The Roman Usurper Procopius was executed today

27 May 2020  Wed

Procopius was a Roman usurper against Valens and a member of the Constantinian dynasty. According to some historians, he was a native of Cilicia. He took part in the Emperor Julian's campaign against the Persian Empire in 363. At the time of Julian's death, there were rumors that he had intended Procopius to be his successor, but when Jovian was elected emperor by the Roman army, Procopius went into hiding to preserve his life.

After Jovian's death, Valentinian I shared the purple with his brother Valens. Procopius immediately moved to declare himself emperor. He bribed two legions which were then resting at Constantinople to support his efforts and took control of the imperial city. Shortly after this, he proclaimed himself Emperor on September 28, 365, and quickly took control of the provinces of Thrace, and later Bithynia.

The gold Solidus of Procopius issued from Constantinople mint. It depicts pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust on its obverse face. While, reverse sows Procopius in military dress, standing facing, head right, holding a spear in the right hand, resting left hand on shield set on the ground.

The exceptional portrait on this issue shows him wearing a close beard, probably a symbol of sympathy and mourning for his kinsman Julian II. His beard and the lack of any Christian symbolism on the reverse also hint at possible Pagan sympathies.

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