Featured Justinian, and the Sufferings of the City of God

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by ValiantKnight, Sep 25, 2021.

  1. Caesar_Augustus

    Caesar_Augustus Well-Known Member

    Indeed! The man is a legitimate legend. After reading a lot about him it really hit me that he wanted nothing less than the complete liberation of every single inch of Roman territory lost in the previous centuries. It's a shame he just got hit with so much bad luck.

    Another one from the City of God:

    Justinian the Great
    AE Follis
    536 - 539 A.D., Antioch Mint, 3rd Officina
    17.56g, 29.0mm, 6H

    Emperor, pearl diademed, draped, cuirassed bust right

    Reverse: -,
    Large M, star to left, cross above, star to right, Γ below

    Exergue: ϴYΠOΛS

    Provenance: Ex. Augustus Coins 2018

    Reference: SBCV 217
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  3. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    We are coin twins! Though mine has had a bit of a rough life...
    Justinian I, Follis Antioch, Greek Mintmark.png
  4. tibor

    tibor Supporter! Supporter

    527 Byzuntina empia copy.jpg
    Justinian I Year 18 Off. B KYZ= Cyzicus mint
  5. Alwin

    Alwin Supporter! Supporter

    JUSTINIAN, Follis
    Antioch, 533-537
    14.91 g - 33 mm
    S 216
  6. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    Love that coin. @Alwin , beauty and character.
  7. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    Nice portrait @Alwin - much better than usual.
  8. Alwin

    Alwin Supporter! Supporter

    Thanks BenSi, thanks ancient coin hunter, this coin arrived at home today! :happy:
    BenSi likes this.
  9. Caesar_Augustus

    Caesar_Augustus Well-Known Member

    Really love the thick 'M' @Alwin!
  10. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    My sole Byzantine coin happens to be a Justinian. I suppose that isn't too surprising.

    Byzantine Empire: gold tremissis of Justinian I, ca. 527-565 AD
    Obverse: D N IVSTINIANVS P P AVI, pearl diademed, draped, cuirassed bust right.
    Reverse: VICTORIA AVGVSTORVM, Victory standing right, head left, holding wreath and cross on globe, star to right, mintmark CONOB.
    Issuer: Byzantine emperor Justinian I (527-565 AD).
    Specifications: Gold, 15 mm, 1.50 g. Constantinople mint.
    Grade: NGC MS; Strike 5/5, Surface 4/5, "wrinkled", cert. #4170211-001. Purchased raw.
    Reference: DOC 19; MIBE 19; SB 145.*
    Provenance: Ex-Classical Numismatic Group eAuction 294, Lot 820, 16 January 2013.*
    Notes: Justinian the First, otherwise known as "Justinian the Great", was known for his legal reforms, which became the foundation upon which much of modern civil law in the West rests to this day.
    Comments: Despite some slight waviness to the flan, this is a very well struck tremissis. Josh Moran of Civitas Galleries commented on the Collectors Universe forums: "I don't know that I've seen a better portrait on a Justinian tremissis. Very nice example." I consider that high praise.
  11. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    That really IS an impressive portrait. Better rendered than the one on my tremissis.
  12. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    Nice one! Congrats!

    Since you said: "Please feel free to post any coins or information related to Justinian, Antioch/Theopolis, Khosrau I, plague, earthquakes/disasters, or anything else you feel is relevant!"..

    I just recently picked up this solidus of Justinian the Great literally 3 days ago (ignore the cat hair on top of the case on the reverse) xD

    I find it interesting that some of them have the Angel holding a P cross and others a normal cross.

    Justinian I the Great (AD 527-565). AV solidus (22mm, 4.46 gm, 7h). NGC Choice AU 4/5 - 3/5.Constantinople, 5th officina, ca. AD 545-565. D N IVSTINI-ANVS PP AVG, cuirassed bust of Justinian I facing, wearing plumed helmet with pendilia, globus cruciger in right hand, shield decorated with horseman motif in left / VICTORI-A AVGG Є, angel standing facing, staff surmounted by staurogram in right hand, globus cruciger in left; star in right field, CONOB in exergue. Sear 140.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2021
  13. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Nice thread!

    The history of Justinian I's reign is an interesting and complex one. Robert Graves, in his novel Count Belisarius, portrays Justinian I as weak, indecisive and actually quite paranoid, at least regarding is chief general, refusing to adequately fund the campaigns in Carthage and Italy, and appointing co-generals, such as Narses, who, during the Italian Campaign, did not cooperate with Belisarius in terms of strategy, acting mostly for his own benefit. Empress Theodora, on the hand, is more of a Livia-type empress, with the real power behind the throne, exercising a tremendous amount of influence on many of Justinian's decisions. Alas! There are no folles of Theodora. I would love to have one of this remarkable empress, if it existed!

    Here are some folles, and a half follis, of Antioch, during that reign.

    D-Camera Justin I, Justinian I follis Antioch Apr-Aug 527 AD Very Rare Abt VF 17.4 g  5-4-21.jpg
    Note: This is a follis minted at Antioch during the very brief joint reign of Justin I and Justinian I, from April to August 527 AD.

    D-Camera Justinian I follis antioch officina B 15.0g Roma 88 group lot 9-21-21.jpg

    D-Camera Justinian I follis antioch officina Γ 17.1g Roma 88 group lot 9-21-21.jpg

    D-Camera Justinian I follis, Antioch gradient, ex Berk, yr 13 539-40 AD, 22.7 g , 12-14-20.jpg

    D-Camera Justinian half follis, Antioch, Year 22, decanummium obv die, 5-6-20.jpg
    Note: this half follis, year 22, has a decanummium obverse die.

    Justinian I follis, year 38, Antioch 555-556 AD 19.80 grams, Roma auction purchase 5-1-21.jpg
    Note: This coin, year 38, was purchased as an Arab imitation a few years ago. I don't think it is. The obverse legend is garbled, as is typical of this late minting from Antioch. It's quite nice for a coin from this period. I guess this coin drew only one bid, mine, due to the dubious attribution in the catalog.

    And, finally, a follis, of Constantinople, year 12, Officina A.

    D-Camera Justinian I Follis, Reform, Year 12, 23 grams,  8-11-20.jpg
  14. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    Historians do the same thing to Emperor Claudius of Rome. They make him seem like a dumb, ineffective, and weak Emperor.

    But the fact is he had one of the longest reigns of Roman Emperors and in a time when assassination of Emperors was disturbingly common that says a lot.

    Not to mention the public works he accomplished like the aquaduct the Aqua Claudia (waters of Claudius).
    +VGO.DVCKS likes this.
  15. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Yes, he did oversee some major public works, including the construction of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.
  16. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Interesting point, @Gam3rBlake. The irony of Robert Graves is that in the first of his two novels about Claudius (I, Claudius --I never read the other one), he does the opposite, emphasizing his considerable learning and intelligence, and how it was overlooked by the self-absorbed Imperial court, owing to his physical disabilities. ...Had to have added years to his life; when he succeeded Caligula, it was effectively because the more obvious candidates had been knocked off by then.
    philologus_1, sand and Gam3rBlake like this.
  17. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    Yup exactly! Caligula actually used him as a kind of jester to be mocked and laughed at.

    But I have heard and read some historians who say that he intentionally played dumb so as to not seem like a threat to Caligula (who had a tendency to execute threats real or imagined). If so it means he outplayed and outsmarted a lot of people.

    In fact there is a good documentary on Netflix called "Roman Empire" that does a great job analyzing Claudius and applauds him as a skilled political player.

    He was an able and decent Emperor too. He wasn't cruel or a megalomaniac or anything like his nephew Caligula.

    I think alot of ancient historians who wrote of him as dim-witted were fooled by his acting and had no idea that he was acting dumb on purpose.

    Here is the aquaduct he had built! ^_^

    Last edited: Oct 1, 2021
    lordmarcovan and +VGO.DVCKS like this.
  18. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Thanks for expanding on that, @Gam3rBlake. I can't help finding it really resonant that his underestimation was that largely due to his having just been a decent guy.
    He's one of a very few c. Julio-Claudian to Antinine Romans that I still have a coin of. (...But, Oops, I'm steering us off-course....)
    Gam3rBlake likes this.
  19. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    Did you know Livy (Titus Livius) himself actually encouraged Claudius to study history?

    The legendary Roman historian Tacitus even used Claudius’ work as a source for his own writings.

    Unfortunately all of Claudius’s works have been lost.

    If you don’t know who Livy is he wrote “Ab Urbe Condita” (From the founding of the City) which was a monumental history of Rome from Aeneas fleeing Troy after the Trojan War to the reign of Augustus.

    Livy was also a personal friend of Augustus and was welcome at the palace whenever he felt like coming.
    +VGO.DVCKS likes this.
  20. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the further detail, @Gam3rBlake. No, I had zero idea that Tacitus actually cited Claudius. Another cool tie-in, since the emperor Tacitus is supposed to have been descended from the eponymous historian. ...It's sounding like you need to start a thread on Claudius!
    Gam3rBlake likes this.
  21. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    I might do that if I can managed to get a Claudius denarius some day :p
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2021
    +VGO.DVCKS likes this.
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