Reference address :

ELPENOR - Home of the Greek Word

Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Vasilief, A History of the Byzantine Empire

The empire from Constantine the Great to Justinian

Julian the Apostate (361-363)


Icon of the Christ and New Testament Reader

The name of Julian, the successor of Constantius, is closely connected with the last attempt to restore paganism in the Empire. Julian was an extremely interesting personality, who for a long time has attracted the attention of scholars and writers. The literature about him is very extensive. The writings of Julian himself, which have been preserved, give abundant material for judging his philosophy and actions. The chief aim of investigators in this field has been to understand and interpret this enthusiastic Hellen so firmly convinced of the righteousness and success of his undertaking, the man who in the second half of the fourth century set out to restore and revive paganism and make it the basis of the religious life of the Empire.

Julian lost his parents at a very early age: his mother died a few months after his birth, his father died when he was only six years old. He received a very good education. His most influential tutor and general guide was Mardonius, a scholar of Greek literature and philosophy, who had taught Homer and Hesiod to Julian's mother. While Mardonius acquainted Julian with the masterpieces of classical literature, a Christian clergyman, probably Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia and later of Constantinople, a convinced Arian, introduced him to the study of the Holy Scriptures. Thus, according to one historian, Julian received two different kinds of education which lodged in him side by side without affecting each other. Julian was baptized in his early youth. In later years he recalled this event as a nightmare which he must try to forget.

Next Page of this section

A History of the Byzantine Empire - Table of Contents

Next Chapter : The Church and the state at the end of the fourth century

Previous Chapter : Constantius (337-361)



Medieval West * The Making of Europe
Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Learned Freeware

Reference address :