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Byzantine Empire /
Full name: Flavius Claudius Iulianus
Byname: Julian the Apostate

(331-363) Roman Emperor 361-363. He is listed as the 3rd ruler of the Byzantine Empire.
Julian is principally noted for having abandoned Christianity, returning to the traditional belief and philosophical systems of the Roman Empire. He is often called Julian the Apostate for this. One explanation to his objecting Christianity, may be related to the power struggles in the name of the Christianity in which his father and brother had been killed. Yet, his fascination of the greatness of Hellenic culture and philosophic speculations should not be reduced in its possible importance. At the same time, he hindered the use of Hellenic literature in the development of Christian theology.
With his abandonment of Christianity, much of the state's control over different Christian orientations was lifted. Banished Arian Bishops could return to their churches. Lands given to the church was returned to the original owners, all in all the official Christian church lost much of its force. Persecution was in some cases rather directed to the previously dominant Christian leaders. It would, however, last only the few years Julian was emperor. Jovian, his successor, reversed many of the reforms.
He ordered the reconstruction of the Jewish Temple of Jerusalem, but this was stopped by angry Christians.
He began a process of simplification of the court removing many excessive functions, like the court of eunuchs and reducing the number of other servants and guards.

331: Born in Constantinople, as son of Julius Constantius, half-brother of Constantine 1. He was brought up as a Christian, having been baptized.
342: Forced into exile.
349: Freed from his exile.
351: Converts to Theurgy, a form of Neoplatonism with sun worship, thereby abandoning Christianity.
355 November 6: Appointed deputy emperor for the eastern part of the Roman Empire, and marries Helena, the sister of Emperor Constantius.
361: Julian has himself appointed emperor, with the support of the army he was commanding in the west. Constantius was still reigning.
November 3: Constantius 2 dies from illness on his way to fight Julian, leaving Julian's claim to the control of the Roman Empire uncontested.
362 February 4: Declares freedom for all religions. Allows exiled bishops of Constantius' reign to return to their positions.
363: Stops by the ruins of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, and orders it rebuilt. This project would never be completed.
March: Launches a campaign against Sassanid Persia, leading an army of 65,000 troops. The campaign would prove highly unsuccessful.
June 27: Dies near the Sassanid capital, Ctesiphon, Mesopotamia, from war injury. He is succeeded by Jovian.

By Tore Kjeilen