JUSTINIAN II GOLD SOLIDUS – SECOND REIGN ISSUE WITH YOUNG CHRIST AND EMPEROR HOLDING PAX GLOBUS – MINT STATE NGC GRADED BYZANTINE COIN (Inv. 17993)
BYZANTINE EMPIRE. JUSTINIAN II, SECOND REIGN, AD 705-711.
Gold solidus, 4.43 g, 21 mm. Issue of Constantinople.
Obv. DN IhS ChS RЄX RЄGNANTIЧM, bust of youthful Christ Pantocrator, facing, with closely cropped curly hair, holding Gospels and raising right hand in benediction. Rev. DN IЧSTINIANЧS MЧLTЧS AN, facing bust of Justinian II wearing a loros and holding a cross potent in the right hand and a globus cruciger inscribed PAX in the left.
Ex Freeman & Sear Mail Bid Sale 5, 5/14/1999, lot 554.
NGC graded MINT STATE, Strike 4/5, Surface 5/5, “adjusted flan”.
During his return to power following his exile (the “Second Reign”), Justinian II adopts an entirely new image of Christ for his coinage, a youthful portrait with eastern features, including curly short-cropped hair and a kind, welcoming, expression. It is an image likely based on the iconographical traditions of Christian Syria, and some have even argued that it is based on an icon of the “historical” Christ as he appeared before the Crucifixion.