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Solidus of Justin II
|Emperor of the Byzantine Empire|
|Reign||15 November 565 – 574|
|Successor||Tiberius II Constantine|
|Died||5 October 578 (aged 58)|
|Father||Dulcidio (or Dulcissimus)|
|Flavius Iustinus Iunior|
Justin II (Latin: Flavius Iustinus Iunior Augustus;Ancient Greek: Φλάβιος Ἰουστίνος ὁ νεώτερος; c. 520 – 5 October 578) was Eastern Roman Emperor from 565 to 574. He was the husband of Sophia, nephew of Justinian I and the Empress Theodora, and was therefore a member of the Justinian Dynasty. His reign is marked by war with Sasanian Iran and the loss of the greater part of Italy. He presented the Cross of Justin II to Saint Peter's, Rome.
Justinian I died on the night of 14 to 15 November 565. Callinicus, the praepositus sacri cubiculi, seems to have been the only witness to his dying moments, and later claimed that Justinian had designated "Justin, Vigilantia's son" as his heir in a deathbed decision. The clarification was needed because there was another nephew and candidate for the throne, Justin, son of Germanus. Modern historians suspect Callinicus may have fabricated the last words of Justinian to secure the succession for his political ally. As Robert Browning (a modern historian, not the poet) observed: "Did Justinian really bring himself in the end to make a choice, or did Callinicus make it for him? Only Callinicus knew."
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