Julian the Apostate

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Julian the Apostate

(Flavius Claudius Julianus), 331?–363, Roman emperor (361–63), nephew of Constantine I; successor of Constantius II. He was given an education that combined Christian and Neoplatonic ideas. He and his half-brother Gallus were sent (c.341) to Cappadocia. When Gallus was appointed caesar (351), Julian was brought back to Constantinople. After Gallus had been put to death, Julian was called from the quiet of a scholar's life and made (355) caesar. Sent to Gaul, he was unexpectedly successful in combating the Franks and the Alemanni and was popular with his soldiers. When Constantius, fearing Julian, ordered him (360) to send soldiers to assist in a campaign against the Persians, Julian obeyed, but his soldiers mutinied and proclaimed him augustus. He accepted the title, but Constantius refused to yield the western provinces to him. Before the two could meet in battle to decide the claim, Constantius died, naming Julian as his successor. Sometime in the course of his studies, Julian abandoned Christianity. Although as emperor he issued an edict of religious toleration, he did try unsuccessfully to restore paganism; the result was much confusion since Christianity was rent by the quarrel over Arianism. His short reign was just, and he was responsible for far-reaching legislation. During a campaign against the Persians, he was killed in a skirmish. He was succeeded by JovianJovian
(Flavius Claudius Jovianus) , c.331–364, Roman emperor (363–64). The commander of the imperial guard under Julian the Apostate in his Persian campaign, Jovian was proclaimed emperor by the soldiers when Julian was killed.
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. Julian was a writer of some merit, and his works have been translated into English by W. C. Wright (3 vol., 1913–24).


See G. W. Bowersock, Julian the Apostate (1978); P. Athanassiadi-Fowden, Julian and Hellanism (1981).

Julian the Apostate


(full name, Flavius Claudius Julianus Apostata). Born A.D. 331; died A.D. 363. Roman emperor (361–363). Nephew of Constantine the Great.

Although Julian was raised by the bishop Eusebius, his spiritual development was strongly influenced by the eunuch Mardonius, an enthusiastic admirer of Hellenic culture; thus, Julian became a secret adherent of paganism in his youth. In 355, Emperor Constantius appointed him to the position of Caesar

Table 2. Number of days elapsed before the start of each month of a four-year interval
YearJan.0Feb.0Mar.0Apr.0May 0June 0July 0Aug.0Sept.0Oct.0Nov. 0Dec.O
0 ...............0316091121152182213244274305335
1 ...............366397425456486517547578609639670700
2 ...............731762790821851882912943974100410351065
3 ...............109611271155118612161247127713081339136914001430

and made him governor of Gaul. In 360, the Gallic legions who had rebelled against an order from Constantius proclaimed Julian their emperor (Augustus), and when Constantius died in 361, Julian became the autocratic ruler of the Roman Empire.

Julian expanded the rights of the municipal curiae, lowered taxes, reduced the palace staff, and refused the privilege of a luxurious, expensive court. As emperor and with the support of part of the intelligentsia, he openly declared himself to be an adherent of paganism. He reformed the pagan religion on the basis of Neoplatonism, issued two edicts against Christianity, and restored pagan temples.

Julian was the author of a number of works—treatises, speeches, and letters—directed against Christians. His actions aroused the hatred of the Christian clergy, who nicknamed him the Apostate (Apostata). After Julian’s death (from wounds incurred in a battle against the Persians on the Tigris River), the anti-Christian edicts were repealed by Emperor Jovian, and the persecution of Christians was ended.


In Russian translation:
“Pis’ma.” Vestnik drevnei istorii, 1970, nos. 1–3.

Julian the Apostate

(331–363) Roman emperor, educated as a Christian but renounced Christianity when he became emperor. [Rom. Hist.: Benét, 533]
References in periodicals archive ?
44) The issues involved are complex and the evidence obscure and enigmatic, but nevertheless there is enough in common between the [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] attributed to Maximus the philosopher and spiritual guide of the emperor Julian, the anonymous Lithica, and The Ethiopian story of Heliodorus to make it probable to conclude that all these texts emanate from the fourth century of our era--a time of widespread change, intense emotion, and anxiety about the future.
Nonetheless, Ibsen's identification of himself with the neopagan Emperor Julian (HU XVII; 61; HU XVIII; 73) might at first sight complicate the question of how to interpret his continuous application of the word, with which the Neoplatonic term nous is usually translated.
Emperor Julian, however, was either unable to comprehend the concept of the miles Christi or was hostile to the idea, given the fact that he had personally repudiated Christianity.
Key words: Mithras, human sacrifices, necromancy, Alexandria, Constantinople, paganism, Christianity, persecution, intolerance, Athanasius of Alexandria, George of Cappadocia, Mares of Chalcedon, emperor Julian <<the Apostate>>.
Henceforth the Empire would consist of the emperor, like a shepherd, the soldiers, like guard-dogs, and the flock, which the other two are responsible for guarding, as the emperor Julian lucidly expressed it; as for the Senate, it was ignored.
The Christian Byzantines despised them for their collaboration with the emperor Julian the Apostate, who promised to rebuild their temple in return for support against the Christians, and later their collaboration with the Persians, when they invaded and conquered the Holy City in 610.
Nevertheless, there is a kinship about the Homeric Hymns and a sequence of influence and imitation that proceed from them to the hymns of Callimachus, Cleanthes, and the Roman Emperor Julian, all the way to Shelley's "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty.
The historian Ammianus Marcellinus describes at length the decadence and excess which the Emperor Julian is alleged to have discovered at Constantinople when he familiarized himself with the court of his predecessor Constantius II during the winter of 361/2.
From detailed studies of particular manuscripts and restricted problems in the interpretation of classical sources, including his study The Linear B Texts from Knossos (1955), he branched out into a study of Medieval and Modern Greek (1969), which remains a most valuable introduction, and then a series of highly readable and informative books on late antique and Byzantine topics -- Justinian and Theodora (1971), The Emperor Julian (1975), Byzantium and Bulgaria (1975), The Greek World (1985).
The self-proclaimed King Cioaba in Romania, who never learned to read or write but holds a doctorate from Texas America University, wears more gold at a sitting (some of it in his teeth) than the queen of England, as does his cousin and rival, the Emperor Julian.
In his A Journey from This World to the Next, Fielding places these hexameters in the mouth of the Roman emperor Julian during the latter's reincarnation (one of many) as a poet.
a forceful treatment of the civil rights movement; Candy, a sex farce by Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg; and Julian by Gore Vidal, a novel about the Roman emperor Julian the Apostate.