Julian II, 360-363. Exagium Solidi (Bronze, 21 mm, 4.13 g, 11 h). Half-length facing bust of Julian II, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed, raising his right hand in salute before his chest and holding Victory on globe, holding wreath in her right hand and palm frond in her left, in his left. Rev. EXAGI-VM SOL[I]DI Hand to right, holding scales; below, ivy leaf. Bastien, Buste, pl. 204, 1 = Bendall 1 = MAH 419 = Pondera 4225 (same dies). Göbl, Antike Numismatik, pl. 21, 226 (same dies). Extremely rare. An exceptionally impressive exagium with highly interesting iconography. Holed and somewhat smoothed, otherwise, nearly extremely fine.
The extremely rare exagia with Julian's facing portrait are remarkable for their complex iconography. The obverse shows a half-length bust of the emperor; he raises his right hand in salute and holds a Victory on a globe in his left. It has been suggested that the raising of his hand is a gesture of blessing, but that is a Christian anachronism, especially in the case of Julian II. Rather, Julian is shown as a victorious soldier emperor, a cosmocrat crowned by Victory, with the globe symbolizing the orbis terrarum, whereas the raising of his right hand is a gesture of address, an adlocutio to the populace, particularly to the troops. On the reverse, we find even more straightforward imagery, namely a human hand holding a scale of the very kind used to weigh solidi with exagia solidi such as ours.