The Julian II AE is a recent auction win that caught my attention partly because of the sharp strike and partly because the reverse shows a large bull. Bulls have played an important role in Roman religion as sacrificial animals. This was especially true during the dark days of the second Punic war when not just bulls, but all sorts of animals were sacrificed to communicate with the gods as well as to gain divine favor in hopes of victory. Taurobolium, the practice of sacrificing bulls was performed up to the late 4th century AD. In my mind, the bull reverse represents Julian the Apostate’s not so subtle message of rejecting Christianity in favor of the old gods that had been discarded by Constantine I. Julian II, AE, 29 mm, 8.12 grams. Nicomedia Mint, 2nd officina, struck 361-363 AD. Obv: Pearl diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right. Rev: Bull standing right, two stars above. Exergue: SMNB flanked by palm fronds. RIC VIII 121; LRBC 2319 Ex: Thomas Bentley Cenderlind The second piece was an unintended pick-up and last purchase of 2016. I had dropped by a local dealer to get one of David Sear’s books and noticed a bowl of ancients at the counter. The running boar on the reverse got my attention and I nabbed it. Happily, it turns out that the reverse depicts imagery from the standard of Legio X Fretensis. This legion was stationed in Syria starting about 67 AD and remained in the middle east until the end of Caracalla's reign in 217 AD, where it was known to be stationed in Jerusalem. After that time little mention is made of Legio X other than one of its units being sent west during the time of the Gallic emperors. I’ve always wanted a coin tied to a legion and this one nails it. Herennius Etruscus, AE, 26 mm, 14.7 grams. Struck in Judaea, Aelia Capitolina (Jerusalem), 251 AD. Obv: C M Q DECIVS ETRVSCVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right. Rev: COL AEL CAP COM P F, boar running right; on his back a legionary eagle, Legio X above. Meshorer 169 Feel free to post your bulls, boars or anything else that you feel will kick-off 2017 on the right foot.