Justinian II, with Tiberius. second reign, 705-711. Constantinople

Justinian II, with Tiberius. second reign, 705-711. Constantinople


AV Solidus, 4.40g (20mm, 6h). δ N IҺS CҺS [RЄX RЄGNANT]IЧM Draped bust of Christ facing, with cross behind his head, raising his right hand in benediction and holding book of Gospels in his left. Rev. δ N IЧSTINIANЧS ЄT TIbЄRIЧS PP A' Crowned half-length figures of Justinian II, on left, and Tiberius, on right, both wearing chlamys and holding between them, in their right hands, a cross potent on two steps

References: DOC 2b. MIB 2b. SB 1415

Grade: Sharp strike and virtually complete. Legend is half off flan on both sides. EF (bz1021)

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Justinian II was the last of the Heraclian emperors. He reigned from 685-695 after the death of his father, the ruler Constantine IV. Justinian was a man with lavish tastes and high hopes for the empire. He was unpopular with the people, both aristocratic and peasant classes. He raised taxes to support his habit of erecting buildings. He also created discord in religious realms when he clashed with the Roman Catholic church over various observance differences. This prompted the people to proclaim Leontius, a general in the army, as ruler and they ousted Justinian. The soldiers brutally cut his nose off to make certain he would not attempt to rule again. He was exiled to Cherson for 10 years while he planned his re-emergence. In the Spring of 705 with an army of 15,000 Bulgar and Slav horsemen, Justinian took his throne once again. His second reign was even more despotic than the first.

Strangely enough Justinian was the very first emperor to place Jesus Christ on his coinage. The coinage with Christ bear two forms. One is with a western looking Christ, one that the world has come to think of with long straight hair. The other, like this coin, was of an eastern styled Christ, with tight curls.