Julian, 66

Caesar X At Turin, as I received city officials in the law court, a messenger arrived from Florentius, the praetorian prefect of Gaul. The prefect thought that the Caesar should know that some weeks ago Cologne had fallen to the Germans, and the Rhine was theirs. The military situation was, Florentius wrote with what almost…

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Julian, 65

At dawn on the first of December I left Milan for Gaul. I said farewell to Helena, who was to join me later at Vienne. We both behaved according to the special protocol the eunuchs have devised governing a Caesar’s farewell to his new wife as he goes to a beleaguered province. Then, accompanied by…

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Julian, 64

Editor’s note: ‘“Helena has her own money,” said Eusebia sharply. “She should use it. She owns half of Rome”,’ wrote Gore Vidal. When Rome was healthy, women could own no more than an ounce of gold. But in imperial times, especially after Christian takeover, in addition to the Imperial Church feminism undermined the old Roman…

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Julian, 62

Editor’s note: ‘They thought me a bookish fool who knew nothing of weaponry and preferred talk to war’ said Gore Vidal’s Julian in one of the most important days of his life. This is exactly what the Romans of yore would say of any white nationalist of our century that prefers talk to war: I…

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Julian, 61

Heliodorus the eunuch courtier. Ink and watercolor (1975). I believe it is true of most courts that the principal figures seldom see one another. This is partly due to choice. The fewer the meetings, the less chance of something untoward happening. But more to the point, it suits the courtiers to keep the great people…

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Julian, 60

The palace at Milan is a large rambling building. Originally it was a military governor’s rather modest headquarters. In the last century when Rome ceased to be a practical centre for the West, the palace was enlarged to become an imperial residence. Because of the German tribes, the emperors had to be close to the…

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Julian, 59

Constantius wore the purple. The robe fell stiffly to his crimson shoes. In one hand he held an ivory staff, while the other rested on the arm of the throne, palm upward, holding the golden orb. As usual, he stared straight before him, unaware of anything except what was in his direct line of vision.…

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Julian, 58

– IX – Julian Augustus It was mid-October when I arrived in Milan. The weather was dry and the air so clear that one could see with perfect clarity those blue alps which separate civilization from barbarism, our world of sun from that melancholy green forest where dwells Rome’s nemesis. Just before the city’s gate…

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Julian, 57

Julian Augustus Those marvellous days in Athens came to an abrupt end when an imperial messenger arrived with orders that I attend Constantius at Milan. No reason was given. I assumed that I was to be executed. Just such a message had been delivered to Gallus. I confess now to a moment of weakness. Walking…

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Julian, 56

Frederic Leighton, The Return of Persephone (1891). Editor’s note: In Greek mythology, Persephone was the Queen of the underworld, the young maiden, and a daughter of Demeter and Zeus. Her story had great emotional power in the Ancient World: an innocent maiden, a mother’s grief over her abduction, and great joy after her daughter is…

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