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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Byzantine Coins ▸ Justinian Dynasty ▸ Justin IIView Options:  |  |  | 

Justin II, 15 November 565 - 5 October 578 A.D.

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.


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In 572, the Byzantine Empire was at war with Persia and was attacked by the Visigoths from Spain.
BZ83545. Bronze follis, DOC I 152c, Wroth BMC 197, Morrisson BnF 2 ff., Tolstoi 159, Ratto 895, Sommer 5.38.2, Hahn MIB II 57a, SBCV 379, Choice F, well centered, weight 13.642 g, maximum diameter 31.5 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Theoupolis (Antioch) mint, 571 - 572 A.D.; obverse VTMNO-TOOΛV (blundered inscription), Justin II seated on left and Sophia seated on right facing on double throne, both are nimbate, holding together large cross on globe; reverse large M (40 nummi) between ANNO and U/II (year 7), cross above, Γ (3rd officina) below, THEUP' in exergue; $125.00 (€111.25)
 


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Most references list this type with ΘC above for some other years but only ΦC above for years 12 and 13. Wroth notes that the meaning of these letters is uncertain but ΘC may abbreviate Θεος (God) and ΦC perhaps abbreviates Φως (light).
BZ69548. Bronze half-follis, Jerash 438, Hahn MIB II 70e (refs Jerash), DOC I 84.1 var. (Φ vice Θ), Wroth BMC 122 var. (same), Sommer 5.22 var. (same), SBCV 366, VF, green patina, obverse off-center, weight 6.511 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, c. 576 - 577 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTI-NVS P P, Justin (left) and Sophia seated facing on double throne, both nimbate, he holds globus cruciger, she a cruciform scepter; reverse large K (20 nummi) between ANNO and XII (year 12), + over ΘC above, TES below; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; very rare variety; $80.00 (€71.20)
 


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In 567, The Second Council of Tours issued a decree that any cleric found in bed with his wife will be excommunicated.
BZ83494. Bronze pentanummium, SBCV 375, DOC I 137, Sommer 5.36, Morrisson BnF 29, Wroth BMC Justinian 423, Tolstoi Justinian 478, Ratto Justinian 746, Ratto Justinian 746, Choice VF, small edge splits, scratches, weight 2.152 g, maximum diameter 13.9 mm, die axis 0o, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 567 - 578; obverse IYΣTINAI KAI ΣOΦIAΣ (Justin and Sophia) monogram ; reverse large E (5 nummi), smaller K (Kyzicus) right; scarce; $80.00 (€71.20)
 


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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.
BZ71848. Bronze follis, DOC I 38e, Hahn MIB 43a, SBCV 360, Sommer 5.9, Wroth BMC -, Morrisson BnF -, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, Choice VF, nice green patina, well centered on a slightly ragged flan, weight 12.178 g, maximum diameter 32.8 mm, die axis 225o, 4th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 574 - 575 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTI-NVS P P AV, Justin II seated on left and Sophia seated on right facing on double throne, both are nimbate, he holds a globus cruciger, she holds a cruciform scepter; reverse large M (40 nummi) between ANNO and X (year 10), cross above, ∆ (4th officina) below, CON (Constantinople) in exergue; $70.00 (€62.30)
 


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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; $40.00 (€35.60)
 


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In 567, The Second Council of Tours issued a decree that any cleric found in bed with his wife will be excommunicated.
BZ69552. Bronze pentanummium, SBCV 375, DOC I 137, Sommer 5.36, Morrisson BnF 29, Wroth BMC Justinian 423, Tolstoi Justinian 478, Ratto Justinian 746, Ratto Justinian 746, VF, weight 2.152 g, maximum diameter 13.3 mm, die axis 180o, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 567 - 578; obverse IYΣTINAI KAI ΣOΦIAΣ (Justin and Sophia) monogram ; reverse large E (5 nummi), smaller K (Kyzicus) right; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; scarce; $40.00 (€35.60)
 


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On 22 August 565, St. Columba first reported seeing a monster in Loch Ness, Scotland.
BZ57513. Bronze pentanummium, DOC I 60b, Morrisson BnF 55, Tolstoi 475 (Justinian), Ratto 743 (Justinian), Wroth BMC 417 (Justinian), Hahn MIB 45, SBCV 363, aVF, weight 1.224 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 15 Nov 565 - 5 Oct 578; obverse IYΣTINAI KAI ΣOΦIAΣ (Justin and Sophia) monogram ; reverse large E (5 nummi), B (2nd officina) on right; scarce; $25.00 (€22.25)
 







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REFERENCES

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Ratto, R. Monnaies Byzantines et d'autre Pays contemporaines à l'époque byzantine. (Lugano, 1930).
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Sommer, A.U. Die Münzen des Byzantinischen Reiches 491-1453. Mit einem Anhang: Die Münzen des Kaiserreichs von Trapezunt. (Regenstauf, 2010).
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Catalog current as of Wednesday, September 20, 2017.
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Byzantine Coins of Justin II