Julian, 1

Julian presiding at a conference of Sectarians
(Edward Armitage, 1875)

 

Emperor Julian (Latin: Flavius Claudius Iulianus Augustus, 331/332 – 26 June 363) has been considered a hero of the resistance to Christianity. When in 2012 and 2013 I started to reproduce excerpts of Gore Vidal’s novel Julian I was typing directly from my book copy. Now that I have obtained the PDF I’ll be adding the complete text on Sundays. The following is a note that the author himself wrote for the first page of his novel in the early 1960s.

 

Robert Graves, when he came to publish his sequel to I, Claudius, remarked in a somewhat irritable preface that a good many reviewers seemed to think he had simply spun himself a novel from Suetonius’s gossip, which looked to them like a very easy thing to do. In Claudius the God, Graves struck back with a long bibliography, listing nearly every relevant text which has survived from the ancient world. Unfortunately, I have not read as much as all that. But to anticipate those who might think that one’s only source was the history of Ammianus Marcellinus (or even of Edward Gibbon), I have included at the end of the book a partial bibliography.

The Emperor Julian’s life is remarkably well documented. Three volumes of his letters and essays survive, while such acquaintances as Libanius and Saint Gregory of Nazianzus wrote vivid accounts of him. Though I have written a novel, not a history, I have tried to stay with the facts, only occasionally shifting things around. For instance, it is unlikely that Priscus joined Julian in Gaul, but it is useful to the narrative to have him there.

Julian has always been something of an underground hero in Europe. His attempt to stop Christianity and revive Hellenism exerts still a romantic appeal, and he crops up in odd places, particularly during the Renaissance and again in the nineteenth century. Two such unlikely authors as Lorenzo de’ Medici and Henilk Ibsen wrote plays about him. But aside from the unique adventure of Julian’s life, what continues to fascinate is the fourth century itself. During the fifty years between the accession of Julian’s uncle Constantine the Great and Julian’s death at thirty-two, Christianity was established. For better or worse, we are today very much the result of what they were then.

In naming cities, I give the modern rather than the ancient name (Milan, not Mediolanum), except when the original name is more familiar to us (Ephesus, not Selquk). Dates I put in our fashion, A.D. and B.C. Since Julian’s court was a military one, I have used our own army’s way of dating, i.e., 3 October 363. Currency is a tricky matter. No one is quite certain what the exact purchasing power of money was in the fourth century, but a gold solidus was probably worth about five dollars. Julian, Priscus and Libanius, the three narrators of this story, all wrote Greek. Their Latin was rather shaky, as they are quick to remind us, but they occasionally use Latin terms, much the way we do. For those readers who will search in vain for Julian’s famous last words, “Thou hast conquered, Galilean!”, he never said them. Theodoret must take credit for this fine rhetoric, composed a century after Julian’s death.

I should like to thank the American Academy at Rome and the American School of Classical Studies at Athens for letting me use their libraries.

G.V.

Published in: on May 28, 2017 at 10:42 pm  Comments (7)  
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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Why didn’t European men kill off the jew poison from the beginning? They’ve killed us, instead? You selfish childish BASTARDS are into blaming women – but it’s YOU.

    • Who’s blaming women (off the Julian topic)?

    • Denise, the reason some of us racist guys are blaming women is because women, on average, are substantially less racist than men. For example, women and feminine-looking men are the ones shown in photos welcoming the refugees.

      With equal voting rights, women are a major force, along with the Jews and Christianity, for opening our borders to the scum of humanity.

      • But aren’t men supposed to leaders? Than LEAD. You are blaming the symptom, or effect. NOT the CAUSE. White men have been taking the Jew Dick up the anal tract for centuries. WHY? Our forefathers let it all happen.

        By the way – thank you for answering my question like a civilized, genuinely intelligent man, instead of one of the “White Sharia” eunuchs.

      • Denise, given the current society, racist men are largely powerless, so we can’t do much more than be frustrated and point fingers at explanations for why things are so bad. Of course, the only male power to stand up in the 20th century and lead in a big way, National Socialist Germany, was completely destroyed and its memory has been covered by a mountain of lies.

        Regarding Andrew Anglin’s “White Sharia”, I agree he’s too extreme, and also he should not use an Islamic word as something positive. He’s too intolerant of the feminine side of our race, which includes gay guys who he wants killed, which is stupid and wrong.

        However, despite Andrew’s flaws, he’s done a lot of good work and I contribute money to his website.

  2. I look forward to these weekly Sunday excerpts about Julian’s resistance to Christianity. From June 2014 until April 2017, I read the weekly Saturday sermons by the Christian blogger, “Cambria Will Not Yield.” Suffice to say, he became more and more shrill against those of us who criticize Christianity. It’s going to be nice to be exposed to the anti-Christian side of things.

    • I agree with you. I am sick to the gills with the Cuckstianity Slave Religion.


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