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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.


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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.
RL84698. Bronze centenionalis, RIC VIII Heraclea 106, LRBC II 1909, SRCV V 19174, Cohen VIII 151, Hunter V -, Choice EF, nice portrait, well centered, sharp detail, minor flan flaws, tiny edge cracks, weight 2.841 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, 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, tied at the bottom, closed with a jewel at the top, HERACL•A in exergue; $130.00 (€115.70)
 


Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D., Ancient Counterfeit With Julian II Reverse

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This coin combines an obverse die of Constantius II, 337 - 361, with a reverse die of Julian II, 360 - 363 A.D. The unlikely hybrid of types from different emperors and issues, the light weight, and the flan flaw on the reverse indicate it is a plated ancient counterfeit.

Ancient counterfeits often have mismatched obverses and reverses. Transfer dies were made using genuine coins which were destroyed in the process. Since making each die destroyed the coin, the same coin could not be used to make both dies. The destroyed coins were undoubtedly melted to contribute to the silver foil plate.

Unlike counterfeit denarii, counterfeit siliqua are very rare. Siliqua are so thin, that striking counterfeits with a bronze core apparently could not provide an economic benefit worth the effort and risk.
RS79849. Fouree silver plated reduced siliqua, cf. official, Lugdunum mint, silver, RIC VIII Constantius II 180 (for obverse) and RIC VIII Julian II 233 (for reverse), aVF, well centered on a tight flan cutting off parts of legend, marks, scratches, corrosion, edge crack, edge chips, weight 1.385 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 180o, illegal mint, c. 360 - 365 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VOT / X / MVLT / XX in four lines within wreath, eagle in circle closing wreath at the top, CONST in exergue; $125.00 (€111.25)
 


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VOT X MVLT XX abbreviates Votis Decennalibus Multis Vicennalibus. Earlier in the empire, this inscription would have meant that Julian had completed his vows (prayers) to thank the gods on the tenth anniversary of his rule, and made more vows to the gods that they might help him achieve his twentieth anniversary. Julian ruled less than three and a half years. By Julian's time, votive inscriptions had come to express hopes rather than reality.
RL77939. Bronze centenionalis, RIC VIII Cyzicus 130 (S), LRBC II 2512, SRCV V 19180, Cohen VIII 151, Hunter V -, F, green patina with red earthen highlighting, centered on tight flan, scratches, weight 3.074 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 362 - 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, tied at the bottom, closed with a jewel at the top, CVZA in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex-Lindgren; scarce; $45.00 (€40.05)
 


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On 25 August 357, Julian defeated the Alemanni at Strasbourg (Argentoratum). He drove the barbarians back behind the Rhine.
BB83866. Bronze reduced maiorina, RIC VIII Cyzicus 116 (S), LRBC II 2503, SRCV V 19076, Cohen VIII 16, Hunter V -, Fair, porous, large flan split, weight 2.089 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 6 Nov 355 - Feb 360 A.D.; obverse D N FL CL IVLIANVS NOB CS, bare-headed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), soldier standing left, wearing helmet, military garb and shield on left arm, spearing a fallen horseman wearing a pointed cap, horseman laying across his fallen horse and raising arm, •M• in left field, SMK∆ in exergue; very scarce; $12.00 (€10.68)
 







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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.E. and Sear, D.R. Roman Silver Coins, Volume V, Carausius to Romulus Augustus. (London, 1987).
Sear, D.R. Roman Coins and Their Values. (London, 1984).
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, February 21, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Julian II