Justinian I. 527-565 AD

Justinian I. 527-565 AD


Constantinople mint. AV Solidus, 4.44g (21mm, 7h). Helmeted and cuirassed bust of Justinian, facing holding globus cruciger and shield / Angel standing facing, holding globe and long cross, star at right, officina 1.

References: Sear 140; DOC 9j; MIBE 7

Grade: Some possible light file marks. Pleasant strike and nicely centered. VF  (bz1013)

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Justinian became emperor after the death of his uncle Justin in 527 AD. Unlike Justin, Justinian was eager to institute changes and had the potential to be a great ruler. His greatest obstacle was that conflict was ever present in his reign. He had constant problems from the Persians in the east and was fighting the German tribes to maintain the western empire situated in Rome. These was a constant drain on the treasury and managing the empire was tedious.

Despite these substantial issues Justinian made some significant changes to the empire. The first was his codification of the Roman law, which was completed in 535 AD. The other great success of Justinian was his tireless drive to beautify Constantinople. His most significant achievement was the rebuilding of the Hagia Sophia which had been destroyed in the riots of 532 AD. The Byzantine empire had the most mints ever to be active during the reign of Justinian I. After this time it was never as large.