BYZANTINE Justinian I 527-565 AD follis year 19


BYZANTINE, Justinian I, 527-565 AD, follis, year 19 (545 AD), Constantinople, officina 5, Obverse: bust facing, D N IVSTINIANVS PP AV, Reverse: M, cross above, ANNO XUIIII, CON, E, bronze, 35mm, 19.44g, SB163, F

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Most powerful and innovative of the Byzantine Emperors, he expanded the Empire as far west as Carthage in North Africa, built Hagia Sophia, reformulated the legal code, but had to pay tribute (I suppose we call it protection money today) to Persia.

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.