Justin II and Sophia at Carthage

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Valentinian, Jun 11, 2021.

  1. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    Here is a coin of Justin II and Sophia (565-578) from Carthage:

    23-21 mm. 9.11 grams. (pretty thick) Denomination: half-follis = 20-nummi.
    Justing and Sophia facing, BITA in exergue
    K, ANNO to left, V/III for year 8 (572/3 to right
    S (for second officina) in bottom of K
    KAR for Cartage below.
    Sear 395v (Spelled VITA there)
    MIBEC Justin II 76
    DOC I Justin II 199 (also with "V" for this "B")
    Leu web auction 16, lot 3861
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Great coin, Warren.

    My only J&S

    Justin II & Sophia (565 - 578 A.D.)
    Æ Follis
    O: D N VSTI NVS P P AV, nimbate figures of Justin and Sophia seated facing on double throne, holding globus cruciger and cruciform scepter, respectively.
    R: Large M; A/N/N/O to left, Chi-Rho above, (date) to right; B//CON
    Constantinople Mint, Year 10
    DOC I 38; SB 360
  4. Voulgaroktonou

    Voulgaroktonou Well-Known Member

    My friend Valentinian,
    Another example of the evolving Greek and Latin languages in late antiquity. In Classical Latin, Vita was pronounced Wita. However, in ecclesiastical Latin, the “V” has the modern sound of that letter. And in Classical Greek, Beta was pronounced like our “B”, but in modern Greek, it has the sound of “V”.
    So, the spelling “BITA” on your coin indicates a Greek engraver heard the word as Vita as in church Latin, and the fact he transliterated the hard V as B also indicates that by the mid/late 6th c., Beta in Greek was being pronounced as “V”. How interesting that these mute witnesses can open for us a little window into the past.
  5. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    That pronunciation clue is very cool!

    Here's a half-siliqua from the Carthage mint, with only Justin's portrait:
    justin ii half siliqua.JPG
    I'm not sure the Res Publica was so fortunate in their emperor... o_O
  6. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    My only coin of the imperial couple is this one from Nicomedia.

    Justin II and wife Sophia, AD 565-578.
    Byzantine Æ follis, 31.2 mm, 14.52 g, 12 h.
    Nicomedia, AD 570/71.
    Obv: DN IVSTINVS PP AVG, Justin, on left, holding globus cruciger and Sophia, on right, holding cruciform scepter.
    Rev: Large M, surmounted by cross; officina B below; ANNO at left; G (regnal year 6) at right; NIKO in exergue
    Refs: Sear Byz 369; Dumbarton Oaks 96a; MIBE 46b.
  7. gogili1977

    gogili1977 Well-Known Member

    Interesting style of Carthage.
  8. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

  9. Hrefn

    Hrefn Well-Known Member

    Here is a gold Solidus of Thessalonika, a century and more before the spelling confusion on the coin in the original post. Theodosius II (402-450), with the celator in Thessalonika most likely a native Greek speaker. The Latin legend should read GLORIA ORBIS TERRARUM but he has ORVIS instead. For the workshop to make that mistake, the B/V shift must have occurred in Greek before 400 AD. Latin, to my knowledge, never loses the hard B, so a native Latin speaker probably could not have made this error. upload_2021-6-12_6-54-26.jpeg

    Attached Files:

  10. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    I like that depiction of Justin II and Sophia on your coin @Valentinian . I've never seen one like it. Only the "standard" portraits.

    Here is my half-follis
    Justinian II and Sofia, Half Follis.png
  11. Voulgaroktonou

    Voulgaroktonou Well-Known Member

    Thank you for pointing this earlier example out. I was aware of it, but forgot all about it! It is always an interesting exercise to see how the Romans and Greeks transliterated one another's alphabets. If I live to retirement it is an avocation I must take up.
    Roman Collector and Hrefn like this.
  12. Voulgaroktonou

    Voulgaroktonou Well-Known Member

    I love these! Here's mine.
  13. The Trachy Enjoyer

    The Trachy Enjoyer Well-Known Member

    I agree haha. This type always makes me laugh...I recently was able to get an example for 30 pounds

  14. Voulgaroktonou

    Voulgaroktonou Well-Known Member

    @Valentinian and I were yesterday talking about the epigraphic evidence of the evolving pronunciation of certain Greek and Latin letters in late antiquity, especially as seen from his Carthage Justin II. I pointed out το him that, to complicate things, in modern Greek, in order to get the “B” sound (since B is pronounced V), they combine ΜΠ. And Δ is now pronounced “Th”, so to get the sound of D, they combine ΝΤ. Now this is where it gets fun:

    A friend and I used to amuse ourselves at the office reading Greek newspaper accounts about western celebrities; the spelling gets really strange and at times seems downright perverse if viewed from a Roman alphabet-based perspective.

    Anyway, at @Valentinian’s request, here are a few of the stranger ones. I should add that Greek always prefaces a proper name with the definite article (the). Depending upon the sex of the person, that will be either the feminine H or the masculine Ο, hence the initial letter in the examples below. Now heaven help the Hellenes if they are going to have to deal with that non-binary business…

    Η Ρουθ Μπέιντερ Γκίνσμπεργκ

    Η Χίλαρι Ρόνταμ Κλίντον.

    Η Τέιλορ Σουίφτ

    Ο Τζέιμς Μπάλντουιν

    Ο Μπομπ Ντίλαν (my favorite)

    Ο Τζάστιν Μπίμπερ

    O Τζίμι Χέντριξ

    Ο Ντόναλντ Τραμπ

    Ο Μάο Τσετούνγκ
    Severus Alexander likes this.
  15. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    You can't leave us hanging like that! Please spell them in upper case and then tell of who they are. I'm sure 95% of us are mystified by that post!
  16. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Spoilers below!

    Here's what I think they are:

    Η Ρουθ Μπέιντερ Γκίνσμπεργκ - Ruth Bader Ginsburg

    Η Χίλαρι Ρόνταμ Κλίντον. - Hilary Rodham Clinton

    Η Τέιλορ Σουίφτ - Taylor Swift

    Ο Τζέιμς Μπάλντουιν - James Baldwin

    Ο Μπομπ Ντίλαν (my favorite) - Bob Dylan (I agree this one's awesome)

    Ο Τζάστιν Μπίμπερ - Justin Bieber

    O Τζίμι Χέντριξ - Jimi Hendrix

    Ο Ντόναλντ Τραμπ - Donald Trump (I'm a bit puzzled by the second alpha!)

    Ο Μάο Τσετούνγκ - Mao Zedong
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2021
  17. Voulgaroktonou

    Voulgaroktonou Well-Known Member

    @Valentinian, no need - @Severus Alexander supplied all. I'm sorry to have mystified anyone. I read the Greek in lower case more readily than in all caps and wrongly assume I am not "unanimous in that" (with thanks to Mrs. Slocombe for that memorable phrase.)
    Severus Alexander likes this.
  18. Voulgaroktonou

    Voulgaroktonou Well-Known Member

    Ντόναλντ Τραμπ - Donald Trump (I'm a bit puzzled by the second alpha!)". I'm not sure that today's Greeks have a short "u" sound as the English has. I should know but it is a Sunday morning and I am half asleep yet...the α is about as close as it gets...
    Severus Alexander likes this.
  19. Voulgaroktonou

    Voulgaroktonou Well-Known Member

    @Severus Alexander, well done, you!
    Severus Alexander likes this.
  20. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    Here's one of Justin II from Constantinople:

    Justin II and Sophia, AE Follis. 31.4 mm 13.79 grams

    Obverse: DN IVSTINVS PP AVG, Justin on left holding cross on globe and Sophia on right, holding sceptre topped by cross, both nimbate, seated facing on double-throne

    Reverse: Large M, ANNO to left, cross above, regnal year to right (year III), officina letter below, mintmark CON.

    Reference: SB 360, MIB 43. (492 (!) combinations known).

    Now the question is: Were they grey aliens?


  21. Voulgaroktonou

    Voulgaroktonou Well-Known Member

    My wife maintains that this issue confirms that space aliens interbred with humans in the eastern Mediterranean in late antiquity.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page