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Solidus of Julian

Julian the Apostate, or Julian (full name: Imperator Caesar Flavius Claudius Julianus Augustus) (332–363), was Roman Emperor from 360-363. While rising to prominence under Constantius II, son of Constantine, who enlisted him as Caesar in the West in 355, Julian showed himself to be an outstanding military general. When Constantius ordered him to send troops for a war against Persia in 360, Julian protested and then his men refused to go and proclaimed him Emperor. Julian then marched against Constantius, who was preparing to meet him when he died along the way in 361. Julian became sole Emperor.

Julian the Apostate

Julian is chiefly remembered for being the last Pagan Emperor of Rome, Julian sought to undo the prominence that Christianity had achieved once it was legalized and instead revert to the old pagan ways. Christianity was suppressed once again and church lands were handed back to pagan temples. At the same time, Julian promoted Ancient Greek religious philosophies such as Neoplatonism and suggested that Hercules would make a suitable replacement for Jesus Christ for those who wished to adopt him as their patron. Because of his love of Greek culture, he was known as Julian the Hellene, though to the Christians he was known as Julian the Apostate. In 363 he invaded Persia, but was mortally wounded in a minor skirmish when his camp was attacked at night because he went into battle without first putting on his armor.[1] It was believed by some that he had been murdered by one of his own soldiers, a Christian. His supposed last words were Vicisti, Galilaee ("You have won, Galilean") – a reference to Jesus.


  1. Encyclopedia of Military History, Dupuy & Dupuy, 1979 Pg. 154-155