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Maurice Tiberius Æ Decanummium Theoupolis...


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Decent portraits of Maurice Tiberius seem very difficult to find. After looking at numerous examples over the past year or so, this decanummium from Antioch qualifies as one of the best I've yet seen. And it's far from perfect. The details on the eagle scepter stand out, as do the Emperor's fingers around the mappa. The largely intact legend makes almost no sense, but, according to Sear for this type, it usually appeared as a badly blundered variation of the legend on Tiberius II's coins. The dealer had listed it as Year III, but I think it's actually year 8 (UIII). With these lower denomination coins (10 nummi or 1/4 of a follis), I often wonder what people at the time could purchase with them. Bread? Some soup? Meat? Beans? Would this small coin, slightly smaller than a US dime, represent a meal for someone in 6th century Byzantine Antioch? Or just a morsel? This one doesn't look like it made it around the market too much, but I bet it could have bought something at least halfway decent. But then Phocas had to come along and uproot everything in 602. Things didn't end well for the fleeing Maurice and his sons. So history goes. Usurpers, usurpers everywhere.

Maurice Tiberius. 582-602. Æ Decanummium 17mm, 3.1g Theoupolis (Antioch) mint. Dated RY 8 (AD 589/90); Obv: blundered legend, Crowned facing bust, wearing consular robe, holding mappa and eagle-tipped scepter; Rev: Large X; cross above, R below; A/N/N/O U/III (date) across field; Sear 536


Please post any Maruice Tiberus coins you have!



Edited by ewomack
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Nice coin! The only one I have a picture of is...different.

Maurice Tiberius, AD 582-602. Æ Decanummium (19x15mm, 3.65g, 2h). Constantinople mint. Struck AD 582/583. Obv: Helmeted, draped and cuirassed bust facing. Rev: Large I between star and officina; cross above, CON in exergue. Ref: DOC 18b (Tiberius II); MIBE 73A; SB 498.


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Here's my Maurice Tiberius 40 nummi bronze coin. If I remember correctly, the obverse legend may be blundered. Maurice Tiberius was a successful general under Tiberius II. Maurice Tiberius was chosen by Sophia, the wife of the former Emperor Justin II, to be the successor of Tiberius II. Sophia had also chosen Tiberius II to be the successor of Justin II. According to Wikipedia, Maurice Tiberius's "court still used Latin, as did the army and administration, and he promoted science and the arts...His fault was too much faith in his own excellent judgment without regard to the disagreement and unpopularity which he provoked by decisions in themselves right and wise. He was a better judge of policy than of men...In 602, the Byzantine army rebelled against Emperor Maurice, largely due to exhaustion and outrage over orders to continue campaigning north of the Danube in winter as well as previous cuts in wages." The army proclaimed Phocas, a middle ranking officer who had emerged as a spokesman for dissatisfied soldiers, to be their leader. Phocas entered Constantinople and was crowned Emperor. Maurice Tiberius and his 6 sons were executed. Maurice Tiberius's wife and 3 daughters were temporarily spared, but 3 years later they were also executed.


Maurice Tiberius. AE 40 Nummi Follis. Regnal Year 3. Minted 585 AD. Antioch/Theopolis Mint. Sear 532. Maximum Diameter 29.5 mm. Weight 12.79 grams. Obverse : Maurice Tiberius Bust Facing Front, Trefoil On Top Of Crown, Holding Mappa And Eagle Tipped Scepter. Reverse : Large Lower Case "m", Mint "THEUP".

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've always loved the care Antioch mint lavished upon it's coins. That decanummium of yours is a little pearl. Mine aren't lookers, but two are from interesting western mints. My Maurice Tiberius Follis from Nicomedia mint looks like a stunted version of the big 40mm coins they were minting for Justinian, even featuring the characteristic elongated neck. The other two half folles are from Rome and Ravenna mints. The one from Rome was minted contemporaneously with the pontificate of Pope Gregory the Great, which is neat!



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