Julian also remembered as ‘Julian the Apostate’ was the Roman Emperor from 361 to 363 AD. He was also a notable philosopher and Greek author. A persistent enemy of Christianity, he publicly announced his conversion to paganism in 361, thus acquiring the epithet “the Apostate.”
In 363, Julian embarked on an ambitious campaign against the Sassanid Empire. The campaign was initially successful, securing a victory outside Ctesiphon. However, while campaigning into Persian territory, the Persians flooded the area behind him and Julian took a risky decision to withdraw up to the valley of the Tigris River.
During a disastrous retreat from the walls of Ctesiphon, Julian was wounded by a spear thrown “no one knew whence,” which pierced his liver. He died the next night at age 31, having been emperor for 20 months. He was the last non-Christian ruler of the Roman Empire. His attempt to build a Third Temple in Jerusalem was probably intended to harm Christianity rather than please Jews. Julian also forbade the Christians from teaching and learning classical texts.
The above shown gold solidus was issued during his reign from Antioch mint. The obverse of a coin depicts the bare-headed, draped, cuirassed bust of Julian right. The reverse of a coin has a Roma and Constantinopolis enthroned facing, each holding a scepter and supporting between them shield inscribed with an eight-pointed star.
Image Source: http://wildwinds.com/