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    Julian: Soldierly Scholar

    Julian II as Caesar (AD 355-360). AV solidus (21mm, 4.31 gm, 6h).  Rome, AD 355-357. D N CL IVL-IANVS N C, bareheaded bust of Julian right, with close-cropped hair, wearing mail cuirass, seen from front / FEL TEMP RE-PARATIO, Roma enthroned facing, and Constantinopolis enthroned left, foot on ship's prow, supporting between them shield inscribed with eight-rayed star; RSMS (palm branch) in exergue. RIC VIII 295. Cohen 8. Depeyrot 13/2. Rare. With an attractive military bust of this vigorous ruler. Light graffito in obverse field and reddish toning in fields. NGC (photo-certificate) Choice VF 5/5 - 3/5, light graffito.

    From The Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection. Ex Dreesmann Collection (Spink London, 13 April 2000), lot 208.

    This attractive solidus of Rome depicts the young Caesar Julian in fighting form, with a close-cropped haircut and wearing a mail cuirass with an officer's cloak, or paludamentum, pinned to his left shoulder by a jeweled brooch. Julian II, also known as the Apostate, Philosopher, or Hellene, ranks as one of the more controversial Roman emperors, as his attempt to stand against the rising tide of Christianity makes him a villain to some and a hero to others. The son of Constantine the Great's half-brother, Julian barely survived a massacre of his branch of the family in AD 337 and was raised in an atmosphere of austere piety at the remote fortress of Macellum in Cappadocia. The theological disputes and blood fueds of early Christianity soured him on the faith and made him an admirer of classical learning and paganism. He studied under several prominent Pagan philosophers in Athens in the AD 350s and won the friendship and protection of Eusebia, wife of his cousin, the Emperor Constantius II. In AD 355 he became Caesar under Constantius and was tasked with rescuing Gaul, then suffering furious barbarian attack. Lacking any experience of soldiery, Julian proved an amazingly quick study and soon led the Roman army to a smashing victory over German invaders at Strasbourg in AD 357. He also reduced taxation and introduced administrative reforms that won him enormous popularity in the West and alarmed the suspicious Constantius. 

    All Roman gold coins from the Dimitriadis Collection have been issued a photo-certificate by NGC. These may be sent in for encapsulation after the auction at the request of the buyer, free of charge. Please e-mail SamS@HA.com if you would like to utilize this option.


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    10th-16th Thursday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
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