Featured Justin II and Sophia

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by ancient coin hunter, May 14, 2020.

  1. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Here's another coin procured in the recent FSR auction.

    A nephew and close adviser of the Byzantine emperor Justinian I, Justin II became emperor in November 565 following his uncle’s death. He began his reign on a note of resolution and common sense; he paid state debts, remitted overdue taxes, and reduced expenditures.

    In the early part of his reign, Justin allowed a measure of toleration to the dissident miaphysite Christians. Initially, he hoped to bring about a union of the miaphysite factions and then to unite them with the orthodox church. In March 571, however, he inaugurated a policy of persecution and issued a lengthy antimiaphysitic creed that all clergy were required to sign under penalty of imprisonment.

    In the West, despite an alliance with the Franks, Justin was unable to prevent the Lombards from entering Italy in 568, and parts of that country were soon permanently lost. His relations with the Avars and Persians were marked by similar, though less serious, reverses. Shortly after his accession, determined to abandon Justinian’s policy of buying peace, he rejected an Avar request for tribute.

    In 568 he concluded an alliance with the Western Turks of Central Asia, apparently directed against the Avars and Persians. Yet after campaigning against the Avars, who were ravaging the Danubian frontier, he was forced to come to terms with them in 571. Three years later a treaty was concluded stipulating that the Byzantines pay a yearly tribute to the Avars. In 576 the Western Turks, angered by the treaty, not only broke off their alliance with Justin but also seized a Byzantine stronghold on the Crimean Peninsula.

    In 571 the part of Armenia governed by Persia revolted and requested assistance from the Byzantine Empire. In the late summer of the following year, Justin’s forces invaded Persia. The Persians, however, not only repulsed the Byzantines but themselves invaded Byzantine territory, capturing a number of important cities, including Dara, which fell in November 573. After learning of the fall of Dara, Justin became insane, and in 574 the empress Sophia, acting on his behalf, entered into peace negotiations.

    Induced by Sophia to adopt as his son the general Tiberius, Justin conferred on him the title of caesar in December 574. Thereafter, Justin, although nominally still emperor, lived in retirement until his death.

    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).



    Please share any Justin II's you have!
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  3. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    I thought about bidding on that one! Glad someone here got it :)
    I don't have any J2 Folle (is that the right way to spell that?) but I have a half follis. I will post when I get home :)
  4. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    purdy nice one ACH! :) justin & sophia 565-578 001.JPG justin & sophia 565-578 002.JPG
  5. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    On my coin they look a bit like aliens on the obverse. Oh wait, they were aliens!
    furryfrog02 likes this.
  6. PeteB

    PeteB Well-Known Member

    JUSTIN II. 565-578 AD. Æ Decanummium (Æ22 mm). Constantinople mint. Obv: Emperor in military uniform standing facing, head right, holding spear and globe Rev: Large I, cross above, stars at sides; CON. DOC I, 59; MIB 22,23 (Justin I); SB 362. Seaby notes: "The reattribution of this type to Justin II, made by Grierson and Bellinger in the Dumbarton Oaks Catalogue, has not received universal acceptance." Rare.
  7. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    As promised (I know everyone was on the edge of their seat), here is my J2S (trying to start a new name trend lol) half follis.

    It isn't anything special but I really like the green patina.
  8. Shea19

    Shea19 Supporter! Supporter

    Very nice example...I have a much less attractive follis of Justin II and Sophia from Nicomedia.

  9. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    Great synopsis and nice new coin! I love the out-of-this-world nature of them! :greyalien::blackalien:

    I was also planning on creating a Justin II & Sophia thread for a coin that was delivered this morning, but you beat me to it. So I'll share my new non-FSR auction acquisition here.

    This new follis has the most life-like rendering of the bodies of the two (heads are still in alien form) that I've seen personally. I think it's really fascinating how "weird" their heads are! It must be the buggy eyes and fancy headdress that gives into this odd visual nature we see.

    Justin II & Sophia, Ruled 565-578 AD
    AE Follis, Cyzicus Mint, 1st officina
    Struck 574/575 AD

    Obverse: D N I-VSTI-NVS P P AV, Justin (left), holding globus cruciger, and Sophia (right), holding cruciform scepter, seated facing on double throne; cross above.
    Reverse: Large M, A/N/N/O to left, cross above, regnal year X to right (RY 10), officina letter A below, mintmark KYZ in exergue.
    References: Sear 372, DOC 123a
    Size: 27mm, 10.73g

    ^^ That photo didn't really capture the depth of the strike very well (looked really flat and lost detail)... Here's another shot with differing angle:

    Here are some other J̶I̶I̶&̶S̶ J2S (@furryfrog02) that I have in my collection... I have an affinity for these coins with shared namesakes. I eventually want to see how many different denominations I can get with these pair of peeps.

    Justin II & Sophia, Ruled 565-578 AD
    AE Follis, Constantinople Mint, 3rd officina, 565/566 AD

    Obverse: D N IVSTI - NVS P P AV, Justin left and Sophia right, seated facing on double-throne, both nimbate, Justin holding cross on globe, Sophia holding scepter topped by cross.
    Reverse: Large M, A-N-N-O to left, cross above, regnal year II to right (RY 2), officina letter Γ below, mintmark CON in exergue.
    References: Sear 360
    Size: 28mm, 15.19g

    Justin II & Sophia, Ruled 565-578 AD
    AE Half Follis, Thessalonica Mint
    Struck 571/572 AD

    Obverse: DN IVSTI-NVS PP AVG, Justin (left), holding globus cruciger, and Sophia (right), holding cruciform scepter, seated facing on double throne.
    Reverse: Large K, A/N/N/O to left, cross above, regnal year IG to right (RY 7), mintmark TES in exergue.
    References: DOC 44-52; Sear 361
    Size: 28.6mm 12.77g

    Justin II & Sophia, Ruled 565-578 AD
    AE Follis, Nicomedia Mint, 1st officina
    Struck 573/574 AD

    Obverse: DN IVSTI-NVS PP AVG, Justin (left), holding globus cruciger, and Sophia (right), holding cruciform scepter, seated facing on double throne.
    Reverse: Large M, A/N/N/O to left, cross above, regnal year GI/II to right (RY 9), officina letter A below, mintmark NIKO in exergue.
    References: DOC 99a; Sear 369
    Size: 28.6mm 12.77g
    Last edited: May 14, 2020
  10. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Here's an interesting and I think charming Fals of the Umayyad Caliphate that is imitating the follis of Justin II and Sophia. I picked this coin up early last year.

    Here's the information from the label:

    Arab-Byzantine circa AD 661-697
    Umayyad Caliphate
    Æ 28 mm Fals
    Imitating Justin II. Gerasa (Jerash).
    ΓЄ PAσOИ,
    Obverse: Justin II, holding globus cruciger, and Sophia, holding cruciform scepter, enthroned facing, star between; c/m: “tayyib” ( good ) in incuse in exergue
    Reverse: Large M; cross above, reversed Γ below, A/N/N/O */X/II across field.
    APBG Group C, C7a; cf. DOCAB 86; SICA I -; Walker, Arab-Byzantine G.1 (same dies, but without c/m); Album 98
    Rare type with “tayyib” countermark.
    VF with tan and brown patina. 9.1 grams

    D-Camera Arab-Byzantine Fals, Imitating JustinII, Gerasa, 5-14-20.jpg
  11. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    One wonders sometimes about the Arab-Byzantine fals. Why would they strike a copy of a ruler from one hundred years earlier? I surmise that the coinage was so widely accepted that they had no choice, and even used "graven images" on their coins to make sure they were accepted. I suppose the switch to silver when Arab-Sassanian issues were made enabled the widely accepted dirhem of the next period of Islamic history, when iconography disappeared in favor of the kalama.
    robinjojo likes this.
  12. gogili1977

    gogili1977 Well-Known Member

    Justin II & Sophia
    image.jpg image(1).jpg with christogram above M
  13. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Agree. The Justin II Sophia follis shows up very frequently in hoards, so this type must have circulated widely throughout the region.

    A year or so ago I got a large lot of Byzantine bronzes that included some really nice Justin II Sophia folles with nice desert patina.
    ominus1 and ancient coin hunter like this.
  14. PeteB

    PeteB Well-Known Member

    Justin II, with Sophia. 565-578 AD. Æ Nummi – Follis (32mm). Constantinople mint, 3rd officina. Dated RY 6 (570/1). Obv: D N IVSTI NVS P P AV, nimbate figures of Justin and Sophia seated facing on double throne, holding globus cruciger and cruciform scepter, respectively. Rev: Large M; A/N/N/O to left, Chi-Rho above, ς (date) to right; Γ in field; CON in exergue. DOC 29b; MIBE 43d; SB 360.
  15. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    I'll join the party!

    Justin and Sophia follis Nicomedia.jpg
    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.
  16. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Nice @Roman Collector
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