JULIAN THE APOSTATE
AE1. Double Maiorina. 8.01g, 27.7mm
MINTED: Nicomedia mint, AD 361-363
REF: RIC VIII Nicomedia 122
OBVERSE: D N FL CL IVLIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right.
REVERSE: SECVRITAS REIPVB, Bull standing right with two stars above, NIKB • flanked by palm branch in exergue.
A large bronze coin of impressive size for the period. Julian's introduction of this double maiorina, with its distinctive bull on the reverse, advertised his adherence to the old pagan gods. It has been debated without general consensus as to whether the bull represents the Mithraic bull, the Egyptian Apis bull, or Julian's own astrological birth sign.
Julian, nephew of Constantine the Great, was the last pagan emperor of the Roman Empire. Constantine had legalized Christianity and converted to the new religion, becoming the first Christian Emperor of Rome. His sons who succeeded him likewise espoused the faith. When Julian ascended to the throne upon the death of Constantius II, he attempted to revive the worship of the old gods, restoring paganism as the state religion, hence the byname "the Apostate". He was also called Julian the Philosopher, and was a noted Neoplatonic scholar and writer. Several of Julian's literary works, written in Greek, haved survived to this day. Barely a year and a half into his reign, Julian was mortally wounded while campaigning against the Sassanians. With his last words, he is said to have addressed Jesus, "You have won, Galilean".
JULIAN THE APOSTATE . AD 361-363 . AE1 . "Pagan Bull of Julian" . Nicomedia
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