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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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Very unusual CONO9Z in exergue.
SH17776. Gold solidus, DOC I 8b, SBCV 350, aEF, weight 4.475 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, obverse D N I-VSTI-NVS PP AV, facing helmeted and cuirassed bust, Victory on globe in right, shield in left; reverse VICTORI-A AVCCC I, Constantinopolis enthroned facing, long scepter in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, CONO9Z in exergue; bold portrait; scarce; SOLD


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

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Justin was unable to hold the territory Justinian had restored. Most of Italy and parts of Spain were quickly lost to the Lombards and Visigoths. Refusal to pay tribute to the Sassanids, resulted in protracted war. The burdens of office drove him insane and his successor was regent for the last four years of his reign.
SH70979. Gold solidus, DOC I 4a, Wroth BMC 1, Tolstoi 2, Hahn MIB II 5, Sommer 5.2, SBCV 345, Morrisson BnF -, Ratto -, aEF, ex jewelry, traces of solder, weight 4.407 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 565 - 578 A.D.; obverse D N I-VSTI-NVS P P AVG, beardless, helmeted, and cuirassed bust facing, helmet with crest, trefoil ornament and pendilia, Victory on globe offering wreath in right hand, shield ornamented with horseman in left hand; reverse VICTORIA AVGGG A (victory of the three emperors, 1st 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; SOLD


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Justin was unable to hold the territory Justinian had restored. Most of Italy and parts of Spain were quickly lost to the Lombards and Visigoths. Refusal to pay tribute to the Sassanids, resulted in protracted war. The burdens of office drove him insane and his successor was regent for the last four years of his reign.
SH42466. Gold solidus, DOC I 4d, Wroth BMC 7, Tolstoi 6, Ratto 753, Morrisson BnF 5/Cp/AV/3, Hahn MIB II 5, Sommer 5.2, SBCV 345, aEF, weight 4.348 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 565 - 578 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINVS P P AVG, beardless, helmeted, and cuirassed bust facing, helmet with crest, trefoil ornament and pendilia, Victory on globe offering wreath in right hand, shield ornamented with horseman in left hand; reverse VICTORIA AVGGG E (victory of the three emperors, 5th 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; SOLD


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SH17793. Gold solidus, DOC I 4h, Wroth BMC 12, Tolstoi 11, Ratto 757, Morrisson BnF 5/Cp/AV/7, Hahn MIB II 5, Sommer 5.2, SBCV 345, EF, nice strike, two dents in right reverse field, weight 4.518 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, obverse D N IVSTINVS P P AVI, beardless, helmeted, and cuirassed bust facing, helmet with crest, trefoil ornament and pendilia, Victory on globe offering wreath in right hand, shield ornamented with horseman in left hand; reverse VICTORIA AVCCC Θ (victory of the three emperors, 9th 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; SOLD


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Justin was unable to hold the territory Justinian had restored. Most of Italy and parts of Spain were quickly lost to the Lombards and Visigoths. Refusal to pay tribute to the Sassanids, resulted in protracted war. The burdens of office drove him insane and his successor was regent for the last four years of his reign.
SH20266. Gold solidus, DOC I 4c, Tolstoi 5, Ratto 752, Morrisson BnF 5/Cp/AV/2, Hahn MIB II 5, SBCV 345, Sommer 5.2, Wroth BMC -, EF, uneven strike, flat areas, weight 4.499 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 565 - 578 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINVS P P AVG, beardless, helmeted, and cuirassed bust facing, helmet with crest, trefoil ornament and pendilia, Victory on globe offering wreath in right hand, shield ornamented with horseman in left hand; reverse VICTORIA AVGGG ∆ (victory of the three emperors, 4th 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; SOLD


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In 570, Muhammad, the Islamic prophet, was born in Mecca (Saudi Arabia). His father Abd Allah ibn Abd al Muttalib died a few months before his birth so he and his mother Aminah bint Wahb were protected by Muhammad's paternal grandfather, Abdul Muttalib, who is the leading figure of his tribe, the Quraysh.
SH70955. Gold solidus, Wroth BMC 15, DOC I 7c (not in the collection, refs Wroth), Morrisson BnF (Antioch) 2; Hahn MIB II 3a, Sommer 5.4, SBCV 348, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, F, struck with worn dies, weight 4.313 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 180o, 10th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 567 - 578 A.D.; obverse D N I-VSTI-NVS P P AVG, helmeted, cuirassed bust facing, wearing diadem with pendilia, Victory on globe offering wreath in right, shield decorated with horseman in left; reverse VICTORIA AVGGG I (victory of the three emperors, 10th officina), Constantinopolis enthroned facing, long scepter in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, C left, CONOB in exergue; ex CNG auction 216, part of lot 639; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Justin II and Sophia, 15 November 565 - 5 October 578 A.D.

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Normal examples of this type, without a retrograde mark of value, are rare. Sear notes retrograde examples exist and Paris has the one retrograde example we reference. There is one retrograde example on Coin Archives (from a different reverse die).

Bellinger notes in DOC I, "This issue, which recalls the Victory decanummia of Justinian (supra, Justinian No. 304), struck at the time that Tiberius Constantine was created Caesar, was doubtless intended to celebrate the peace in Africa with which his administration began, by an understandable hyperbole converting peace to victory.
BZ72156. Bronze half follis, Morrisson BnF 33; SBCV 396; DOC I 203 var.; Wroth BMC 266 ff. var.; Sommer 5.56 var.; Hahn MIB I 77 var.; Ratto 910 f. var. (all var. none retrograde), aVF, rough, weight 9.523 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 90o, Carthage mint, 572 - 578 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINO ET SOFIE AG, Justin (on left) and Sopia seated facing on double throne, cross between them, VITA in exergue; reverse two Victories standing confronted holding between them a shield ornamented with a star, cross above, retrograde K over retrograde MN below; first example of this type handled by Forum!; very rare; SOLD


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Rynearson lists Justin II Carthage folles as very rare. This coin was struck on an irregular flan. Examples of this type in Dumbarton Oaks weigh 6.26 to 8.71 grams. considerably less than this example. This coin was probably overstruck on a older larger coin, which was broken to better approximate the desired weight. Ex Harlan Berk and ex Woolslayer collection.
BZ06199. Bronze half follis, DOC I 199, Hahn MIB 76, VF, weight 13.880 g, maximum diameter 26.2 mm, die axis 140o, 2nd officina, Carthage (near Tunis, Tunisia) mint, 572 - 573 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINO ET SOFIA AC, busts of Justin and Sophia, crowned, facing, VITA (off flan) below exergue line, cross center; reverse large K (20 nummi) between ANNO and VIII (regnal year 8), cross above, S below, KAR in exergue; scarce; SOLD


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With the treasury empty when he became emperor, Justin II was forced to end Justinian's policy of buying off potential enemies. Without tribute payments to stop them, the Avars and Lombards invaded Italy in 568 and the Persians invaded Syria in 572.
SH54374. Gold tremissis, DOC I 14, Wroth BMC 24, Tolstoi 22, Ratto 765, Sommer 5.7.1, Hahn MIB II 11a, SBCV 353, Morrisson BnF 5/Cp/AV/12 (but pl. XXI, AV/11), VF, weight 1.474 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 15 Nov 565 - 5 Oct 578 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINVS P P AVG, diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVGVSTORI (the victory of the Emperor), Victory standing facing, wreath in right hand and globus cruciger in left hand, star right, CONOB in exergue; SOLD


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Justin I and Justin II both issued this type. The two issues are distinguished by style. The style of the Justin II coins is more schematic and cartoon like.
SH76320. Gold tremissis, Wroth BMC 24 (also with H), Morrisson BnF 5/Cp/AV/11 (but pl. XXI, AV/12, also with H), SBCV 353, Hahn MIB I 23, Sommer 5.7.1, DOC I 14 var. (...ORVI), Choice aEF, tiny encrustations, light contact marks, graffiti on reverse outside border, weight 1.470 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 15 Nov 565 - 5 Oct 578 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINVS P P AVG, diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVGVSTORVH (the victory of the Emperor), Victory standing facing, wreath in right hand and globus cruciger in left hand, star right, CONOB in exergue; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES

Adelson, H. Light Weight Solidi and Byzantine Trade during the Sixth and Seventh Centuries. ANSNNM 138. (New York, 1957).
Anastasi, M. Monete Bizantine di Sicilia. (NP, 2009).
Bellinger, A. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection, Vol. I Anastasius I to Maurice, 491-602. (Washington D.C., 1966).
Berk, H. Eastern Roman Successors of the Sestertius. (Chicago, 1987).
Berk, H. Roman Gold Coins of the Medieval World, 383 - 1453 A.D. (Joliet, IL, 1986).
Carson, R., P. Hill & J. Kent. Late Roman Bronze Coinage. (London, 1960).
Hahn, W. Moneta Imperii Byzantini, Volume 2: Justinus II - Phocas (565 - 610). (Vienna, 1975).
Hahn, W. & M. Metlich. Money of the Insipient Byzantine Empire. (Vienna, 2000).
Hennequin, G. Catalogue des monnaies musulmanes de la Bibliotheque Nationale. (Paris, 1985).
Metlich, M. The Coinage of Ostrogothic Italy. (London, 2004).
Morrisson, C. Catalogue des Monnaies Byzantines de la Bibliothèque Nationale I, 491 - 711. (Paris, 1970).
Ranieri, E. La monetazione di Ravenna antica dal V all' VIII secolo: impero romano e bizantino, regno ostrogoto e langobardo. (Bologna, 2006).
Ratto, R. Monnaies Byzantines et d'autre Pays contemporaines à l'époque byzantine. (Lugano, 1930).
Sabatier, J. Description générale des monnaies Byzantines. (Paris, 1863).
Sear, D. Byzantine Coins and Their Values. (London, 1987).
Sommer, A.U. Die Münzen des Byzantinischen Reiches 491-1453. Mit einem Anhang: Die Münzen des Kaiserreichs von Trapezunt. (Regenstauf, 2010).
Tolstoi, I. Monnaies byzantines. (St. Petersburg, 1913 - 14).
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).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1908).

Catalog current as of Monday, July 23, 2018.
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Byzantine Coins of Justin II