BOWERSOCK JULIAN THE APOSTATE PDF

Welcome sign in sign up. Like other heroes of lost causes, the emperor Julian will always have his admirers. If Greco-Roman paganism did not die with him, its restoration became infinitely less probable. He was born at Constantinople in , the nephew of Constantine the Great. He was spared on account of his age, his half brother Gallus escaped through ill-health. He was not destined to stay in the capital.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Julian the Apostate by Glen W. Julian the Apostate by Glen W. This portrayal of one of antiquity's most enigmatic figures offers a vivid and compact assessment of the Apostate's life and reign.

Proceeding directly from an evaluation of the ancient sources - the testimony of friends and enemies of Julian as well as the writings of the emperor himself - the author traces Julian's youth, his years as the commander of the Roman forces in This portrayal of one of antiquity's most enigmatic figures offers a vivid and compact assessment of the Apostate's life and reign.

Proceeding directly from an evaluation of the ancient sources - the testimony of friends and enemies of Julian as well as the writings of the emperor himself - the author traces Julian's youth, his years as the commander of the Roman forces in Gaul, and his emergence as sole ruler in the course of a dramatic march to Constantinople. In Bowersock's analysis of Julian's religious revolution, the emperor's ardent espousal of a lost cause is seen to have made intolerable demands upon pagans, Jews, and Christians alike.

Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title. Julian the Apostate. Other Editions 3. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Julian the Apostate , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3.

Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Julian the Apostate. Jan 03, Steve added it Shelves: euro-history-culture , ancient-euro. But what then did he expect? Let him organize religion as much as he pleased, let him write the high priest of Galatia as much as he pleased, or to others like him, exhorting, giving directions. His friends weren't Christians: that much is certain. But even so they weren't able to play the way that he did brought up as a Christian with the system of a new religion, ridiculous in theory and in practice.

In the end they were Greeks. Nothing in excess, Augustus. Cavafy trans. Raised as a Christian whose mother tongue was Greek, Julian's love for Hellenistic culture became increasingly tightly bound to the old Greek religion, so that when he was acclaimed Augustus by his soldiers in Lutetia Paris and started moving his army to meet Constantius in battle he openly declared his religious fealty and announced his resolution to undo the suppression of the old religion initiated by Constantine and eagerly continued by Constantius.

And he did what he could to carry out his resolution during his brief reign approximately 18 months as Emperor, so Julian was demonized by Christians and deified by "pagans" after his early death. Thus very quickly the facts of his life became swamped by a tsunami of propaganda from both sides. These mutually contradictory legends have provided a gold mine for later polemicists, poets and novelists who have taken what they wanted from this swirling mass and invented the rest.

In Julian the Apostate the noted classical historian G. Though Julian was an ascetic and a learned man like one of his heroes, Marcus Aurelius, I learned to my discomfiture that not only was he a disciple of the burgeoning school of Neo-Platonism, but he followed the branch of that mystical "philosophy" which stemmed from Iamblichus, the branch in which reason was held in the most disdain as a means to penetrate the mysteries of the world.

A highly intelligent man, he was also irascible and vindictive whenever he was thwarted, which was not seldom since he was swimming against the tide. While preparing for his fatal campaign against the Persians which was to be the beginning of an effort to extend the Roman Empire far to the East in imitation of his other great hero, Alexander the Great , he made Antioch his capital and forged grand plans for its transformation into the hub of the Empire.

But not only was Antioch overwhelmingly Christian and unreceptive to his religious reforms, in just a few months he managed to alienate nearly its entire populace with his well-meaning but unworldly administrative and economic policies, policies that misapprehended the degree to which ordinary people have no desire to be abstemious zealots.

In Julian, who had been an undefeated commander of the Roman armies in Gaul, led 90, men against the Persians. For a gripping account of that doomed campaign, in which Julian was killed by a spear thrown by an Arab in Persian service according to Bowersock, that is the most reliable of the many stories that have entered into the legend and in which the Persians reduced the proud Roman army to desperation during their long retreat back to Roman territory, I recommend the version in Ammianus Marcellinus' history, written shortly after the events and based upon eyewitness reports.

Indeed, we have so many of his texts - edicts, letters, orations, and various more unusual texts that cannot be so simply characterized - that Bowersock asserts that we know the man better than any classical Roman with the exception of Cicero. View all 19 comments. Dec 03, Walter rated it really liked it Recommends it for: history buffs and the enemies of Christ. This was an entertaining and well-researched biography of the last pagan emperor of Rome.

It is an academic work and not a piece of pop-history, but the material is so damned interesting even a scientist can enjoy and has enjoyed it. It traces the unlikely rise of a humble scholar and academic philosopher to the imperial purple. Along the way he becomes a great war hero and also parts ways with his family's Christian religion.

His Quixotic efforts to restore pagan religion, learning and cultur This was an entertaining and well-researched biography of the last pagan emperor of Rome.

His Quixotic efforts to restore pagan religion, learning and culture to a world slipping into the dark ages, make him a most tragic and heroic character. Some of his edicts meant to reign in Christians are very funny. He did not hurt anyone or persecute them, but rather he tried to help Christians in living up to their ideals e.

When Christians attacked him he published a series of academic works to support the philosophical basis of his program rather than tossing them all to the lions. Pretty good show! Jan 07, Dan rated it liked it. I feel like any book about Julian that perpetuates the label "apostate" must have a pro-Christian bias, and this one is no exception.

It's a short and decent intro to the emperor Julian though originally written in , there is certainly newer scholarship about Julian out there. It's well-researched, but the authors bias against Julian definitely shows at some points. For example, it seems the author thinks that Julian's questions of consience when he went against Constantius were a bad thin I feel like any book about Julian that perpetuates the label "apostate" must have a pro-Christian bias, and this one is no exception.

For example, it seems the author thinks that Julian's questions of consience when he went against Constantius were a bad thing. What about Constantius' consience when he murdered his family members including Julian's relatives? I suppose we all must look at the ancient world through the lens of our own experience and beliefs.

View 1 comment. The book is set out more or less as a chronological biography from Julian's birth to his accession to the throne as sole Augustus in From there, it takes on a more thematic aspect as it describes his policies and movements throughout his time in Naissus, Constantinople and then on to Antioch, where the narrative picks up again and swiftly carries the emperor to his greatest triumph - against the Sassanid Persians at their own capital of Ctesiphon - and his final end on the return journey.

Th The book is set out more or less as a chronological biography from Julian's birth to his accession to the throne as sole Augustus in The major downside to this work is Bowersock's clear, at times vitriolic disdain for the Emperor Julian and many of his policies. In the early part of the book, he writes seemingly as an apologist for Constantius II, portraying him in a far more favourable light than most other historians of the period. He castes Julian in the mold of a zealot and a bigot, and eventually as a persecutor of Christians, something which most historians stop short of.

This is not the book one should read first on Julian, as I can imagine it would colour one's views irrevocably against the man. Despite this, however, Bowersock's writing is clear, his style engaging, and his research clearly meticulous. If one is able to see beyond the surface layer of strongly opinionated commentary, an incredible amount of knowledge in a short run of pages only for the main section is revealed.

For that reason, this is a must-read for anyone with a solid background knowledge of Julian, looking to learn more. Jun 22, Samuel Valentino rated it really liked it Shelves: roman-history , re-read. A good concise biography. This is a second reading of this for me - I finished a biography of Valens, who came after him, and Constantine, who came before, and thought that I would get more out of another reading.

I did - the first time I read it was an introduction for me to the era, so I got a lot more out of it this time. My only complaint is that some of it is too brief - the author mentions that Julian was traumatized by the murder of his brother, but the book gives little information about A good concise biography.

My only complaint is that some of it is too brief - the author mentions that Julian was traumatized by the murder of his brother, but the book gives little information about him. However, I noticed the lack only on a second reading - when I was first reading it, I was found it really informative. So a good book on the subject, that makes me want to research more. Oct 09, Milo rated it really liked it Shelves: roman. I think this is as far as I know the definitive biography and I'll be rereading it again.

It's pretty dense but features some interesting dissections of where Julian's account of his life and elevation to the height of power differs from the facts in the historical record. He's also good at analyzing the few firsthand sources we have on this troubling figure in history. Feb 24, Colin rated it really liked it Shelves: scholarly-works , philosophy.

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Julian the Apostate

Quick, easy to read biography of Julian. The author spends perhaps too much time explaining how he uses sources, but that's at least understandable in a work on such a polarized figure, and such an I think this is as far as I know the definitive biography and I'll be rereading it again. It's pretty dense but features some interesting dissections of where Julian's account of his life and Julian the Apostate. This portrayal of one of antiquity's most enigmatic figures offers a vivid and compact assessment of the Apostate's life and reign.

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Quick, easy to read biography of Julian. The author spends perhaps too much time explaining how he uses sources, but that's at least understandable in a work on such a polarized figure, and such an I think this is as far as I know the definitive biography and I'll be rereading it again. It's pretty dense but features some interesting dissections of where Julian's account of his life and

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