JVLIAN excerpts – IV

“Why were you so ungrateful to our gods
as to desert them for the Jews?”

—Julian, addressing the Christians

Julian

Priscus to Libanius
Athens, June 380

I send you by my pupil Glaucon something less than half of the Emperor Julian’s memoir. It cost me exactly 30 solidi to have this much copied. On receipt of the remaining fifty solidi I shall send you the rest of the book.

We can hardly hope to have another Julian in our lifetime. I have studied the edict since I wrote you last, and though it is somewhat sterner in tone than Constantine’s, I suspect the only immediate victims will be those Christians who follow Arius. But I may be mistaken…

I never go to evening parties. The quarter I referred to in my letter was not the elegant street of Sardes but the quarter of the prostitutes near the agora. I don’t go to parties because I detest talking-women, especially our Athenian ladies who see themselves as heiress to the age of Pericles. Their conversation is hopelessly pretentious and artificial.

Hippia and I get along rather better than we used to. Much of her charm for me has been her lifelong dislike of literature. She talks about servants and food and relatives, and I find her restful. Also, I have in the house a Gothic girl, bought when she was eleven. She is now a beautiful woman, tall and well made, with eyes grey as Athena’s. She never talks. Eventually I shall buy her a husband and free them both as a reward for her serene acceptance of my attentions, which delight her far less than they do me.

But then Plato disliked sexual intercourse between men and women. We tend of course to think of Plato as divine, but I am afraid he was rather like our old friend Iphicles, whose passion for youths has become so outrageous that he now lives day and night in the baths, where the boys call him the queen of philosophy.

Hippia joins me in wishing for your good—or should I say better?—health.

The memoir. It will disturb and sadden you. I shall be curious to see how you use this material.

You will note in the memoir that Julian invariably refers to the Christians as “Galileans” and to their churches as “charnel houses,” this last a dig at their somewhat necrophile passion for the relics of dead men. I think it might be a good idea to alter the text, and reconvert those charnel houses into churches and those Galileans into Christians. Never offend an enemy in a small way.

Here and there in the text, I have made marginal notes. I hope you won’t find them too irrelevant.

Published in: on May 18, 2013 at 9:41 pm  Comments (6)  

6 Comments

  1. Julian seemed to favor celibacy in the same way Plotinus eventually did. I’m curious about his statement involving Plato, because I always thought that Socrates was the pederast.

    • According to Gibbon, Julian was a vegetarian. Probably affected his hormone levels.

  2. Symposium discusses pederasty under the general guise of understanding Eros. The several speeches are given in an ascending order, representing the lowest form of base “little e” eros (that is, the manifestation of the god Eros, if indeed he is a god, which is roundly debated in the text) to its highest manifestation. The dialog also includes a discussion of education, and the role and rank of philosophy among the various arts (“art” within the context of the dialog includes what is defined under the general meaning of techne, in addition to the higher moral categories of representative and didactic art, such as drama).

    The last formal speaker, naturally, is Socrates, as he represents the highest manifestation of Eros, both in speech and in action. Socrates, not incidentally, had at a young age been schooled in the art of eros by the priestess of Zeus, Diotima (obviously a woman, in contradistinction to the underlying theme of pederasty). These characters, their manner and order of speaking, what they represent, the place and time of the action, and so forth, all must all be considered.

    To make a longer story short, Socrates explains that Eros is not a god, but a daemon, half-way between god and man. He also argues that the highest goal of Eros is love of the transcendent. At the very end, a drunken and obviously sexually frustrated Alcibiades makes an appearance (representing in part, Dionysius), crowns Socrates the winner of the speech making contest, and then proceeds to tell the story of how Socrates refused his homosexual advances, as this sort of behavior was unbecoming a philosopher.

    • “He also argues that the highest goal of Eros is love of the transcendent.”

      Just curious: have you read the last paragraphs of my “Gitone’s magic” (e.g., after “Mature, aufhebenized hetero nationalists may try to destroy the homo antithesis not by combating it directly, but by assimilating its luminous side and by turning homosexuality into almost heterosexuality through the contemplation of beauty among those rarest specimens that…”)?

      • A thoughtful read. I have a few brief comments (brief compared to the post you directed me toward).

        First, a minor point: we do have our own form of infanticide, called abortion.

        Second, I agree with you that we must always be careful to avoid conflation, or misrepresenting what went before with what is going on today. Certainly, as you forcefully write, pederasty in antiquity is not analogous to what is now understood as the GLBT agenda. To use the Classical era as a positive example in order to argue this agenda is wrongheaded.

        This, by the way, does not mean we cannot use Classical philosophical arguments to support current thinking, just as it does not argue against using Euclidean geometry to determine coordinates in local (normal) space. Philosophical arguments and mathematical formulas are universal, and hold throughout the ages. It is why an Aristotelian metaphysical principle can still be considered valid, whereas a particular social convention may not.

        Your point that the thinking of peoples across time may be fundamentally different is well taken. From a practical standpoint we cannot be Classical Greeks, or ancient Romans. However, we can learn from them, and progress. Progression is the key. We must work to propagate a civilizing influence which attempts to negate the anti-civilizational thrust of modernity in its various manifestations: Jewish cultural and political Bolshevism; Enlightenment egalitarianism; the absurd idea of “rights of man;” democracy; etc. Our future demands that we resolve these historical contradictions so we can actually have a future.

        I also believe, as you have written in various places, that the key to our survival is racial. I believe that it is so because the White race takes the lead in most areas, and giving up to coloreds will result in eventual White extermination. Only civilized people can appreciate civilization, and to debase the race through hybridization, especially hybridization with uncivilized people, is morally wrong. For my own part I would not argue that two civilized people (say a White and East Asian) could not live together, or find common ground, but they should not produce offspring, as this compromises both gene pools. And it definitely excludes the negro race from any sort of intermarriage, kids or no, because the negro race is intrinsically uncivilized. I am less sure about other groups, such as some so-called Hispanic folk, or certain Middle Easterners, who seem to me to be a simple variation of White. But this is one area where my ignorance and vestigial liberalism (or perhaps cosmopolitanism) shows, and for some, even this degree of non-exclusion would be denied. Some would argue against, say, Irish marrying German. Religion is another point to consider. I do not take it this far because I believe that intra-family bonds among Whites must be encouraged, otherwise petty squabbles could lead to ethnic fighting which could lead to further expansion of conflicts. I do not think we can go back to the days of the clan, again. In any case, no non-White should ever be allowed to become a citizen in a White republic–even if they are married to a citizen.

        In this regard, homosexuality is another big issue that must be confronted. Unlike a man and woman from disparate backgrounds who can be expected to function in accordance with a given set of social norms applicable to all heterosexual couples, homosexuality, left on its own and out in the open, always seems to degenerate into something grotesque. There have always been “lifelong bachelors.” And I believe that for the most part society always looked away, because these men acted normal in public, and sought not to impose their sexual attitudes on society at large, but kept their proclivities hidden away.

        We should not harm our children, and no one today wants to “kill” homosexuals. But children must be taught acceptable behavior that benefits the race. What traditionalists want is for homosexuals to stop participating in White heterosexual male dispossession, and to stop destroying the traditional social fabric that heterosexual White males represent. Raising arguments such as, “Well, Plato must have been queer because some Greeks practiced pederasty, and after all we don’t know if he really liked to screw women, do we?…” is intellectually dishonest, and these sorts of arguments must be put down forcefully.

        I fear, however, that it is much too late for any positive action. I would like to hope I am wrong about it, but I don’t think so.

        By the way, I read Julian Jaynes many years ago. He made a splash back in the 70s, but I haven’t followed up on him at all.

  3. Thanks-m


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