BYZANTINE Justin II 565-578 AD decanummium Carthage mint


BYZANTINE, Justin II, 565-578 AD, decanummium, no date, Carthage mint, Obverse: busts facing, cross between, D N IVSTINVS ET SOFIE AG (fragmentary), VITA in exergue, Reverse: I between N – M, bronze, 19mm, 4.74g, SB400, F-VF

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Carthage, in modern Tunisia, was a Phoenician imperial power in the BC period. The city was razed by the Romans and rebuilt. It continued as a major port city through the Arab conquest, when it was destroyed again.

Justin II inherited an Empire stretched beyond its limits and beset by enemies. Spain was lost to the Visigoths, Italy to the Lombards, he provoked a war with Persia. He was said to have had a mental breakdown and a regent was appointed, who became the next Emperor, Tiberius II Constantine.

We call them Byzantines, but they thought of themselves as Romans. It is not incorrect to think of the Roman Empire persisting until 1453, when the Ottomans conquered Constantinople. The main reference we are using for the Byzantine series is “Byzantine Coins and their Values,” by David Sear.

Ancient Coins includes Greek and Roman coins and those of neighbors and successors, geographically from Morocco and Spain all the way to Afghanistan. Date ranges for these begin with the world’s earliest coins of the 8th century BC to, in an extreme case, the end of Byzantine Empire, 1453 AD.