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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.
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; $110.00 (€93.50)
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; $70.00 (€59.50)
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 (€34.00)
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