Hahn MIB 63a, Morrisson 33, Tolstoi 236, Ratto 905, Sommer 5.45, SBCV 383, VF, nice desert patina, weight 3.954 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 569 - 570 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINVS P P AV, Justin II seated on left and Sophia seated on right facing on double throne, both are nimbate, they each hold a scepter and hold between them a long cross on globe; reverse large I (mark of value) between ANNO and II/III (year 5), cross above, THEUP' in ex; $36.00 SALE PRICE $32.40
Certificate of Authenticity issued by David R. Sear. Light weight solidi differ from normal 24 siliquae types by weight, distinctive marks, reverse details and sometime obverse details. They may have been used to pay tribute to foreign powers or to facilitate trade with neighboring cultures who used different weight systems. The letters QS at the end of the reverselegend are the source of attribution for this type to the Syrian city Theoupolis (formerly Antioch). However, this attribution has not received universal acceptance. Ex Woolslayer collection.SH06187. Gold light solidus, DOC I 138, SBCV 376, Berk 66, Hahn MIB II 8, Tolstoi 17, Ratto 760, gVF, weight 4.02 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, Theoupolis (Antioch) mint, 565 - 578 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINVS PP AVG, helmeted and cuirassedbust of Justin II facing, holding globe surmounted by Victory in right, shield with horseman device on left shoulder; reverseVICTORIA AVGGG ΘS (victory of the three emperors, Theoupolis), Constantinopolis enthroned facing, looking right, resting on spear held in right hand and holding globus on extended left hand, OB * + * in exergue; very rare; SOLD
Similar types were struck with a short beard, SBCV 344, and without a beard, SBCV 345. This type with a beard is believed to have have been struck only before 1 January 566 A.D. and is very scarce. Bellinger wrote in DOC I, "These bearded coins were presumably struck for the emperor’s consulship on 1 January following his accession." Justin II was normally clean shaven but this issue was struck when he was bearded in mourning for the death of Justinian I. Berk Gold (1986) lists this bearded type at $800 and Sommer (2010) lists it at €1200 in EF condition. The type without a beard is common and Berk prices it at $400 and Sommer at €550 in EF.SH86352. Gold solidus, DOC I 2, Berk Gold 59, Hahn MIB II 4, Sommer 5.1, SBCV 344, Morrisson BnF - (p. 127, note 1), Wroth BMC -, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, EF, nearly as struck, reverse slightly off center on a broad flan, some legend weak, a few small light scratches, weight 4.489 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, 8th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, December 566 A.D.(?); obverse D N IVSTINVS P P AVG, bearded, helmeted, and cuirassedbust facing, helmet with crest, trefoil ornament and pendilia, Victory on globe offering wreath in right hand, shield ornamented with horseman in left hand; reverseVICTORIA AVGGG H (victory of the three emperors, 8th officina), Constantinopolis enthroned facing, head right, wearing crested helmet, aegis on right shoulder, spear in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, CONOB in exergue; ex MPO - Munten En Postzegel Organisatie (IJsselstein, Netherlands) auction, Nov 2013, lot 226 (misattributed as SBCV 345); very scarce; SOLD
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