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.
The above shown gold solidus was issued during his reign from Antioch mint. The obverse of a coin depicts the pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Julian right, with small, uncharacteristic features and short beard, seen from the front. The reverse of a coin has a Roman soldier in full military dress advancing right, helmeted head downward left, trophy with a short vertical shaft in left hand over the shoulder, grasping with the right hand the hair of a small captive kneeling right, hands bound behind back.
Image Source: Heritage Auctions