Julian's Gods: Religion and Philosophy in the Thought and Action of Julian the Apostate (Paperback) book cover

Julian's Gods

Religion and Philosophy in the Thought and Action of Julian the Apostate

By Rowland B. E. Smith

© 1995 – Routledge

320 pages

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Paperback: 9780415642767
pub: 2012-09-30
Hardback: 9780415034876
pub: 1995-11-02
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203759479
pub: 2013-04-15
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Julian's brief reign (360-363 AD) had a profound impact on his contemporaries, as he worked fervently for a pagan restoration in the Roman Empire, which was rapidly becoming Christian.

Julian's Gods focuses on the cultural mentality of `the last pagan Emperor' by examining a wide variety of his own writings. The surviving speeches and treatises, satires and letters offer a rare insight into the personal attitudes and motivations of a remarkable Emperor. They show Julian as a highly educated man, an avid student of Greek philosophy, and a talented author in his own right.

This elegant and closely-argued study will deepen understanding not only of Julian, but of the context of fourth century Neoplatonism.


'Rowland Smith analyses Julian's intellectual and religious beliefs with a clarity and subtlety that permits him to evade the extremes of recent treatments of the reign' - TLS

'The object of this learned and careful study is to dispose of the rabid infidel, the omnipresent Mithraist, and the enterprising despot who have masqueraded under the name of Julian in ancient and modern writings on this short-lived Emperor' - Journal of Theological Studies Volume 47

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Ancient / General