Julian (Emperor)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Portrait of Julian on a coin

Flavius ​​Claudius Iulianus ( Greek Φλάβιος Κλαύδιος Ἰουλιανός Flawios Klaudios Ioulianos ; born 331 or 332 in Constantinople ; died on June 26, 363 near Maranga on the Tigris ) was Roman emperor from 360 to 363 . In Christian sources he is often referred to as Iulianus Apostata ( Greek Ἰουλιανὸς ὁ Ἀποστάτης Ioulianos ho Apostates 'Julian the Apostle ', i.e. 'the apostate'), because he had given up the Christian faith. He is rarely referred to as Julian II.

Julian was a grandson of Emperor Constantius I , a nephew of Emperor Constantine the Great and a cousin of Emperor Constantius II . His cousin appointed Julian Caesar (junior emperor or lower emperor) in 355 and commissioned him to defend Gaul against the Teutons. He performed this task very successfully. Since Constantius II wanted to move part of the Gallic troops to the eastern border of the empire, they rebelled in 360 and proclaimed Julian emperor. The early death of Constantius II in 361 prevented a civil war.

Julian's short reign as sole ruler was shaped domestically by his futile attempt to push back Christianity, which was privileged by Constantine the Great in the empire . He wanted the ancient Roman , but especially the Greek religion and the Eastern mystery cults , hereinafter referred to simply as " paganism ", to regain supremacy through state funding. Julian also undertook a large and ambitious military operation against the Sassanid Empire , in the course of which he fell. His death buried any hope of a renaissance of non-Christian worldviews in the Imperium Romanum .

Contemporary history background

The Constantinian Dynasty

The Roman Empire went through a profound change at the beginning of the 4th century. Julian's uncle Constantine the Great had prevailed in the succession struggles that broke out with the end of the tetrarchy founded by Emperor Diocletian , and thus established the Constantinian dynasty , of which Julian was the last member. A good year before the birth of his nephew, Constantine had moved the residence of the Roman emperor to Constantinople .

Constantine's reign was significant for two main reasons: On the one hand, he relocated the central power with the new, permanent capital of Constantinople to the more developed eastern part of the empire, which had already become more and more important. On the other hand, he promoted Christianity and thus initiated the Christianization of the Roman Empire ( Constantinian turn ). Even if the traditional gods were not abolished, they lost their power and influence. Julian later tried to stop this development.

Constantine died in May 337. During the turmoil after his death, 337 was purged , which killed many members of the imperial family, including Julian's father Julius Constantius and his eldest brother. The situation did not calm down again until the end of the year.

The successors to Constantine were his sons Constantine II , Constantius II and Constans . Constantine II died in 340 when he tried to attack his younger brother Constans. This fell in 350 in the fight against the usurper Magnentius . Constantius II installed Julian's brother Gallus as sub-emperor ( Caesar ) for the east of the empire.

External threats and internal problems

Not least because of foreign policy considerations, Constantine decided in favor of the new capital, because Constantinople was roughly equidistant from the threatened borders of the empire on the Danube and Euphrates . However, while the situation on the Danube was largely secured on the eve of the Huns storm and the Great Migration , the situation in the east remained dangerous, as the Neo-Persian Empire went on the offensive again after a restless peace towards the end of the reign of Constantine I under Shapur II .

Another foreign policy focal point was and remained the Rhine border in Gaul. There Germanic tribes had captured and destroyed several Gallic cities, and with Magnentius (350) and Silvanus (355) two Roman officers of Germanic origin had been proclaimed anti-emperors.

The bloody internal family purges, which were supposed to secure the position of the sons of Constantine, initially prevented a civil war, but could not hide the differences between the three new emperors. The dispute between the Arians and the Orthodox divided the imperial family on a religious level as well. While Constantine II and Constantius leaned towards the Arians, Constans took the line of Orthodoxy. The dispute between Constantine and Constans escalated in 340, a fratricidal war was only prevented by Constantine's death in a skirmish near Aquileia .

After a few years of relative calm, from 350 onwards the usurpation of Magnentius again caused internal problems. Constans, whose bad relationship with the military was now taking revenge, was killed on the run. The last surviving son of Constantine the Great, Constantius II, was able to defeat the usurper and thus achieve sole rule, but had to appoint his cousin Gallus, Julian's brother, as sub-emperor to maintain the imperial presence in the east. However, Gallus is said to have led a regular terror regime. He was finally lured west by Constantius II, imprisoned there and finally executed without the Augustus (senior emperor) having heard him personally. Julian's letters suggest that from then on he believed Constantius to be his brother's murderer.



Childhood and youth

Flavius ​​Claudius Julianus was born in Constantinople in 331 or (less likely) 332, the son of Julius Constantius , a half-brother of Constantine the Great , and his second wife Basilina , daughter of the Egyptian Praetorian prefect Iulius Iulianus . Julian carried the gentile name of the imperial dynasty, Flavius, the name of his alleged ancestor Claudius Gothicus and the name of his grandfather, Julianus. He had two older half-brothers and a half-sister, the children of Galla , Julius Constantius' first wife.

Julian's mother died shortly after his birth. Nevertheless, according to his own admission, he had an idyllic childhood. This ended in 337, when Julian was six years old: Soldiers murdered almost all male relatives of the late Emperor Constantine, including Julian's father and his eldest brother. The background to this purge of 337 is unclear - apparently potential rivals for the throne of the sons of Constantine, Constantine II , Constantius II and Constans , should be eliminated. Whether the purge came from the new emperors or whether it was carried out by the military in advance obedience cannot be said with certainty today. Julian and his second half-brother Gallus were spared because of their age.

Julian then lived a year in Nicomedia with Bishop Eusebius , a distant relative who introduced him to Christian doctrine. He was later taught by the educated eunuch Mardonios , who had already raised his mother Basilina before him, the grammarian Nicocles and the rhetorician Hekebolios . In addition to his grandfather Julianus, his cousin, Emperor Constantius II, also took care of Julian’s education. After a few years in Constantinople, he returned to Nicomedia in 345 at the behest of the emperor. From 346 he lived with his half-brother Gallus, who had probably spent the last few years in Ephesus , on the Macellum estate in Cappadocia .

Julian was brought up as a Christian, but he also read the writings of the pagan rhetoric teacher Libanios , who was to write his funeral oration in 363 (the Epitaphios ). However, he did not attend his classes. His teacher Hekebolios was enemies with Libanios and Constantius II did not want to expose his cousin to the influence of the belligerent pagan. Julian got himself transcripts of the lectures of Lebanios, which he studied carefully. This was the first step towards his later turning away from Christianity.

Turning away from Christianity

Julian made early contacts with the Neoplatonists , who were staunch supporters of the old religion. He went to Pergamon in 351 , where Aidesios taught, a student of the prominent Neoplatonist Iamblichus . Iamblichus had introduced theurgy , the concept of a ritual cooperation with the gods, into Neoplatonism and founded it philosophically. Julian referred to Iamblichus as the third great philosopher after Pythagoras and Plato . Since theurgy particularly attracted him, between May 351 and April 352 he went to Ephesus for study purposes , where the theurg and Aidesios student Maximos of Ephesus taught. Julian held Maximos in high esteem and later, as Caesar, kept in touch with him by letter. Maximos seems to have played an important role in Julian's turn to the old religion. Possibly this process intensified the execution of his half-brother Gallus, whom the emperor accused of high treason , and his own imprisonment by Constantius. Many researchers, such as Glen Bowersock or Klaus Bringmann , take the view that Julian secretly turned to paganism as early as 351 and subsequently only professed Christianity outwardly. You can read this from certain utterances of Julian and from a speech by Libanios , to whom Maximos attaches particular importance in this context. Klaus Rosen, on the other hand, thinks that Julian had already embarked on his long path to the old religion from 351 onwards, but his experience of conversion only came when he gained sole power through the death of Constantius II in 361, which he believed was due to the intervention of the old gods led back.

In 354/55 Julian was actually held in custody by his suspicious cousin Constantius in Milan and Como . After his release from eight-month captivity, he remained a Christian, at least outwardly, but perhaps allowed himself to be introduced to the Eleusian mysteries by 355 . In the same year he studied with the later church fathers Gregor von Nazianz and Basilius von Caesarea in Athens with the Neoplatonic philosopher Priskos . This study time was over after a few weeks when he was called back to the court of his cousin Constantius II.

Appointment as Caesar

On November 6, he was 355 by Constantius II. After the usurpation of Silvanus to the proposal of the new Empress Eusebia , which had already been used during his captivity for him to Caesar appointed, so the reign of the Emperor Constantius. As the last surviving member of the Constantinian family, he was to maintain the imperial presence in the west alongside the emperor himself, while Constantius in the east was in negotiations with the Persian Sassanid Empire. Julian expressed his gratitude to Eusebia 356/57 in a panegyric .

To confirm the new bond between the two emperors, Julian married the imperial sister Helena in 355 . On December 1, he left for the north, accompanied by the army master Ursicinus . An important adviser to Julian, chosen by Constantius, was Saturninius Secundus Salutius . The Caesar spent the winter in Vienne . The following year he began his campaigns in the Rhine area. First he undertook some punitive expeditions against the Germanic peoples. In Cologne , which he was able to win again for the Romans as part of a surprise campaign, he made a peace with the Germanic tribes who threatened the city and had briefly conquered it. He then spent the next winter in Senonae . It is possible that he was only now appointed commander-in-chief of the Gallic legions by Constantius.

Successes in Gaul

In Senonae, Julian defeated Germanic troops who wanted to besiege the city. Julian was finally able to lift the siege, but the army master Marcellus , who had not come to Julian’s aid, was recalled by Emperor Constantius and replaced by General Severus. Then Julian advanced into the interior of Gaul. In the summer of 357, Julian had to pass his ordeal as a military leader. In the battle of Argentoratum (today Strasbourg ) he defeated a large army of the Alemanni after a hard fight . The historian Ammianus Marcellinus , who was subordinate to Ursicinus at this time, reports on it in great detail. After the battle, the soldiers supposedly wanted to proclaim Julian Augustus , but he refused.

In 358 he allowed the Franconian branch of the Salfranken to settle on Roman imperial territory in Toxandria after they had submitted to him. He was able to repel other Franconian tribes on the Lower Rhine and thus maintain the Rhine as a Roman border. Through his successes he gained a great reputation with the troops, which nevertheless threatened mutiny due to the poor supply situation. Julian was able to prevent this. Later that year he led peace negotiations with the various Alemanni leaders in the Rhine area and then spent the winter in Lutetia , now Paris .

The Alemanni remained restless, so Julian in 359 undertook a series of punitive expeditions against them. To secure the border, he had seven previously destroyed cities rebuilt as supply bases. He was supported by those Alemanni who kept the peace that had been negotiated with him the previous year. Through targeted attacks on enemy chiefs on the other side of the Rhine near Mogontiacum ( Mainz ), Julian finally achieved peace with most of the Alemanni. He again spent the winter in Lutetia.

Julian was not only active in the military field in Gaul. He also prevented tax increases by the Gallic Praetorian prefect Florentius and took over the administration of the province of Belgica Secunda himself . In addition to Ammianus and Hilarius , the bishop of Poitiers , an inscription in Benevento in Apulia also testifies that Julian made a good name for himself with the Gallo-Romans through his measures :

"For Flavius ​​Claudius Julianus, noblest and most sacred Caesar, from the concerned Tocius Maximus, vir clarissimus , for the care of the empire, from Beneventum."

Conflict with Constantius

The suspicious Constantius was the popularity of his lower emperor a thorn in the side. With the (albeit militarily justified) reason that troops were needed for the Persian War, he asked Julian in 360 to send a large part of his soldiers and officers to the east. Presumably also because the previous year several Gallic legions had been wiped out by the Persians during the siege of Amida , resistance to this measure formed among the troops. A legion finally mutinied and proclaimed Julian to be Augustus in Lutetia in February or March . The latter initially demonstratively refused, but then allowed himself to be proclaimed emperor by raising a shield according to Germanic tradition, allegedly after the genius of the Roman state had appeared to him in a dream . In doing so he confirmed his cousin's distrust.

There is evidence that this survey was staged by Julian himself, especially since he promised his soldiers a big donation afterwards . The initial rejection of the diadem also corresponded to the conventional practice of recusatio imperii , so that Ammianus' report on the emperor's rise cannot be fully trusted. Most of the research assumes that this act was ultimately simply a usurpation of Julian. In order to justify himself, Julian sent detailed letters to Rome , Constantinople , Athens , Sparta and Corinth . He stressed that he was reluctant to accept the new honor, claiming that real power rests with his commanders. At the same time, however, he criticized the relocation of troops demanded by Constantius. Nevertheless he tried to come to an agreement with Constantius, which of course was hardly an option.

In winter Julian celebrated his five-year reign in Vienna , the Quinquennalien . In the late summer of 361, after he had arranged the situation on the Rhine and all negotiations had failed, he prepared a campaign against Constantius, which he now openly placed under the protection of the old gods. His opponent was also preparing for a military conflict and therefore signed a non-aggression pact with the Persians. Before there was a meeting, Constantius died unexpectedly on November 3rd in Mopsukrenai , Cilicia , allegedly appointing Julian as his successor.

Sole rule

Withdrawal of the Constantinian Turn

Solidus Julians, around the year 361. On the back a Roman soldier with a prisoner.

Julian learned of his cousin's death in Dacia and was now Constantius' successor as ruler of the entire empire. On December 11th, 361 he arrived in Constantinople and organized the funeral of his predecessor there. He filled important positions with confidants and streamlined the administration that Constantius had inflated. He also dismissed the large number of cooks and barbers employed in the palace. In order to reassure the soldiers, Julian had some influential courtiers of Constantius like the chamberlain Eusebius or the particularly unpopular notary Paulus Catena ("the chain") executed by a tribunal in Chalcedon in December - partly for very flimsy reasons.

He appointed the Gallic senator Claudius Mamertinus as consul , who in his inaugural address presented the arrival of the new emperor as the beginning of a golden age . Julian's old friend Saturninius Secundus Salutius was appointed Praetorian Prefect of the East . Like Augustus almost 400 years earlier, Julian wanted to establish a partnership with the Senate as a mediator between the emperor and the people. As was the case as Caesar, the new emperor attached great importance to working with the urban elite. The eloquent Mamertinus held many other offices under him, including the Praetorian Prefecture for Italy, Illyria, and Africa. However, Julian's attempt to return the empire, which had long since moved far from its beginnings under Augustus, to civilitas was met with incomprehension by most of his contemporaries who were used to rulers in late antiquity . Even to friends and admirers, Julian's behavior appeared inappropriate and confusing; his opponents simply considered it mendacious and artificial.

Large bronze coin of Julian with a philosopher's beard
Reverse side of the coin with bull

Julian was the only Roman emperor who switched from Christianity to paganism . In the further course of the 4th century, the Constantinian turning point led to attacks on pagans and the closure or (although not in the time of Constantine) the destruction of some of their temples . Constantine had not yet made Christianity the state religion. That should only happen under Theodosius I. Constantine and his immediate successors, however, withdrew privileges from the pagans, although pagan cults were still tolerated. As emperor, Julian tried to stop this development towards an Imperium Romanum Christianum . Shortly after the burial of his predecessor, he started appearing publicly as a promoter of the old cults and also made sacrifices himself.

The most famous coin minted under Julian shows him with a beard on the portrait side and a bull on the reverse. The beard is often interpreted as a commitment to Greek philosophy. The bull is also interpreted as the Apis bull and thus as a symbol for the bloody animal sacrifices for the old cults, which Julian again promoted , which should demonstrate the clear demarcation from Christianity.

Anti-Christian measures

Immediately after taking power, he set about reducing the influence of Christianity. He used a three-stage strategy. First, he tried to legally separate Christians from the rest of society by firing senior Christian officials and the military. In a second stage, he renewed pagan cults and their destroyed temples and reinstated their priests (edict of restitution). In addition, there was the Edict of Rhetoricians of 362, with which he prohibited the teaching of pagan literature by Christian teachers. He argued that these works could not be interpreted by people who did not share the worldview of pagan authors and therefore could not stand up for what they taught. Strictly speaking, the law only said that teachers should be morally suitable, which is why it remained in force among the Christian successors of Julian. Christians should be content with the Bible and Christian authors. Julian's decision, which was often discussed in research, was also criticized by the otherwise benevolent historian Ammianus Marcellinus.

Apparently it was clear to the Christians what the emperor intended with the edict. The city-Roman rhetor Marius Victorinus , who had converted from paganism to Christianity with great excitement in 355, and a teacher of Julian's in Athens, Prohairesios , resigned from their offices. In the latter case, Julian intervened and wanted to make an exception, but Prohairesios refused.

Even without the openly declared intention of persecuting Christians (contrary to later tradition, he never had Christians executed because of their faith), his policies occasionally triggered violent anti-Christian attacks, which Julian tolerated and did not seriously prevent. After all, Julian was an ardent enemy of Christianity ( Klaus Bringmann ). Although he had all the bishops exiled by his predecessor, including Nicene , Donatists , Novatians and Eunomians , recalled from exile, Ammianus attributes this apparent mildness to the desire to stir up internal disputes among Christians. Ammianus reports that Julian had the leaders of the warring Christian schools, whose arguments he knew and mocked, summoned to his palace to enjoy the pleasant spectacle of their quarrels. Some writers see Julian taking for the Arian party, possibly because his mother Basilina was an Arian. This view could, however, go back to the polemics of the long-term victorious Niceneese: Julian only knew his mother when she was young, and Arianism was the predominant form of Christianity at that time, in which Julian was also brought up and from which he then turned to pagan philosophy.

In a third and for him decisive step, Julian began a philosophical attack on Christianity. In his work Contra Galilaeos ( Against the Galileans - that's what he called the Christians) and in many letters he pointed out the errors and dangers of the Christian faith and portrayed the Christians as apostates from Judaism , a much older and generally accepted religion. According to the church historian Sozomenos , he expressed his negative attitude towards Christian teaching with the catchy words: "I read, I understood, I rejected!"

A failed project - Julian's pagan "Reichskirche"

The project of a pagan "imperial church", which Julian had emphatically promoted, was not well received and ended with his death. He wanted to create a hierarchically structured organization across the empire that would take over the supervision of all shrines and priests and should correspond to the structure of the Christian church. The high priests responsible for the individual provinces and appointed by the emperor as the pontifex maximus should appoint the local priests and assign them their duties. How far these plans were realized is unclear. Especially in the area of ​​charitable activities, Julian wanted to build a competitive model to Christianity . But his concept could hardly gain a foothold in the pagan part of the population. The high priests appointed by him could in the short time of their activity not gain any authority that could be compared with the power of the Christian bishops.

Julian's religiosity, which he linked with his commitment to Neoplatonic philosophy, appears - as with many of his contemporaries - diffuse. In the sense of the Iamblichus tradition, he viewed philosophy and religious practice (especially theurgy) as a unit and tried to put his faith on a philosophical basis. Above all, he emphasized the veneration of the Mother of Gods and Helios , but also assigned important roles to older deities such as Zeus , Athena and especially Apollo as the patron of philosophy. His religious sentiment was conservative by design; it was important to him not to be an innovator, but to preserve the statutes given by the gods themselves, which were valid for the ancestors.

Ammianus Marcellinus, himself not a Christian, criticized the “superstition” of the emperor and his “mania for sacrifice”, which was to have consequences during his stay in Antioch , where the majority Christian population allegedly starved (see below). In his Church History (3, 26 f.), Theodoret reports on secret human sacrifices of the emperor (e.g. to read the future from the bowels of the victims), which is, of course, an element of the polemics of the Christian author and is regarded as unreliable by research. Julian, as Augustus, had allowed the entrails to be inspected again and always led Haruspices in his entourage. He is said to have gone into the war against the Persians, which ended fatally for him, based on a prophecy of an oracle who promised him victory.

Julian and the Jews

Julian brought about a turning point in Roman Jewish policy, as he held the Jews in high regard for their adherence to the faith of their fathers. In his works he not only presented them to Christians as people who were on a right path that the Galileans had abandoned, he also praised their tenacious adherence to the tried and tested faith as an example for the Gentiles. The willingness to help within Jews also seemed exemplary to him. According to the interpretatio Graeca , he saw the God of the Jews as part of the pagan pantheon , which is why he criticized the fact that the Jews did not recognize the other pagan gods for their part.

Overall, however, the emperor was quite positive towards Judaism, he even described himself as a follower of the God of Abraham. At the same time, however, this should not be overestimated; Julian preferred the Jews to Christians and was positive about some elements of their religion, but in the end he followed the policies of previous pagan emperors who had granted the Jews privileges. In 363 he even planned the rebuilding of the Jerusalem temple , which was then postponed in favor of the Persian campaign and was not realized. Theodoret writes in his church history (3, 20) that construction had begun, but that there were supernatural phenomena, severe earthquakes and fires, as a result of which the Jewish builders who had come from all over the world finally gave up their project and fled. Julian also waived the special tax imposed on the Jews, a measure that apparently was no longer implemented. In addition to a common rejection of Christianity, the reason given for the good relationship between the emperor and the Jews was the intention to position himself well with the Babylonian Jews before the Persian campaign in order to win their support against the Sassanids .

Further domestic policy measures

Julian took action against corruption and the sometimes incompetent advisers of his predecessor, even if some of the dismissals can be traced back to the Christian creed of the respective officials or military. He also ensured efficient administration, promoted the cities as well as the finance and postal system and also took care of the judiciary and the army, to which he owed his rise. This side of his work was also recognized by some Christian authors, even if his plans were only partially implemented due to his early death.

Education was particularly important to Julian. His edict of rhetoric discussed above , which was retained by his Christian successors because it gave the state access to educational institutions, remained of lasting influence . While the measures associated with the edict of rhetoric were sharply criticized by Christian contemporaries (but also by Ammianus) and are controversial in research to this day, Julian's importance for the library of Constantinople is undisputed. His predecessor Constantius II had laid the foundation for this in 356, Julian donated his extensive private library to it and also had representative rooms built for the library. He also sponsored the University of Athens , where he had studied before his appointment as Caesar and where his friend Priscus also taught.

Julian in Antioch - the limits of the pagan program

Before setting off on a Persian campaign in 363, Julian spent several months in Antioch on the Orontes , one of the largest cities in the empire, which had been Christianized very early on. There his policies, like those of his brother Gallus ten years earlier, met with sharp rejection. Despite the poor supply situation due to a drought and an earthquake, Julian refused to share the supplies intended for his campaign with the Antioches (see also Famine in Antioch 362–363 ). Nor did he do little to ease tension with the local council, whose members he accused of trying to take advantage of the poor harvest: Julian assumed that there was in fact enough food to be withheld by a minority, and therefore refused to intervene. But this hardly contributed to its popularity.

His appearance as a philosophical ascetic with a beard and his moralizing manner were initially amusing, as they differed drastically from the behavior that was expected of a late antique emperor. However, his ascetic-looking attitude soon met with rejection from the fun-loving Antioches (Julian strictly rejected pagan-erotic literature). He also lacked tact when, after a fire in the temple of Apollo in Daphne, a suburb of Antioch, he had Christian churches closed without evidence against the Christians. The mood now turned into open hostility, which led Julian to write his satire Misopogon (ancient Greek Μισοπώγων, Barthasser ').

It is also questionable whether the majority of pagans could do something with Julian's new religious program. To a large extent this was philosophically founded and permeated by a strong personal belief in miracles, which Ammianus also criticized; in addition, Julian had huge numbers of animals sacrificed. When Julian finally set off towards the east, it was not only the Christians in the city who received this with relief, even if his opponents feared retribution after his return.

The Persian campaign

See also: Roman-Persian Wars
Julian's Persian campaign

The motives for the Persian campaign, which was one of the greatest military operations of late antiquity , are not entirely clear. Maybe it was about securing the border, but maybe also about the plan to become a "second Alexander ", because Julian counted Alexander the Great alongside Trajan , the great Parthian winner , and Mark Aurel among his role models (see also Alexander imitation ). It is possible that the emperor was looking for military success to consolidate his not undisputed position internally.

It is unclear whether Julian really wanted to make a Sassanid prince he liked as the new Great King and Persia dependent on Rome. In any case, the campaign was not inevitable: Although Constantius II had not made peace with the Sassanid king Shapur II , the Sassanids had withdrawn in 360 after successful campaigns in Mesopotamia . The Persians even wanted to continue the peace negotiations with Julian, which they had started with his predecessor, but the latter refused. Ammianus points out that Julian was eager for victories over the Persians. Maybe Julian just wanted to secure further support from the army. The prestige, booty, and power that a military victory would bring to both the emperor and the army should perhaps improve the emperor's difficult relationship with his commanders. In the later course of the campaign, when there were no successes, there were repeated executions of officers and even the decimation of entire units. The emperor's desire to fight was apparently only shared by a small part of the army, especially since the strategy of his predecessor Constantius of avoiding an open exchange of blows as possible turned out to be the better alternative in retrospect.

Investiture relief of Ardaschirs II from Taq-e-Bostan from the year 379. At the king's feet (center) lies a bearded figure in Roman clothing with a diadem who is identified as Emperor Julian. In 363, Ardaschir, as commander of Shapur II (right?), His brother, played a decisive role in the Persian victory.

On March 5, 363, Julian set out for Persia with a very strong army , although the figures in the sources vary; Zosimos gives 65,000 men, which should also be realistic in view of the total strength of the Roman army. He relied on the strategy he had already successfully used in Gaul and quickly advanced towards the Euphrates . Julian crossed the river on March 27th. He received great support from Persian vassals, mostly Arabs, who surrendered to him and made troops available for further operations against their former masters. When he arrived in Carrhae , he divided his army. He himself moved south through Babylonia and Assyria , his generals Procopius and Sebastianus supported the Armenian king Arsacius (Arsakes), who was allied with Rome, in securing the north bank of the Tigris with a fleet .

At the beginning of April the Roman army moved via Circesium to Dura Europos , where Julian the grave of one of his predecessors, Gordians III. , (who had been defeated by his Praetorian prefect Philip Arabs on a Persian campaign in 244 or died at the Battle of Mesiche ). On April 7th, he continued the march into Assyria. He captured the Anatha fortress and achieved the submission of other local princes. Julian decided not to siege any further fortresses, but his troops captured the cities of Diacira and Ozogardana as well as Maiozamalcha, which was already quite close to the Persian capital, Ctesiphon .

Finally, following a canal between the Tigris and the Euphrates, Julian's army reached Ctesiphon. After the hitherto low Persian resistance became increasingly violent, the Roman generals advised against a siege of the capital and asked Julian, who had already failed to bring siege equipment with him, to retreat. He reluctantly agreed and began the march back, also due to the increasingly poor supply situation due to a scorched earth strategy of the Persians. Julian had the fleet burned so as not to let them fall into the hands of the enemy, then he led his men into the desert. The exhaustion of the soldiers soon made it necessary to rest. However, the camp set up on June 16 was repeatedly threatened by Persian guerrilla attacks.

Death and succession

The ensuing battle of Maranga was still very favorable for the Romans, even if on the whole without result; but four days later Julian was involved in a fight during a Persian attack led by Shapur II and was fatally hit in the stomach by a spear. Ammianus Marcellinus claims that Julian, who did not put on his armor, ventured too far. It is not known by whom the spear was wielded, whether by a Persian or by a Christian Roman soldier. Julian was carried into his tent, where he conferred one last time with his officers, discussed with his philosophical friends Maximos and Priskos, and finally succumbed to his injuries. He died on June 26th near Maranga on the Tigris , like his role model Alexander the Great at the age of only 32 years. First he was buried in Tarsus , but later allegedly transferred to Constantinople.

Julian's successor Jovian

The Constantinian dynasty ended with Julian, because he had only one daughter who probably died in childhood. His successor was Jovian , a Christian officer whose father had already held a high military post under Constantius II , elected by a college consisting of Julian's officers Nevitta , Arintheus , Victor and Dagalaifus . Jovian had to make an unfavorable peace with the Sassanid king Shapur II and thus pay the price for Julian's adventures in the Orient. However, this was not counted negatively to Julian as much as Jovian, in isolated cases even the need for peace and the associated loss of land was generally denied.

Whether it was really necessary or not, the peace of 363, which many Romans viewed as a shame, gave the empire a respite. For the Sassanids it was not only a strategic success, but also a considerable gain in prestige. After Julian, no Roman emperor has advanced so far east, apart from the operations of Herakleios in the early 7th century, who succeeded where Julian failed.


Hieronymus (Albrecht Dürer)

Evaluation in late antiquity

The evaluation of Julian by his contemporaries and posterity in late antiquity depends heavily on the respective religious perspective. His life soon became the subject of the works of both pagan and Christian writers, with some praising his struggle to preserve the old faith, while others wanted to prove the fate of an "apostate" as a divine judgment. Pagan writers are generally very positive about him. Eutropius speaks of him as an eminent man who would have administered the empire excellently had he only had more time. The speaker Libanios , the historians Ammianus Marcellinus , Julian's personal physician Oreibasios and Zosimos as well as many other old-believing authors praised Julian in the highest tones, even if many pagans were probably aware that the emperor had failed not least because of his claims.

The Christians of late antiquity saw him quite differently. Even if individuals like Orosius pay him respect, the tenor of their assessments is very negative. Prudentius calls him unfaithful to God, but not unfaithful to the world (the Roman Empire). Theodoret describes him as an ugly, smelly pig, the church father Hieronymus as an angry dog, whose early death was the deserved punishment for his paganism. In the fourth speech of Gregory of Nazianzen he is referred to as Παραβάτης ('criminal'), Προδότης ('traitor'), Εἰδωλιανός ('idol fool ', from eidôlon = 'idol'), Ἀδωναίος ('beautiful boy', from Adonis ) 'Bull burner', because of his mania for sacrifice), Ἀποστάτης ('apostate') and Πισαίος ('Pisan', because of the great Jupiter temple there, i.e. Jupiter worshipers). The starting point for the dissemination of the polemical epithet Apostate ( "the Apostate"), which is used to the present day, formed a place in the work City of God by the church father Augustine .

Middle Ages and Early Modern Times

Later there was even talk of Julian's devil 's pact . Roswitha von Gandersheim , Otto von Freising and other medieval authors spread the legend of the magical tyrant Julian. This assessment of the emperor goes back to Syrian novels from the 6th century. Julian thus became the forerunner of Faust .

Only the Renaissance saw it in a more positive light. Lorenzo de 'Medici believed that he saw his intention to restore the old splendor of the Roman Empire. Above all humanists like Erasmus of Rotterdam praised Julian as a good emperor. He was especially valued in France. The Huguenot Pierre Martini (Petrus Martinius) published the emperor's first writings in 1566.

Michel de Montaigne dedicated his essay On Freedom of Conscience , published in 1580, to Julian , referring to the representations by Ammianus Marcellinus and Eutropius. He described him as a very important and extraordinary man who possessed all virtues. Julian introduced good laws and reduced the tax burden. Despite his hostility to Christianity, he did not allow himself to be carried away into intolerance and injustice. Montaigne found it reprehensible, however, that Julian had practiced his own religion in a superstitious way. With his policy of tolerance he wanted to intensify the dogmatic discord among Christian zealots in order to weaken them. Montaigne compared this approach with the religious policy of the then ruling French king, Henry III. who made concessions to the Huguenots in 1576. In France, however, freedom of conscience was not granted to heat up the minds, but to calm them down. Such a positive portrayal of Julian was a great boldness for a Catholic like Montaigne. She was criticized by the church teaching office .

The enlightener Montesquieu described Julian as the ideal ruler. Voltaire and the English ancient historian Edward Gibbon saw him in a similarly positive way , whereby the emperor was transfigured.

Julian in modern research

Modern research refrains from the earlier common tendency either to demonize Julian or to praise him unduly and to stylize him as a tragic hero. She tries to appreciate his personality and performance, without misjudging his failure and his misjudgments. Nevertheless, the assessments of historians diverge widely. Sometimes the emperor is highly valued, for example by Joseph Bidez , Marion Giebel or Alexander Demandt , sometimes viewed very critically. Wolfgang Schuller explains about Julian's failure that with his death not a new, hopeful development broke off, but on the contrary a romantic anachronism ended. Other historians such as Glen Bowersock , Gerhard Wirth and - at least in part - Klaus Bringmann and Klaus Rosen rate Julian's life's work rather critically. Bowersock emphasizes that Julian's policy led to fanatization of the pagans, which also ended with his death, whereby by no means all pagans mourned Julian.

Paul Veyne and Klaus M. Girardet believe that paganism might or even probably would have prevailed over Christianity in the long term if Julian had been able to continue his religious policy for a long time. Whether it would really have been possible to push back the Christian faith and renew paganism remains to be seen. The idea that Julian could have returned to the conditions before Constantine was probably unrealistic, as the low response to the pagan empire church foundation and the reception in Antioch shows. Christianity was already too deeply rooted, at least in the east, to be completely eliminated. Paganism, which was by no means a unity, was strongly fragmented and showed signs of decay. Even among the educated pagans there was a tendency towards monotheism in the 4th century , which was evident in the cult of Sol Invictus . Giebel, for example, emphasizes the possibility of a renewal of the traditional belief in gods, but in the following years Christianity proved to be the link that held the empire together in the east for around a millennium. Klaus Rosen has spoken out against the assumption that Julian could have been successful with a longer lifespan. Historians criticize that Julian wanted too much all at once and was unwilling to compromise.

In any case, his awkward behavior in Antioch, which he shared with his brother Constantius Gallus , exacerbated the tensions that he had triggered through his sometimes harsh actions. Significantly, the next emperor to be elected by the army was again a Christian. Historians value his intelligence and education, his personal unpretentiousness, his zeal for work and his ability to irony (for example in his work Misopogon ) as virtues of Julian . His much-vaunted tolerance was not aimed at religious equality, but was part of his active fight against Christianity, which he wanted to push to the margins of society, in particular by blocking a career in civil service for Christians.

His large-scale campaign against the Sassanids was - there is broad consensus in research - poorly planned and hastily carried out. Julian probably not only underestimated the clout of his enemies, but also the climatic adversities.

The words of praise by Ammianus and the panegyric speeches of Lebanios, which were also intended to justify the ruler, whose death had been received with relief in many cities, cannot hide the failure of Julian.

Julian in literature and art

In the Middle Ages Julian was best known for the life of St. Basil , with whom he had studied in Athens in 355 . Julian was regarded as the epitome of pagan pride, the dying emperor was given the quote Vicisti, Galilæe (Greek: Νενίκηκάς με, Γαλιλαῖε. You have defeated me, Galilean. ) In the mouth. The Jesuit theater of the 17th century already tried to do it justice.

Julian received special attention from the early 19th century. The authors of this time showed him partly as a problematic, partly as a respectable figure, such as Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué ( Stories of the Emperor Julian and his Knights , 1818), David Friedrich Strauss ( The Romantic on the Throne of the Caesars, or Julian the Apostate , 1847), Joseph von Eichendorff ( Julian , Versepos, 1853), Felix Dahn ( Julian the Apostate , novel, 1894) and Henrik Ibsen ( Emperor and Galilean , drama, 1873). Dmitri Mereschkowski's Julian Apostata (1896, German 1903) is the prelude to the author's trilogy Christ and Antichrist . Algernon Swinburne preceded his swan song on pagan Rome, Hymn to Proserpine (1866), Julian's supposed last words. More recently, Wolfgang Cordan ( Julian the Enlightened , Roman, 1950) and Gore Vidal ( Julian , Roman, 1962) have dealt with Julian , among others .


Statue in the Musee de Cluny , Paris, long believed to represent Julian.

Overall, the source situation for Julian is exceptionally good compared to other sections of ancient history. This is not least due to Julian's own writings. There are hardly more sources available for any other ancient figure. Only about Marcus Tullius Cicero and Augustine of Hippo is more known.

A very important source for his reign is Ammianus Marcellinus , who was fundamentally very balanced, but by no means completely uncritical , who served under the army master Ursicinus , who supported Julian in Gaul and probably also supervised on behalf of Constantius. Another important source is Julian's confidante Claudius Mamertinus ( Gratiarum actio Mamertini de consulato suo Iuliano Imperatori ). But also Eunapius , Eutropius , Julian's fellow student in Athens Gregor von Nazianz , who wrote various speeches against Julian, Libanios , Aurelius Victor , Socrates Scholastikos , Hilarius and many other authors of that time wrote about Julian. Several authors wrote treatises on the Persian War, for example Magnus von Karrhai and Eutychianos ; however, apart from fragments, these have not been preserved. Some information that Philostorgios collected, whose church history is only available to us in excerpts, is also passed down in the Artemii Passio . The laws compiled in Codex Theodosianus , some of which were written by Julian , also offer an interesting insight into his government activities.

As far as the pictorial representations are concerned, the view has been gaining ground in research for several years that beyond the coins there are no reliable contemporary images of the emperor. This also applies to the famous statue now in Paris, which has often been interpreted as a contemporary portrait of Julian.


Numerous writings by Julian in Greek have been preserved. He was the literarily most productive of the Roman emperors. His works are in presumed chronological order:

  • First eulogy ( enkōmion ) on the emperor Constantius II. ( Oratio I ), probably written in 356. The eulogy follows the rules established by Menander Rhetor for this genre . Julian attaches great importance to appearing as a philosopher and not as a rhetorician. He also seems to follow the example of Themistius , who was also a philosopher and yet did not disdain the praise of the ruler.
  • Eulogy for the Empress Eusebia , written in the winter of 356/57. Julian thanks the Empress for her favor, in particular for allowing her to study in Greece, and expresses appreciation for the current state of philosophy there.
  • About the emperor's deeds, or About the Kaisertum = Second eulogy of Constantius, probably written in 357 or 358, with the first eulogy being the starting point. The interpretation of the statements of the classical authorities Homer and Plato plays an important role. Here, too, the style is strongly influenced by rhetorical aspects; In terms of content, considerations of the philosophy of the state and a presentation of the philosophical ideal of rulers come to the fore.
  • About the departure of the excellent Salustius; Consoling speech to oneself , 359 written. Emperor Constantius had recalled Saturninus Secundus Salutius (or Salustius), a high-ranking confidante of Julian in Gaul. The work shows the typical characteristics of a consolation speech.
  • Letter to the Senate and the People of Athens (briefly Letter to the Athens ), written in 361, serves to justify Julian's rebellion against Emperor Constantius.
  • Letter to the philosopher Themistius , probably written towards the end of 361 on the occasion of Julian's accession to power (according to another view, however, already in 355 on the occasion of his elevation to Caesar ); deals with the problem of monarchical rule by a philosopher and the qualifications required for it, whereby Julian turns against the view of Themistius.
  • The Banquet or Die Kronia ( Saturnalia ) , also Die Kaiser . In this font, created in December 361, Julian deals with his predecessors. He lets them fight for priority and the victory goes to Marcus Aurelius .
  • Against the Cynic Herakleios , a speech given in early 362. Julian does not turn against cynicism as such, but against a certain direction among the Cynics. He deals with the definition of the term "philosophy" and the philosophical interpretation of myths.
  • To the Mother of Gods , a speech probably given in March 362 on the occasion of the festival of the “ Great Mother ”, which is characterized by Neoplatonic religiosity.
  • Against the uneducated dogs , a speech against the "dogs" (= Cynic philosophers; a play on words with the name of the Cynic school derived from Kýōn , "dog") in the early summer of 362 . Julian describes the history of Cynicism, contrasting the original, authentic Cynicism with later signs of decline, which he observed in the Cynics of his time.
  • To King Helios ; With this speech Julian turns to the sun god and presents a Neoplatonic philosophical theology.
  • Antiochikos or Misopogon (Μισοπώγων "Barthasser"), originated on the occasion of Julian's stay in Antioch in 362 and his conflict with parts of the city population; self-deprecating consideration of traditional moral, religious and cultural attitudes, the value of which Julian defends, although they can only be derived from specifically philosophical teachings in exceptional cases.
  • Against the Galileans (= Christians) , a lost pamphlet that can be partially reconstructed from quotations in Gegen Julian , a counter- writing by Cyril of Alexandria . Julian argues historically, anthropologically and philologically.

Julian also wrote numerous letters, a large number of which have survived, as well as epigrams and legislative texts. Lost is the account of his deeds in Gaul ( biblidion ), in which he dealt particularly with the battle of Strasbourg in 357 and probably particularly emphasized his victory ( The Fragments of the Greek Historians , no. 238).

Editions of works and translations

Total expenditure

  • Joseph Bidez , Gabriel Rochefort, Christian Lacombrade (Eds.): Julien: Œuvres complètes . 2 volumes in 4 sub-volumes, 1924–1964. Les Belles Lettres, Paris (Greek, French).
  • Friedrich K. Hertlein (Ed.): Iuliani imperatoris quae supersunt praeter reliquias apud Cyrillum omnia . 2 volumes. Teubner, Leipzig 1875 ( archive.org - digital copies).
  • Wilmer Cave Wright (Ed.): The works of the emperor Julian . 3 volumes, 1969–1980. Heinemann, London, ISBN 0-674-99014-5 (Greek, English, archive.org - digital copies, reprint of the edition from 1913–1923).

Other editions and translations

  • Rudolf Asmus (Ed.): Kaiser Julian's Philosophical Works . Dürr, Leipzig 1908 (only translations; contains: consolation speech to himself, letter to Themistios, four speeches).
  • Adele Filippo, Marco Ugenti (Eds.): Giuliano Imperatore. Elogio dell'Imperatrice Eusebia . Fabrizio Serra, Pisa / Rome 2016, ISBN 978-88-6227-893-5 (critical edition with Italian translation and commentary).
  • Angelo Giavatto, Robert Muller (Eds.): Julien l'Empereur. Contre les Galiléens . Vrin, Paris 2018, ISBN 978-2-7116-2759-2 (“Against the Galileans”, original Greek text and French translation).
  • Marion Giebel (Ed.): Julian Apostata. The imperial banquet / The Barthasser . Marixverlag, Wiesbaden 2016, ISBN 978-3-7374-1027-4 (translation only).
  • Lisette Goessler (ed.): Emperor Julian the Apostate. The letters . Artemis, Zurich 1971 (translation only).
  • Rosanna Guido (Ed.): Giuliano Imperatore. Al Cinico Eraclio . Congedo, Lecce 2000, ISBN 88-8086-350-9 (Greek, Italian, with commentary).
  • Friedhelm L. Müller (ed.): The two satires of the emperor Julianus Apostata (Symposium or Caesares and Antiochikos or Misopogon) . Steiner, Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-515-07394-9 (Greek, German).
  • Heinz-Günther Nesselrath (Ed.): Iulianus Augustus: Opera . De Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2015, ISBN 978-3-11-022122-0 (critical edition, contains seven works created at the time of Julian's sole rule).
  • Carlo Prato, Arnaldo Marcone (ed.): Giuliano Imperatore. Alla madre degli dei e altri discorsi . Mondadori, Milano 1987 (Greek, Italian, with commentary; contains: letter to Themistios, speech to the mother of the gods, speech to King Helios, the beard hater).
  • Carlo Prato, Dina Micalella (eds.): Giuliano Imperatore. Contro i Cinici ignoranti . Università degli studi di Lecce, Lecce 1988 (Greek, Italian).
  • Sara Stöcklin-Kaldewey: Emperor Julian, To the Senate and the people of Athens. Introduction, translation and commentary. In: Klio . Volume 97, number 2, 2015, pp. 687-725 (Greek, German).
  • Bertold K. Weis (Ed.): Julian. Letters . Heimeran, Munich 1973, ISBN 3-7765-2110-4 (Greek, German).

Source collections

  • Stefano Conti (Ed.): The inscriptions of Emperor Julians . Steiner, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-515-08443-6 .
  • Samuel NC Lieu (Ed.): The Emperor Julian. Panegyric and Polemic . 2nd Edition. Liverpool University Press, Liverpool 1989, ISBN 0-85323-376-4 .


Overview works


  • Polymnia Athanassiadi : Julian. An Intellectual Biography . Routledge, London 1992, ISBN 0-415-07763-X .
  • Jean Bouffartigue: L'empereur Julien et la culture de son temps (=  Série Antiquité . Volume 133 ). Collection des Études Augustiniennes, Paris 1992, ISBN 2-85121-127-7 .
  • Klaus Bringmann : Emperor Julian . Primus, Darmstadt 2004, ISBN 3-89678-516-8 (confidently written biography that Julian describes without pathos; specialist review by H-Soz-Kult ).
  • Glen Warren Bowersock: Julian the Apostate . Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts 1997, ISBN 0-674-48882-2 (reprinted Cambridge, Massachusetts 1978 edition; concise but easy to read and critical summary of Julian's reign).
  • Robert Browning : Emperor Julian. The renegade Roman ruler . Heyne, Munich 1988, ISBN 3-453-00821-9 (translated by Ulla Leippe).
  • Marion Giebel: Emperor Julian Apostate. The return of the old gods . Artemis & Winkler, Düsseldorf / Zurich 2002, ISBN 3-538-07130-6 (not always a very critical biography, which Julian sees in part as one-sidedly positive; specialist review by H-Soz-Kult).
  • Klaus Rosen : Julian. Emperor, God and haters of Christians . Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-608-94296-3 (very legible, well-founded and up-to-date overall presentation in which the history of reception is also discussed in detail; specialist review by H-Soz-Kult).
  • Hans Teitler : The Last Pagan Emperor. Julian the Apostate and the War against Christianity . Oxford University Press, Oxford 2017.

Collections of articles

  • Nicholas Baker-Brian, Shaun Tougher (Eds.): Emperor and Author. The Writings of Julian the Apostate . Classical Press of Wales, Swansea 2012, ISBN 978-1-905125-50-0 .
  • Richard Klein (Ed.): Julian Apostata (=  ways of research . Volume 509 ). Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1978, ISBN 3-534-07315-0 (important collection of articles).
  • Stefan Rebenich , Hans-Ulrich Wiemer (Ed.): A Companion to Julian the Apostate (=  Brill's Companions to the Byzantine World . Volume 5 ). Brill, Leiden 2020, ISBN 978-90-04-41456-3 .


Religious politics

  • Klaus Rosen: Emperor Julian on the way from Christianity to paganism . In: Yearbook for Antiquity and Christianity . tape 40 , 1997, ISSN  0075-2541 , pp. 126-146 .
  • Theresa Nesselrath: Emperor Julian and the repaganization of the empire. Concept and role models . Aschendorff, Münster 2013, ISBN 978-3-402-10916-8 (overview of sources and research status, also dissertation, University of Münster 2011; scientific review by H-Soz-Kult; review by David Greenwood in The Journal of Ecclesiastical History. Volume 65, 2014, p. 881 ).
  • Rowland Smith: Julian's gods. Religion and philosophy in the thought and action of Julian the Apostate . Routledge, London 1995, ISBN 0-415-03487-6 (of particular importance with regard to Julian's cultural background).

Reception history

  • Thorsten Fleck: The Portraits Julianus Apostatas (=  Antiquitates . Volume 44 ). Kovač, Hamburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-8300-3082-9 .
  • Stefano Trovato: Antieroe dai molti volti. Giuliano l'Apostata nel Medioevo bizantino . Forum Universitaria Udinese, Udine 2014, ISBN 978-88-8420-778-4 (on Julian's perception in Byzantium; scientific review by H-Soz-Kult).

Web links

Commons : Julian (Kaiser)  - album with pictures, videos and audio files


  1. The beta ( β ) was in time Koine already evident as in today modern Greek pronounced with phonetic value "w", no more than "b". Otherwise that would transfer the Latin first name does not occur in the Greek in this way.
  2. For a summary of the different approaches in research, see Hans-Ulrich Wiemer: Libanios und Julian. Munich 1995, p. 14, note 7. May / June 331 is often accepted (cf. Dietmar Kienast : Römische Kaisertabelle. 3rd edition Darmstadt 2004, p. 323).
  3. Julian's uncle Constantine had claimed to be descended from Claudius Gothicus (268-270). This fictitious descent apparently served for dynastic legitimation.
  4. Socrates Scholasticus 3: 1, 13.
  5. Libanios, Speeches 12:34.
  6. Klaus Rosen : Julian. Emperor, God and haters of Christians . Stuttgart 2006, pp. 99-101, 229-232.
  7. a b On the Panegyric in Eusebia Liz James: Is there an empress in the text? Julian's Speech of Thanks to Eusebia . In: Nicholas Baker-Brian, Shaun Tougher (Eds.): Emperor and Author. The Writings of Julian the Apostate . Classical Press of Wales, Swansea 2012, ISBN 978-1-905125-50-0 , pp. 47-59 .
  8. Ammian 16:12.
  9. Quoted from De Imperatoribus Romanis .
  10. Ammian 20.4.
  11. Cf. Dariusz Brodka: Ammianus Marcellinus. Studies of Historical Thought in the Fourth Century AD Krakow 2009, p. 70, note 259.
  12. Ursula Kampmann: The coins of the Roman Empire. Gietl, Regenstauf 2004, p. 444.
  13. ^ Sara Stöcklin-Kaldewey: Emperor Julian's worship in the context of late antiquity. Mohr, Tübingen 2014, p. 385.
  14. On Julian's measures against Christians cf. about Klaus Rosen: Julian. Emperor, God and haters of Christians . Stuttgart 2006, p. 249 ff.
  15. Ammian 22,10,7.
  16. Ammian 22.5.
  17. Sozomenos , Church History 5,18,7.
  18. Lippold (2001), Col. 460 f.
  19. Ammian 25: 4, 17.
  20. Ammian 22.12.7.
  21. For the temple construction as a tactic against the Christians, see Mordechai Piron: The Roman Initiative for the Reconstruction of the Temple . In: Structure . No. 4, 2009, pp. 10-12.
  22. Ammian 22.12.6.
  23. Klaus Rosen: Julian in Antioch or "How a theory fails in practice" . In: Wolfgang Schuller (ed.): Political theory and practice in antiquity . Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1998, ISBN 3-534-13050-2 , pp. 217-230 .
  24. See for example David Hunt: Julian. In: Averil Cameron, Peter Garnsey (Eds.): The Cambridge Ancient History. Volume 13. Cambridge 1997, pp. 73f. Gerhard Wirth, Julian's Persian War, is fundamental . Criteria of a disaster . In: Richard Klein (Ed.): Julian Apostata . Darmstadt 1978, pp. 455-507.
  25. Libanios, Speeches 18,164.
  26. Ammian 22.12.1 f.
  27. Cf. MFA Brok: De perzische expeditie van keizer Julianus volgens Ammianus Marcellinus . Groningen 1959 (also dissertation, Leiden University).
  28. Ammian 25.3.
  29. For example Alexander Demandt , Die Spätantike , p. 137. The detailed analysis by Gerhard Wirth, Julians Perserkrieg, comes to a different conclusion . Criteria of a disaster . In: Richard Klein (Ed.): Julian Apostata . Darmstadt 1978, pp. 455-507.
  30. For the peace treaty see Evangelos Chrysos: Evacuation and abandonment of imperial territories. The contract of 363 . In: Bonner Jahrbücher . tape 193 , 1993, pp. 165-202 . Gerhard Wirth speaks out against the negative Jovian image: Jovian. Emperor and caricature . In: Vivarium. Festschrift for Theodor Klauser's 90th birthday . Münster / Westphalia 1984, p. 353–384 ( Yearbook for Antiquity and Christianity , Supplementary Volume 11).
  31. See, for example, the discussion of the apotheosis of Julians Johannes Straub : The Ascension of Julian the Apostate . In: Gymnasium . tape 69 , 1962, pp. 310-326 .
  32. Eutropus 10.16.
  33. See also Glen Bowersock, Julian the Apostate , pp. 188 f.
  34. Prudentius, Apotheosis 454.
  35. 4. Speech of Gregory of Nazianzen
  36. Augustine, De civitate Dei 5:21.
  37. Michel de Montaigne: Essais 2.19, ed. by Pierre Villey : Montaigne: Les Essais. Livre II , 2nd edition, Paris 1992, pp. 668-672. See Paul Mathias: Julien l'Apostat. In: Philippe Desan (ed.): Dictionnaire de Michel de Montaigne , Paris 2016, p. 632 f.
  38. ^ Yvonne Bellenger: Montaigne. Une fête pour l'esprit , Paris 1988, p. 216 f.
  39. ^ Pierre Villey: Montaigne: Les Essais. Livre II , 2nd edition, Paris 1992, p. 668.
  40. Wolfgang Schuller: The first Europe . Stuttgart 2004, p. 173 .
  41. Paul Veyne: When our world became Christian . Munich 2011, p. 102 f .
  42. Klaus M. Girardet: The Emperor and his God . Christianity in thought and in the religious policy of Constantine the Great . Berlin 2010, p. 20 .
  43. Klaus Rosen: Julian. Emperor, God and haters of Christians . Stuttgart 2006, p. 8.
  44. See also Klaus Bringmann, Kaiser Julian , pp. 123–128, 133–145; Klaus Rosen: Julian. Emperor, God and haters of Christians . Stuttgart 2006, pp. 233-236.
  45. See Gerhard Wirth, Julians Perserkrieg. Criteria of a disaster . In: Richard Klein (Ed.): Julian Apostata . Darmstadt 1978, pp. 455-507.
  46. See the brief summary by Richard Klein, Julian Apostata , pp. 10 ff., And Glen Bowersock, Julian the Apostate , pp. 1–11, 116–119.
  47. ^ Cf. Jeremias Drexel, Summa der Tragödien von Keyser Juliano , 1608.
  48. On the role of Julian in the criticism of Christianity in the 19th century, for example Andreas Urs Sommer : Emperor Julian as an anti-Christian figure of integration? Strauss, Ibsen and Nietzsche. In: Richard Faber, Helge Høibraaten (ed.): Ibsen's “Emperors and Galileans”. Sources - interpretations - receptions. Würzburg 2011, pp. 81-101.
  49. For an overview of the history of Julian's reception see in detail Klaus Rosen: Julian. Emperor, God and haters of Christians. Stuttgart 2006, pp. 394-462; concise Roman Lach: Julian. In: Peter von Möllendorff , Annette Simonis, Linda Simonis (ed.): Historical figures of antiquity. Reception in literature, art and music (= Der Neue Pauly . Supplements. Volume 8). Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2013, ISBN 978-3-476-02468-8 , Sp. 541-550.
  50. On the sources, see the summary in Bowersock, Julian the Apostate , p. 1 ff.
  51. See Thorsten Fleck: The Portraits Julianus Apostatas . Hamburg 2008.
  52. On the historical work, see also Pawel Janiszewski: The Missing Link. Greek Pagan Historiography in the Second Half of the Third Century and in the Fourth Century AD. Warszawa 2006, pp. 113-116; Klaus Rosen: Julian. Emperor, God and haters of Christians. Stuttgart 2006, p. 148f.
predecessor Office successor
Constantius II Roman emperor
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on March 15, 2005 in this version .