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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Year of 5 Emperors| ▸ |Didius Julianus||View Options:  |  |  | 

Didius Julianus, 28 March - 2 June 193 A.D.

Didius Julianus was born in 133 A.D. and followed a military career. He rose to the rank of legion commander, then Consul and Proconsul of Africa. After Pertinax was murdered, the Praetorian Guard (the emperor's personal bodyguard force) advertised that they were offering the throne to the highest bidder. If not the richest, Didius Julianus was one the richest men in Rome and offered 25,000 sestertii for each man! The Roman people were incensed by the auction and several provincial governors rose up against him. As Septimius Severus approached Rome, only 66 days into his reign, Didius Julianus was betrayed and beheaded by the Praetorians.

|Didius| |Julianus|, |Didius| |Julianus,| |28| |March| |-| |2| |June| |193| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
Didius Julianus was born in 133 A.D. and followed a military career. He rose to the rank of legion commander, then Consul and Proconsul of Africa. After Pertinax was murdered, the Praetorian Guard (the emperor's personal bodyguard force) advertised that they were offering the throne to the highest bidder. If not the richest, Didius Julianus was one the richest men in Rome and offered 25,000 sestertii for each man! The Roman people were incensed by the auction and several provincial governors rose up against him. As Septimius Severus approached Rome, only 66 days into his reign, Didius Julianus was betrayed and beheaded by the Praetorians. Coins of Didius Julianus are very rare due to his short reign.
SH87943. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 16 (R), Woodward Didius, p. 79 (unlisted dies); BMCRE V 28, Hunter III 10, Banti 6, Cohen III 17, SRCV II 6077, gVF, pleasing portrait, dark brown patina, areas of minor porosity, some light scratches, weight 20.309 g, maximum diameter 27.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, late May - 2 Jun 193 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M DID SEVER IVLIAN AVG, laureate head right; reverse RECTOR ORBIS (Master of the World), Didius Julianus standing slightly left, head left, togate, globe in extended right hand, scroll in left hand at side, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field below center; ex Noble Numismatics, auction 117, lot 4773; ex Dr V. J. A. Flynn Collection; ex CNG Triton XII (6 Jan 2009), lot 654 (realized $3450 including buyer fees); ex White Mountain Collection; rare; SOLD


|Didius| |Julianus|, |Didius| |Julianus,| |28| |March| |-| |2| |June| |193| |A.D.|, |denarius|
Coins of Didius Julianus are rare due to his short reign. An average well preserved Didius Julianus denarius weighs 2.99 grams.
SH03731. Silver denarius, RIC IV 3 (R3), RSC III 15, BMCRE V 7, SRCV II 6074, Hunter III -, EF, weight 3.12 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 28 Mar - late May 193 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M DID IVLIAN AVG, laureate head right; reverse RECTOR ORBIS (Master of the World), Didius Julianus standing slightly left, head left, togate, globe in extended right hand, scroll in left hand at side; very rare; SOLD


|Didius| |Julianus|, |Didius| |Julianus,| |28| |March| |-| |2| |June| |193| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
From the Prof. Henry H. Armstrong collection. In 1910, when he purchased this coin, Professor Armstrong lived in Rome working as a Research Associate of the Carnegie Institution in Archaeology teaching at the American School for Classical Studies. From 1918 until his death in 1935 he taught at Beloit College as head of the Department of Romance Languages. Nicknamed "Sparky" by the students, his death after a two-week illness came as a shock to the college. His coins, inherited by his son, sat in a cigar box for the next 74 years.
SH39691. Orichalcum sestertius, Hunter III 11 (same obv. legend break), RIC IV 16 (R), BMCRE V 28, Cohen III 17, SRCV II 6077, VF, well centered, green patina, nice portrait, weight 19.300 g, maximum diameter 30.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, late May - 2 Jun 193 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M DID SEVER IVLIAN AVG, laureate head right; reverse RECTOR ORBIS (Master of the World), Didius Julianus standing slightly left, head left, togate, globe in extended right hand, scroll in left hand at side, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low across field; nice green patina, pleasing portrait, weak reverse strike; from the Prof. Henry H. Armstrong collection, handwritten envelope notes, "Champion, Purchase, 1909 1910"; rare; SOLD







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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

IMPCAESMDIDIVLIANAVG
IMPCAESMDIDSEVERIVLIANAVG


REFERENCES|

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Calic, E. The Roman Avrei, Vol. II: From Didius Julianus to Constantius I, 193 AD - 335 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cayn, J. Los Sestercios del Imperio Romano, Vol. III: De Marco Aurelio a Caracalla (Del 161 d.C. al 217 d.C.). (Madrid, 1984).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 4: Septimius Severus to Maximinus Thrax. (Paris, 1884).
Mattingly, H., E. Sydenham & C. Sutherland. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. IV: From Pertinax to Uranius Antoninus. (London, 1986).
Mattingly, H. & R. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol. 5: Pertinax to Elagabalus. (London, 1950).
Online Coins of the Roman Empire (OCRE) http://numismatics.org/ocre/
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. III. Pertinax to Aemilian. (Oxford, 1977).
Seaby, H. & Sear, D. Roman Silver Coins, Vol. III, Pertinax to Balbinus and Pupienus. (London, 1982).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. II: The Accession of Nerva to the Overthrow of the Severan Dynasty AD 96 - AD 235. (London, 2002).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).
Woodward, A. "The coinage of Didius Julianus and his family" in NC (1961) pp. 71 - 90, pls. VI - X.

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