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JULIANUS
Flavius Claudius, " the Apostate." Born at Constantinople A.D. 331; he was the son of Julius Constantius, a brother of Constantine the Great. In spite of his early monastic education, he was so strongly prepossessed against the Christian religion owing to the murderous deeds of his own family, the persecutious he suffered at the hands of his cousin Constantius, and his own intercourse with the most renowned Sophists both in Nicomedia and at Athens, that, on his elevation to the imperial throne in 361, he attempted to drive out Christianity, and to restore Paganism on the foundation of Neo-Platonic philosophy. His attempts were however cut short by his death in the war against the Persians. We still possess eight essays written by him in Greek, in the form of speeches; seventy-eight letters of the most varied contents, valuable as throwing light on his character and his aims; and two satirical writings: (i) The Caesars, or the Banquet, a brilliant criticism on the Roman emperors, from Caesar downwards, in the form of Varro's Menippean satires; (ii) the Misopogon (Beard-Hater), a satire directed against the inhabitants of Antioch, who had cast ridicule on his beard and his philosophic garb. Of his work directed against the Christians and their religion, which he composed in Antioch before the expedition against the Persians, only extracts and fragments survive. Julian is one of the cleverest, most cultivated and elegant writers of the period after the birth of Christ.
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