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Creation Date

361–363 CE


Minted in Antioch






13/16 in. (21 mm)

0.099 oz. (2.8 g)

Credit Line

Gift of Brad Hostetler, 2022

Accession Number



Purchased by Brad Hostetler from Evgeny Savenkov of Moscow on October 3, 2021.


The obverse, depicting the head of Julian, displays signs of corrosion, while the coin's relief appears significantly tarnished and worn down. The other side seems less damaged. The circumference shows slight deformations creating more of an oval shape.

Israel Zavaleta Cepeda (’24), October 2023

Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

Latin inscriptions are on both sides of the coin. The obverse inscription legend reads DN FL CL IVLI-ANVS P F AVG, which translates as "Dominus Noster (our Lord) Flavius Claudius Julianus Pius (dutiful) Felix (fortunate) Augustus (title)." The back of the coin reads VOT X MVLT XX which represents a commemoration of Julian's ten-year vows, which were eventually extended to a total of twenty years. Julian's reign as Caesar lasted for eight years, and he was acclaimed as Augustus by his troops approximately three years before his death. It's worth noting that the vows referenced on this coin never reached the tenth year, or the intended twenty-year mark (XX).


J.P.C. Kent, The Roman Imperial Coinage, vol. 8, The Family of Constantine I A.D. 337–364 (London: Spink & Son Ltd, 1981), no. 220, p. 532.


The coin is crafted from bronze, serving as its base metal. A relief technique is employed to generate variations in light and shadow, enhancing the visibility of its various inscriptions and elements. The coin of Julian depicts his head sideways with a Latin inscription surrounding both sides of his head akin to a laurel wreath shape.

The overall effect of showing Julian is one of power and depiction of its hierarchical positioning. The inscription encircling his regal visage serves as a powerful symbol of the emperor's high status, exemplifying the authority and influence he wielded in society. It underscores the notion that emperors held a commanding presence not only in matters of state but also in the daily lives of their subjects, manifesting their forced imagery in a multitude of routine transactions. The presence of the emperor's likeness on these coins held a dual significance as a medium of exchange, and as a constant reminder of the emperor's role in shaping the socio-economic fabric of the Roman world. This symbiotic relationship between power, representation, and practical utility reinforces the concept that the emperor was not just a distant figurehead but an omnipresent force shaping everyday life in the Roman Empire. Julian’s head is positioned in the middle showing the left side of his head with his eyes positioned slightly above the center of the coin. The pearled crown accompanying the top of Julian’s head creates a sense of elevation and intelligence in hand to its emotionless face. The inscription on this piece not only serves as a reminder but also as a testament to Julian's remarkable qualities, which earned him great respect and crafted an image that people aspire to emulate. In this depiction, Julian is prominently featured carrying a spear and a shield, which symbolize the multifaceted roles emperors played in Roman society, particularly their active involvement in various activities, with a strong emphasis on military leadership. The choice to depict Julian in this manner not only highlights his martial prowess but also conveys the idea that emperors were not distant rulers.

The cascading and flowing beard offers a glimpse into the origins of Julian's name as "the Apostate." It serves as a visual testament to his commitment to paganism as a way of life, a belief system he wholeheartedly adopted. Julian's rejection of Christianity and his fervent ideals in the powers of magic and philosophy represent a strong departure from the religious norms of his time, and this ideological shift had profound consequences. It not only led to a pronounced split within his empire but also precipitated acts of betrayal and disobedience among his subjects, who struggled to align with his alternative command and spiritual inclination. In this way, the flowing beard becomes a symbol of Julian's resolute devotion to paganism, the divergence from prevailing religious practices, and the divisive impact his beliefs had on the unity of his empire.

Both sides of the coin bear a Latin inscription of significance. On the front, the inscription legend reads DN FL CL IVLI-ANVS P F AVG, which translates as "Dominus Noster (our Lord) Flavius Claudius Julianus Pius (full of duty) Felix (fortunate) Augustus (Julian’s title)." This inscription on the obverse of the coin emphasizes Julian's titles and the attributes associated with his rule. On the reverse side, the coin features the inscription VOT X MVLT XX, which holds a commemorative significance. It signifies Julian's ten-year vows, which were later extended to encompass a total of twenty years.

Israel Zavaleta Cepeda (’24)

2022.14-obverse.jpg (617 kB)

2022.14-reverse.jpg (570 kB)