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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Constantinian Era ▸ Julian IIView Options:  |  |  | 

Julian II "the Apostate," February 360 - 26 June 363 A.D.

Flavius Claudius Iulianus was born in 331 or maybe 332 A.D. in Constantinople. He ruled the Western Empire as Caesar from 355 to 360 and was hailed Augustus by his legions in Lutetia (Paris) in 360. Julian was a gifted administrator and military strategist. Famed as the last pagan emperor, his reinstatement of the pagan religion earned him the moniker "the Apostate." As evidenced by his brilliant writing, some of which has survived to the present day, the title "the Philosopher" may have been more appropriate. He died from wounds suffered during the Persian campaign of 363 A.D.


Click for a larger photo
The celebration for a reign anniversary typically began a year before the actual anniversary and lasted the entire year. The actual celebratory events were likely at the beginning and end of this year-long period. This means that coins celebrating an anniversary were often struck from up to a year before that anniversary. Julian was named Caesar by Constantius II in 355 and used this as the date of the beginning of his reign, not 360 when he was named Emperor by his troops in Gaul, nor 361 when Constantius died and he was acknowledged Emperor throughout the Empire. Thus the celebration of Julian's decannalia, or tenth anniversary of reign, was to begin in 364. In late 362, when Julian needed extra coinage to prepare for his Persian War, what better type to strike than a vota coinage? He really should not have used X for the Soluta, or vows completed, for two more years but it served as great propaganda. He was informing the populace that he will still be around in two years when the war is over.
RL88054. Bronze centenionalis, RIC VIII Sirmium 108, LRBC II 1619, SRCV V 19172, Cohen VIII 151, Choice VF, well centered, green patina, ragged with small edge splits, weight 3.151 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Sirmium (Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia) mint, summer 361 - 26 Jun 363 A.D.; obverse D N FL CL IVLIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, helmeted, and cuirassed bust left, spear in right, shield in left; reverse VOT / X / MVLT / XX in four lines within wreath, BSIRM in exergue; $80.00 (€70.40)
 


Click for a larger photo
Surprisingly, Julian's piety was distasteful even to the Antiochenes retaining the old pagan faith. Julian's brand of paganism was unique to himself, with little support outside the most educated Neoplatonist circles. Antioch's impiety to the old religion became clear to Julian when he attended the city's annual feast of Apollo. To his surprise and dismay the only Antiochene present was an old priest clutching a chicken.
RL20866. Bronze centenionalis, RIC VIII Antioch 220, gVF, sharp portrait, dark patina, tight flan, uneven strike, weight 2.101 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, Feb 360 - 26 Jun 363 A.D.; obverse D N FL CL IVLIANVS P F AVG, cuirassed and helmeted bust left holding spear and shield; reverse VOT / X / MVLT / XX in four lines within wreath, ANT∆ between branches in exergue; $55.00 (€48.40)
 


Click for a larger photo
The celebration for a reign anniversary typically began a year before the actual anniversary and lasted the entire year. The actual celebratory events were likely at the beginning and end of this year-long period. This means that coins celebrating an anniversary were often struck from up to a year before that anniversary. Julian was named Caesar by Constantius II in 355 and used this as the date of the beginning of his reign, not 360 when he was named Emperor by his troops in Gaul, nor 361 when Constantius died and he was acknowledged Emperor throughout the Empire. Thus the celebration of Julian's decannalia, or tenth anniversary of reign, was to begin in 364. In late 362, when Julian needed extra coinage to prepare for his Persian War, what better type to strike than a vota coinage? He really should not have used X for the Soluta, or vows completed, for two more years but it served as great propaganda. He was informing the populace that he will still be around in two years when the war is over.
RL88785. Bronze centenionalis, RIC VIII Heraclea 105, LRBC II 1908, SRCV V 19174, Cohen VIII 151, Hunter V -, F, rough, earthen deposits, weight 3.017 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 0o, Heraclea (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, 361 - 363 A.D.; obverse D N FL CL IVLIANVS P F AVG, helmeted and cuirassed bust left holding spear and shield; reverse VOT / X / MVLT / XX in four lines within wreath, HERACL[...] in exergue; $24.00 (€21.12)
 







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OBVERSE LEGENDS

DNCLIVLANVSAVG
DNCLIVLIANVSNC
DNCLIVLIANVSNOBCAES
DNFLCLIVLIANVSPFAVG
DNIVLIANVSNOBC
DNIVLIANVSNOBCAES
DNIVLIANVSPFAVG
FLCLIVLIANVSPFAVG
FLCLIVLIANVSAVG
FLCLIVLIANVSNOBC
FLCLIVLIANVSNOBCAES
FLCLIVLIANVSPERPAVG
FLCLIVLIANVSPFAVG
FLCLIVLIANVSPPAVG
IVLIANVSAVG


REFERENCES

Carson, R., P. Hill & J. Kent. Late Roman Bronze Coinage. (London, 1960).
Carson, R., H. Sutherland and J. Kent. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol VIII, The Family of Constantine I, A.D. 337 - 364. (London, 1981).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 8: Nepotian to Romulus Augustus, plus tesserae & cotorniates. (Paris, 1888).
Depeyrot, G. Les monnaies d'or de Constantin II à Zenon (337-491). Moneta 5. (Wetteren, 1996).
Ferrando, P. L'atelier monétaire d'Arles: de Constantin le Grand à Romulus Augustule (313-476). (Arles, 2010).
Paolucci, R. & A. Zub. La monetazione di Aquileia Romana. (Padova, 2000).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. V. Diocletian (Reform) to Zeno. (Oxford, 1982).
King, C. & Sear, D. Roman Silver Coins, Volume V, Carausius to Romulus Augustus. (London, 1987).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. V: The Christian Empire: The Later Constantinian Dynasty and the Houses of Valentinian and Theodosius and Their Successors, Constantine II to Zeno, AD 337 - 491. (London, 2014).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).
Voetter, O. Die Münzen der romischen Kaiser, Kaiserinnen und Caesaren von Diocletianus bis Romulus: Katalog der Sammlung Paul Gerin. (Vienna, 1921).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, July 16, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Julian II