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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Julian, 55

During the weeks that followed, we saw each other every day. Yet I came to know the Hierophant no better. On any subject not connected with the mysteries, he refused to speak. I gave up talking to him, accepting him as what he was: a palpable link with the holy past but not a human…

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Julian, 54

The Temple of Demeterby Joseph Gandy (1818). It gives us an ideaof the site at Eleusis that the Christians would destroy after Julian.  The Hierophant entered the reading room. He is a short plump man, not in the least impressive to look at. He saluted me gravely. His voice is powerful and he speaks old…

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Julian, 53

Henryk Siemiradzki, Phryne at the Festival of Poseidon in Eleusis VIII Julian Augustus A week after I arrived in Athens I met the Hierophant of Greece. Since I did not want the proconsul to know of this meeting, it was arranged to take place in the Library of Hadrian, a not much frequented building midway…

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Darkening Age, 20

In chapter 10 of The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World, Catherine Nixey wrote: In Alexandria, Cyril conducted house searches to hunt out works by the loather pagan emperor Julian ‘the Apostate’… This was a new literary world and a newly serious one. ‘The extent to which this new Christian story both displaced…

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Christianity’s Criminal History, 112

Editor’s note: Here we see once again some passages on the historical Libanius: a central character in Gore Vidal’s Julian. What Deschner says here about Libanius is splendidly novelized by Vidal in the very final paragraph of his novel. To contextualise these translations of Karlheinz Deschner’s encyclopaedic history of the Church in 10-volumes, Kriminalgeschichte des…

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Julian, 51

Julian presiding at a conference of Sectarians (Edward Armitage, 1875)   In the dim atrium, students were again gathered, talking strenuously all at once as students will. When they saw us enter, they fell silent. I daresay the sight of me alarmed them. But Prohaeresius told them I was to be treated as just another…

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Julian, 50

Julian presiding at a conference of Sectarians (Edward Armitage, 1875)   I was placed in the chair of honour beside the fountain, as Prohaeresius presented his wife Amphiclea to me. She is a sad woman who has never got over the deaths of two daughters. She spoke seldom. Obviously philosophy has been no consolation to…

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