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Roman Empire

Ruler: Didius Julianus
Reigned: 28th March - 1st June 193 AD
Denomination: AE Sestertius
Mint: Rome
Date of Issue: May - June 193 AD
Obverse: Laureate head of Emperor right. "IMP. CAES. M. DID. SEVER. IVLIAN AVG."
Reverse: Julianus togate, standing left, holding globe, "SC" around. "RECTOR ORBIS"
Reference: RCVM 6077, RIC 16
Weight: 16.5 gms
Diameter: 27 mm

DIDIUS JULIANUS (Marcus Didius Severus Julianus)

Marcus Didius Julianus was brought up in the household of Domitia Lucilla, the mother of Marcus Aurelius. He became commander of the XXII Legion 'Primigenia' in Germany c. 172, consul with Pertinax c.175, and then governor of four provinces.

After the murder of Pertinax, 28th March 193, the Praetorian guards publicly announced that they would elect as emperor the man who would pay the highest price. In the succeeding auction at the praetorian camp, Julianus, a wealthy senator, offered the soldiers 25,000 sestertii a man, and was duly declared emperor.

After the death of Pertinax, three others had already thrown their hats into the ring. They were Pescennius Niger, governor of Syria, who had been proclaimed emperor in mid April; Clodius Albinus, governor of Britain, who with three legions also declared himself in April; and Septimius Severus, governor of Upper Pannonia, who had the support of 16 legions and had declared himself on 9th April.

Julianus's elevation had aroused such indignation amongst the populace of Rome that they assembled in the Circus and agreed to send an appeal to Pescennius Niger to come to their assistance. Two other provincial governors, Clodius Albinus and Septimius Severus, also determined to answer the appeal from Rome. Severus quickly advanced on Rome and Julianus, after several fruitless attempts at negotiation with his rival, was deserted by the Praetorians and deposed by the Senate. He sought refuge in his deserted palace, but was beheaded on June 2nd after a reign of only 66 days.

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