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Tremissis (Coin) of Justinian II

A work made of gold.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of gold.

Date:

685-695

Artist:

Byzantine, minted in Constantinople

About this artwork

Coins were an ideal way for Byzantine emperors to circulate their images throughout the empire and beyond, since they were used to pay for imported merchandise and to pay foreign mercenaries. They could also be employed as powerful vehicles for propaganda, promoting dynastic succession and emphasizing the earthly emperor’s god-given right to rule. Justinian II (reigned 685-695 and 705-711) chose to have an image of himself holding a globe surmounted by a cross on the front (obverse) of this coin. On the back (reverse), a Greek cross is shown.

From the fourth century on, the solidus was the preferred gold coin issued by Byzantine emperors. The solidus remained essentially unaltered in weight and purity until the tenth century. This coin here the depicts Justinian II is a tremissis, worth one-third of 1 solidus.

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Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium

Artist

Byzantine

Title

Tremissis (Coin) of Justinian II

Origin

Byzantine Empire

Date

Struck 685 CE–695 CE

Medium

Gold

Inscriptions

Obverse: [...]TIИIVNYS Reverse: VIC.O ΛSV? / CONOB

Dimensions

Diam. 1.4 cm; 1.38 g

Credit Line

Gift of Emily Crane Chadbourne

Reference Number

1940.18

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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