Benefactor Ancient Coin Hunter Posted January 11 · Benefactor Benefactor Share Posted January 11 For most emperors we do not have details about the particular circumstances of their demise, we know that, for example, the Praetorian Guard had engineered their downfall in many cases, but for others outside of Nero who said: "What an artist dies with me!" and Septimius Severus who famously said on his deathbed at York: "Enrich the soldiers, ignore all others!" to his sons Geta and Caracalla we do not have in most cases accounts of their final words. In the case of Julian we have a detailed account of his death by the historian Ammianus Marcellinus, including his last words, also embellished by later historians like Eusebius. Likely these declamations in most cases simply were words placed in their mouths by the writer who had a particular axe to grind. Let us then look at these final moments... Book XXV, Chapter III "After having spoken these words in a calm tone, [Julian] wishing to distribute his private property to his closer friends, as if with the last stroke of his pen, he called for Anatolius, his chief court-marshal. And when the prefect Salutius replied "He has been happy," he understood that he had been slain, and he who recently with such courage had been indifferent to his own fate, grieved deeply over that of a friend. Meanwhile, all who were present wept, whereupon even then maintaining his authority, he chided them, saying that it was unworthy to mourn for a prince who was called to union with heaven and the stars. As this made them all silent, he himself engaged with the philosophers Maximus and Priscus in an intricate discussion about the nobility of the soul. Suddenly the wound in his pierced side opened wide, the pressure of the blood checked his breath, and after a draught of cold water for which he had asked, in the gloom of midnight he passed quietly away in the thirty-second year of his age." According to Eusebius writing much later on, the last words of Julian were "Thou hast conquered, Galilean!" referring to the ultimate victory of Christianity over his pagan revival effort. Now the coin: AE 30, 8.1 grams, Nicomedia mint, A.D. 361-363 Obverse: DN FL CL IVLIANVS PF AVG Diademed, draped, cuirassed bust right Reverse: SECVRITAS REIPVB Bull standing right, two stars above//palm Mintmark: SMNB Reference: RIC VIII 119, page 483 (SMNA, no SMNB examples recorded... There is some debate, including discussions on CoinTalk, about whether the bull on the reverse represents the Egyptian Apis Bull or rather, Taurus. Most scholarship seems to point to Taurus... Feel free to share any coins of Julian and/or your opinion as to the bull on the reverse... 19 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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