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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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Hahn and Berk attribute this style variation to Thessalonica. Other reference fail to distinguish the type from similar Constantinople issues. Hahn identifies the Greek number following the reverse legend as the regnal year.
SH86280. Gold solidus, MIBEC p. 181 and pl. 31, N3; Berk Gold 109; other references do not distinguish this type from Constantinople issues, Choice EF, well centered and struck, graffiti on reverse, weight 4.362 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica(?) mint, c. 607 A.D.(?); obverse o N FOCAS PERP AVC, bust facing, bearded, wearing cuirass, paludamentum, and crown with cross on circlet and without pendilia, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse VICTORIA AVCC E (victory of the two emperors, 5th officina? or regnal year 5?), angel standing facing, staurogram staff in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, CONOB in exergue; graffiti reading ƆMΘ (retrograde, Greek additive number 249?) or less likely ΘEC (Thessalonica?); ex Numismatik Naumann auction 58, lot 626; very rare; SOLD


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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 Unpublished year II consular type with mappa and eagle-scepter.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eagle-tipped scepter in left; reverse XXXX (40 nummi), ANNO above, II right, NIKOA in exergue; fantastic portrait; unpublished year two; SOLD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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Berk, H.J. Eastern Roman Successors of the Sestertius. (Chicago, 1987).
Berk, H.J. Roman Gold Coins of the Medieval World, 383 - 1453 A.D. (Joliet, IL, 1986).
Carson, R.A.G., P.V. Hill & J.P.C. Kent. Late Roman Bronze Coinage. (London, 1960).
Grierson, P. Byzantine Coins. (London, 1982).
Grierson, P. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection: Vol. 2, Part 1: Phocas and Heraclius 602-641. (Washington, D.C., 1968).
Hahn, W. Moneta Imperii Byzantini, Volume 2: Justinus II - Phocas (565 - 610). (Vienna, 1975).
Hahn, W. & M.A. Metlich. Money of the Insipient Byzantine Empire Continued. (Vienna, 2000).
Hennequin, G. Catalogue des monnaies musulmanes de la Bibliotheque Nationale. (Paris, 1985).
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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).
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Sabatier, J. Description générale des monnaies Byzantines. (Paris, 1863).
Sear, D.R. 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 Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1908).
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 Thursday, September 20, 2018.
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Byzantine Coins of Focas