Numismatik Naumann

Auction 141  –  2 June 2024

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Numismatik Naumann, Auction 141

Ancient and World Coins

Su, 02.06.2024, from 5:00 PM CEST
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★ Very Rare Solidus ★

JULIAN II APOSTATA (360-363). GOLD Solidus. Arelate.

Pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right.
Soldier standing right, head left, holding trophy and dragging captive to left; to right, eagle standing right on thunderbolt, head left, with wreath in beak.

RIC 303; Depeyrot 10/1.

The reverse of this Solidus glorifies the Gallic army, which proved very attached to Julian, acclaiming him Augustus in 360. Gaul was in fact overlooked by Constantius II and was paying huge taxes. Julian was able to reduce them and win the trust of the soldiers to the tune of military victories. Julian II was born in Constantinople, son of Basilina and Julius Constantius, half-brother of Constantine I 'the Great'. Because of his young age he was spared in the 337 massacre of Constantine's family members. His youthful education at the court of Constantius II was in the care of the pagan eunuch Mardonius, marked by the myth of classical culture and paganism, particularly Neoplatonism. Upon the death of Constantius Gallus, Julian took his place as Caesar in 355 and married Constantius II's sister, Helena, after which he immediately left to fight the Germans who had invaded Colonia Agrippinensium. Here, after a series of fights, he succeeded in winning the favor of the people and the army, who acclaimed him Augustus in 360, raising the ire of Constantius II. Upon the latter's death Julian became sole emperor and moved back to Constantinople, beginning to deprive the Christian Church of all the rights that had been granted to it by its predecessors, thus earning the appellation "Apostate." Although he never openly persecuted Christians, his policies undoubtedly favored pagans and Jews. Julian also distinguished himself as a man of culture, writing several works, both satirical and philosophical. His main goal was to get the Romans to return to worshiping the ancient gods, and he thought he would succeed by winning the war against the Persians of Shapur II. After a series of victories the emperor reached the gates of Ctesiphon in June 363, but at that point he hesitated and, instead of attacking the city, decided to wait until he rejoined Procopius' army. This move proved fatal, for after a hard fight at Maranga on the Tigris, he was wounded and killed at Samarra. Julian was buried at Tarsus, while peace was signed with Shapur II and Jovian, a moderate Christian, was elected new emperor.

Condition: Extremely fine; some luster in field.

Weight: 4.48 g.
Diameter: 22 mm.

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Current bid 8'000 EUR 1 bid
Starting price 8'000 EUR
Estimate 10'000 EUR
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