AE1. 8.73g, 28.5mm
MINTED: Thessalonica mint, AD 363-364
REF: RIC VIII Thessalonica 237
OBVERSE: D N IOVIAN-VS P F P P AVG Diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Jovian to right.
REVERSE: VICTORIA ROMANORVM, Jovian, in military attire, standing front, head to right, holding standard with his right hand and Victory on globe in his left hand; •TESB• in exergue.
Good Very Fine. Fantastic, sharp details with an outstanding reverse. Lightly smoothed.
Not just another typical little Late Roman Bronze, this large and scarcer AE1 piece would have seemed very impressive to the average citizen when it circulated.
Ammianus Marcellinus, a soldier and historian who accompanied Emperor Julian on his ill-fated Persian campaign in 363, wrote that when the latter succumbed to wounds sustained in a battle, his commanders was in disagreement over who should be proclaimed Augustus. A small party of Jovian's followers took it upon themselves to raise the relatively undistinguished commander of the household guard. They proceeded to carry him through the camp while shouting "Jovianus Augustus!". The camp soldiers misheard their acclamation as "Julianus Augustus", and thinking that Julian had recovered from his wounds, cheered the newcomer. When they realized their mistake, grief broke out anew but Jovian's elevation was upheld with some resignation "as if by the blind decree of Fortune."
Jovian soon proved himself an uninspiring emperor, losing much popularity when he concluded a humiliating peace treaty with the Persians. He died while en route to Constantinople, having either eaten too many mushrooms one evening, or from being poisoned by fumes from a charcoal fire in his tent. He reigned for only 8 months, with one of his few significant acts being to restore Christianity as the state religion, ending Julian's attempt to revive the pagan faith of the old gods.
JOVIAN . AD 363-364 . AE1 . Very Large, 28mm Late Roman Bronze . *Scarce*
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