Justinian I orders rebuild the dome of Hagia Sophia

07 May 2020  Thu

Justinian I was the Byzantine emperor from 527 to 565 AD. During his reign, Justinian sought to revive the empire's greatness and reconquer the lost western half of the historical Roman Empire. His reign also marked a blossoming of Byzantine culture, and his building program yielded such masterpieces as the church of Hagia Sophia.

Today on 7th May in the year 558, In Constantinople, the dome of the Hagia Sophia collapses, twenty years after its construction. Justinian I immediately orders that the dome be rebuilt. This new cathedral, with its magnificent dome filled with mosaics, remained the center of eastern Christianity for centuries. This reconstruction, giving the church its present 6th-century form, was completed in 562. Because of his restoration activities, Justinian has sometimes been known as the "Last Roman" in mid-20th century historiography.

Justinian was one of the first Roman Emperors to be depicted wielding the cross on the obverse of a coin. He issued gold, silver, and copper coins. These coins were issued in the denomination of Solidus, Follis, Nummi, Siliqua, etc. The above shown gold solidus depicts the cuirassed bust of Justinian I wearing a helmet with pendilia, globus cruciger in the right hand, shield decorated with horseman motif in left on its obverse face.

Image Source: Heritage Auctions

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