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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 1, Lot: 172. Estimate CHF4250. 
Closing Date: Tuesday, 5 May 2009. 
Sold For CHF10500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Julian II. As Caesar, 355-360. Solidus (Gold, 4.54 g 6), Sirmium, 355-360. D N IVLIANVS NOB CAESAR Bare-headed, draped and cuirassed bust of Julian to right Rev. GLORIA REIPVBLICAE /.SIRMC Roma and Constantinopolis seated facing each other and holding between them a shield inscribed VOT / V / MVLT / X. Depeyrot 5 -. RIC -. Extremely rare, apparently the only known solidus of Julian Caesar from Sirmium. Extremely fine.

From the collections of a Gentleman and of Victor Adda, Christie’s, 8 October 1985 “Property of a Lady”, 226.

Julian II was the last descendent of Constantine I to rule the empire and, at the same time, the last pagan emperor (the latter factor contributing to the ‘bad press’ he received from the writings of Church commentators). His basic interest was in restoring the glories of the past. Born in 331, he was the son of Constantine I’s half-brother Julius Constantius and his early years were happy ones. However, most of his family was destroyed in the massacres of 337 that were planned by Constantius II. He was spared because of his age and moved to Nicomedia where he received a first-rate education, especially in Neo-Platonic philosophy. Since there were no suitable male relatives left alive, Constantius II appointed Julian Caesar in 355 with responsibility for the western provinces. He proved to be an able general and administrator, but his successes aroused Constantius’ jealousy, ultimately leading to Julian’s soldiers proclaiming him Augustus in 360.