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    Exceptional Julian Caesar Solidus

    Julian II, as Caesar (AD 355-360). AV solidus (20mm, 4.46 gm, 5h). Antioch, 8th officina, ca. 355-361. DN IVLIANV-S NOB CAES, bareheaded, draped, and cuirassed bust of Julian II right / GLORIA REI PVBLICA, Roma, holding spear, and Constantinopolis, holding scepter and placing foot on prow, seated facing, supporting shield inscribed with a star between them; •/•SMANH•. RIC VIII 171 (R4). Depeyrot 11 note. Rare and seldom encountered in high grade. Lovely red toning. NGC Choice AU? 5/5 - 5/5.

    From The Lexington Collection of Jonathan K. Kern.

    The son of Constantine the Great's half-brother, young Flavius Constantius Julianus barely survived a massacre of his branch of the family in AD 337 and was raised in an atmosphere of austere piety at a remote fortress in Cappadocia. The blood fueds of early Christianity soured him on the faith and made him an admirer of classical learning and paganism. He studied 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. This solidus, struck in Antioch at the outset of his reign as Caesar, shows Julian as a beardless youth dressed for war, a task at which he proved surprisingly adept.

     


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2014
    3rd-10th Wednesday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 16
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