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Justin II (ca. 566?)

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.1618 (formerly Fogg 1618)
Diameter 21 mm
Condition Chipped.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 7.1.


Bust of Justin II with a short beard, facing forward, wearing a helmet with diadem, trefoil ornament, and pendilia. No epigraphy or border visible.


Winged Victory advancing, wearing a long chiton and holding in each hand a victory wreath. A small cross at left and right. No visible border.


Justin’s seals employ the same motifs as Justinian I’s and, in comparison with coins, the imperial bust is of simplified design. For the most part the emperor is shown beardless, but on an issue that Grierson attributes to January of 566 he is depicted with a short beard. Winged Victory as a main type appears on Justin II’s gold coinage, but as in the case of Justinian’s gold issues, we meet it on the reverse of the tremissis.

A similar seal (Zacos–Veglery, no. 3c) depicting the emperor with a short beard was attributed to Justinian I.  In his review of the catalogue (BSl 36 [1975]: 208–9), which the present entry follows, Seibt argued for its reattribution to Justin II, pointing out that the solidi of this emperor (See: DOC 1:1 [pl. 49] and MIB 2: pl. 1, no. 52) show the imperial bust with close-cropped facial hair. Grierson dated this coin issue to January of 566.