Justinian I, Byzantine Emperor 553-565
S.312, Superb Extremely Fine
Obverse depicts helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, holding Globus cruciger and shield. On the reverse angel standing facing, holding long cross and globe; star in right field. Typical simplistic engraving, sharply detailed and centered.
Justinian, (the Great), attempted to reconquer the old Western Roman Empire, and mostly succeeded. All of the conquests of the Ostrogoths reverted back to Justinian’s rule. Additionally, he wrote the Justinian Code, an impressive legal codex still used in some countries today. A massive building project in Constantinople produced the magnificent Hagia Sophia. Justinian’s accomplishments were tempered by a disastrous plague which killed 25-50 million people and decimated Constantinople. The emperor was himself infected by this forerunner to the bubonic plague of later centuries, but survived. However, neither he, nor Byzantium was ever the same.