Julian II, 360-363. Exagium Solidi (Bronze, 19 mm, 4.34 g, 5 h), Antiochia on the Orontes, spring 363. FL CL IVLI-ANVS P F AVG Diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Julian II to right. Rev. IVS-TITA / ANT Justitia standing front, head to left, holding scales in her right hand and scroll in her left. Bendall -. Cohen -. Istanbul -. Pera -. RIC -. Roma 14 (2017), 816 (same dies). Silifke -. Of the highest rarity, apparently the second known example and of great historical interest. Patina stripped, otherwise, good very fine.
We are fortunate in that a law of Julian II has survived in the Codex Theodosianus, which deals with the common practice of clipping solidi and which formed the background for the emergence of the exagia solidi in the 2nd half of the 4th century:
'Emperor Julian Augustus to Mamertinus, Praetorian Prefect. The purchase and sale of solidi are impeded if the solidi are clipped or diminished in size, or nibbled away, to use the proper term for such avarice, since some persons refuse to accept such solidi on the ground that they are light and inadequate. Therefore, it is Our pleasure to establish in each municipality an official called by the Greek word zygostates (lit. 'weigher), who by reason of his trustworthiness and vigilance will neither deceive nor be deceived, so that in accordance with his judgment and reliabilty he may settle any dispute that may arise between the seller and the buyer with respect to solidi. - Given on the ninth day before the kalends of May at Salona in the year of the fourth consulship of Julian Augustus and the consulship of Sallustius [= April 23, 363].' (Cod. Theod. XII.7,2).
The present exagium shows that the new law was initially accompanied by a very small series of imperial weights struck by the mint of Antiochia praising Justitia, which were soon replaced by weights bearing the legend EXAGIVM SOLIDI (Bendall 1 = MAH 419), perhaps to avoid any risk of confusion between weights and coins.