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    Justinian II's Bloody Return

    Justinian II Rhinotmetus, second reign (AD 705-711). AV solidus (20mm, 4.42 gm, 6h).  Constantinople, AD 705-706. ? N IhS ChS RЄX RЄGNANTIЧM, facing bust of Christ Pantocrator, with slight beard and tight, curly hair, holding up right hand in gesture of benediction and holding book of gospels cradled in left arm; cross behind / ? I N IЧS-TINIA-NVS MЧLTЧS AN', crowned facing bust of Justinian, wearing loros, holding in right hand cross potent set on three steps, and in left globus cruciger inscribed PAX. Sear 1413. DOC 1. MIB 1. NGC (photo-certificate) MS 5/5 - 5/5.

    From The Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection. Private purchase from Spink & Sons, London, May 1998. 

    Exiled to remote Cherson, Justinian II immediately began plotting his return to power, obtaining assistance from the Khazars and Bulgarians. After a novelistic series of adventures, he returned to Constantinople in AD 705 at the head of a Bulgarian army and entered the city by crawling through an aqueduct pipe. One re-installed in power, he took terrible revenge on all those who had opposed him. Sporting a golden nose to replace the one he had lost (providing the epithet Rhinotmetus -- "slit-nosed"), he reigned as a monomaniacal tyrant, torturing and murdering anyone who displeased him. He soon alienated even his closest supporters. By AD 711 the army and surviving aristocracy had seen enough. They made common cause to overthrow Justinian for a second and final time; this time the conspirators killed him and all his family, thus extinguishing the noble line of Heraclius. 

    This coin from the Dimitriadis Collection has been issued a photo-certificate by NGC. It may be sent in for encapsulation after the auction at the request of the buyer, free of charge. E-mail SamS@HA.com if you would like to utilize this option.


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    Auction Dates
    September, 2014
    3rd-10th Wednesday-Wednesday
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