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Julian the Apostate 361 AD

Julian the Apostate served as an emperor in Rome between the years 361 and 363 AD where he can be found on the Biblical Timeline. He was an author and philosopher among his other responsibilities throughout his life. In 355, he was appointed as Caesar by Constantius II and victoriously stopped the Franks and the Alamanni.

One of his significant accomplishments included the defeat of the Alamanni during the Battle of Argentoratum, in 357. When he was in Lutetia, his soldiers proclaimed him as the Augustus, which was in 360. This started a civil war between him and Constantius. Unfortunately, before the conflict was settled, Constantius died just after Julian was called as his new successor. He fought against the Sassanid army where he was wounded badly and died.


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‘Julian the Apostate presiding at a conference of sectarians.’

According to scholars, Julian had some accomplishments including his success as a social reformer, theosophist and military commander. He intended to direct the Empire to its old Roman values. In fact, he rejected Christianity and aimed to bring back the ancient religious practices of the Romans. Because of his blatant hatred of Christianity, he was given the name “Julian the Apostate”, which means someone who has abandoned his principles and religion.

As a child, he grew up in Bithynia. His grandmother raised him, and by the time he was seven years of age the Christian bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia became one of his mentors. The Gothic eunuch Mardonius taught and inspired the young Julian, as well.

In 342, Julian was sent into exile, along with Gallus. He was forced to enter Marcellum, a place in Cappadocia while he was in exile. It was here that he met George of Cappadocia, who was a Christian bishop. The bishop introduced to him the classical tradition of Christianity. At 18 years old, Julian travelled to Nicomedia and Constantinople after he regained his freedom.

As An Emperor

In 361, he travelled to Constantinople during the time that he was already proclaimed as the sole emperor. While there, he presided over the Christian burial of Constantius, despite the fact that he rejected Christianity. His performance of this political act showed how he was indeed lawful to the throne. Furthermore, he was believed to have ordered the construction of the Santa Costanza on a location outside of Rome, which was intended as a mausoleum for Constantina and Helena.

The emperor was against the manner in which his predecessors ruled the empire. He considered the administration as corrupt and inefficient. Thus, he ordered the dismissal of numerous eunuchs, officials and servants. A Chalcedon tribunal was also set up, and this designed to handle the corruption that was prevalent during the old administration. Executions of high-ranking officials under the rule of Constantius were arranged.

Julian aimed to expand the authority of the cities in the empire. There was a reduction in the direct involvement of the Imperial in urban matters. City lands of the imperial government were given back to the cities, and the payment of tribute referred to as the Aurum coronarium, became voluntary. He made several changes to the administration when he was an emperor, which had an impact on the people and the empire’s economy.

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