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Didius Julianus (A.D. 193)
AE Sestertius, A.D. 193, Rome, 27.5mm, 13.35, ~10°, RIC IVi 16a; Very rare.
Obv: IMP CAES M DID SEVER IVLIAN AVG; Laureate head right.
Rev: RECTOR ORBIS; S C in field. Julianus standing left, holding globe and scroll.
Marcus Didius Severus Julianus Augustus was Roman Emperor for 66 days during the year 193. After the murder of Pertinax, the Praetorian assassins announced that the throne was to be sold to the man who would pay the highest price. Julianus, having been roused from a banquet arrived in all haste, and competed for the prize. Sulpicianus, the prefect of the city, offered 20,000 sestertii to every soldier. Julianus then offered 25,000. The guards accepted this offer, saluted him and proclaimed him emperor. Threatened by the military, the Senate confirmed his title. The population did not readily submit to the dishonor brought upon Rome. When Julianus was in public he was met with groans and shouts of "robber and parricide." The mob tried to obstruct his progress to the Capitol, and even threw stones.

When news of the public anger spread, the generals Pescennius Niger in Syria, Septimius Severus in Pannonia, and Clodius Albinus in Britain, each in command of three legions, refused to recognize the emperor. Severus was declared a public enemy because he was the nearest and therefore most dangerous foe. Deputies were sent from the Senate to persuade the soldiers to abandon him, a new general was nominated to supersede him, and a centurion dispatched to take his life. Severus, however, progressed towards the city, made himself master of the fleet at Ravenna, defeated Tullius Crispinus, the Praetorian Prefect, who had been sent to halt his progress, and gained over to his cause the ambassadors sent to dissuade his troops. Julianus now attempted negotiation, and offered to share the empire with his rival. Severus ignored these overtures, and pressed forward, all Italy declaring for him as he advanced. The Senate passed a motion proclaiming Severus emperor, awarded divine honors to Pertinax, and sentenced Julianus to death. Julianus was killed in the palace by a soldier on 1 June 193. Severus dismissed the Praetorian Guard and executed the soldiers who had killed Pertinax. According to Cassius Dio, his last words were "But what evil have I done? Whom have I killed?" His body was given to his wife and daughter, who buried it in his great-grandfather's tomb on the Via Labicana.

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File information
Album name:MartiVltori / Nervan-Antonine & Severan Dynasties
Keywords:Didius Julianus Sestertius
Year / Mint:193 / Rome
File Size:214 KB
Date added:Oct 23, 2023
Dimensions:1000 x 452 pixels
Displayed:296 times
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