polytheist extractions

Tag Archives: emperor julian

AE 631

“To the liberator of the Roman world, the restorer of the temples, reviver of town councils and of the state, destroyer of the barbarians, our lord Julian ever Augustus, mighty victor over the Almanns, mighty victor over the Franks, mighty victor over the Sarmatians, chief priest, father of his country: the provincial assembly of the Phoenicians ordered this.” – AE 631


CIL 8.18529

“To our lord Flavius Claudius Julianus, devout, blessed, powerful in every kind of virtue, invincible leader, restorer of freedom and of the Roman religion, and conqueror of the whole world.” – CIL 8.18529

Marinus of Samaria, The Life of Proclus 36

“Proclus left this world in the 124th year from Julian’s accession to the empire under the archonship of the younger Nicagoras in Athens on the seventeenth day of the month Munychion, or the seventeenth of April. His body received the funerary honors usual among the Athenians, as he himself had requested; for more than any other did this blessed man have the knowledge and practice of funerary honors due the dead. Under no circumstances did he neglect to render the customary homages, and on fixed yearly dates he went to visit the tombs of the Attic heroes, those of the philosophers, of his friends, and acquaintances; he performed the rites prescribed by religion, and not through some deputy, but personally. After having fulfilled this pious duty towards each of them, he went to the Academy, in a certain particular place, and by vows and prayers, he invoked the souls of his ancestors, collectively and separately; and, in another part of the building, in common with others, he made libations in honor of all those who had practiced philosophy. After all that, this holy person traced out a third distinct space and offered a sacrifice to all the souls of the dead. His body, clothed and arranged as I have said above, according to his own request, and carried by his friends, was buried in the most easterly part of the suburbs, near Mount Lycabettus, where rested the body of his teacher Syrianus.” – Marinus of Samaria, The Life of Proclus 36

Theodoret, Ecclesiastical History 4.21; 5.20

“At Antioch Valens spent considerable time, and gave complete license to all who under cover of the Christian name, Pagans, Jews, and the rest preached doctrines contrary to those of the Gospel. The slaves of this error even went so far as to perform pagan rites, and thus the deceitful fire which after Julian had been quenched by Jovian, was now rekindled by permission of Valens. The rites of the Jews, of Dionysos and Demeter were no longer performed in a corner as they would have been in a pious reign, but by revellers running wild in the forum. Valens was a foe to none but to them that held the apostolic doctrine. Against the champions of the apostolic decrees alone he persisted in waging war. Accordingly, during the whole period of his reign the altar fire was lit, libations and sacrifices were offered to idols, public feasts were celebrated in the forum, and votaries initiated in the orgies of Dionysos ran about in goatskins, mangling dogs in Bacchic frenzy.” – Theodoret, Ecclesiastical History 4.21; 5.20

Sozomen, Historia Ecclesiastica 5.3-5

“When Julian was placed in sole possession of the Empire he commanded all the temples throughout the East to be reopened; and he also commanded that those which had been neglected to be repaired, those which had fallen into ruins to be rebuilt, and the altars to be restored. He assigned considerable money for this purpose. He restored the customs of antiquity and the ancestral ceremonies in the cities and the sacrifices. He himself offered libations openly and sacrificed publicly; and held in honor those who were zealous in these things. He restored to their ancient privileges the initiators and the priests, the hierophants and the servants of the temples, and confirmed the legislation of former emperors in their favor. He granted them exemption from duties and other burdens as they had previously had had such exemption. He restored to the temple guardians the provisions which had been abolished. He commanded them to be pure from meats, and to abstain from whatever, according to pagan opinion, was not befitting him who had announced his purpose of leading a pure life … Julian recalled all who, during the reign of Constantius, had been banished on account of their religious beliefs, and restored to them their property which had been confiscated by law. He charged the people not to commit any act of injustice against any of the Christians, not to insult them and not to constrain them to sacrifice unwillingly … He deprived the clergy, however, of their immunities, honors, and provisions which Constantine had conferred, repealed the laws which had been enacted in their favor, and reinforced their statutory liabilities. He even compelled the virgins and widows, who on account of their poverty were reckoned among the clergy, to refund the provision which had been assigned them from the public treasury … In the intensity of his hatred of the faith, he seized every opportunity to ruin the Church. He deprived it of its property, votive offerings, and sacred vessels, and condemned those who had demolished temples during the reign of Constantine and Constantius to rebuild them or to defray the expense of re-erection. On this ground, since they were unable to repay the sum and also on account of the search after sacred money, many of the priests, clergy, and other Christians were cruelly tortured and cast into prison. … He recalled the priests who had been banished by the Emperor Constantius; but it is said that he issued this order in their behalf, not out of mercy, but that through contention among themselves the churches might be involved in fraternal strife and might fall away from their law, or because he wished to asperse the memory of Constantius.” – Sozomen, Historia Ecclesiastica 5.3-5

Emperor Julian, Misopogon 362D

“Yet all of you Antiochenes delights to spend money privately on dinners and feasts; and I know very well that many of you squandered very large sums of money on dinners during the Maiuma.” – Emperor Julian, Misopogon 362D

Emperor Julian, Letter to a Priest

“You must above all exercise philanthropy, for from it result many other blessings, and moreover that choicest and greatest blessing of all, the good will of the gods. What creature of the sea uses corn, what land animal uses things that grow in the sea? And I have not yet mentioned gold and bronze and iron, though in all these the gods have made us very rich; yet not to the end that we may bring reproach on them by disregarding the poor who go about in our midst, especially when they happen to be of good character— men for instance who have inherited no paternal estate, and are poor because in the greatness of their souls they have no desire for money. Now the crowd when they see such men blame the gods. However it is not the gods who are to blame for their poverty, but rather the insatiate greed of us men of property becomes the cause of this false conception of the gods among men, and besides of unjust blame of the gods. Who, I ask, ever became poor by giving to his neighbours? Indeed I myself, who have often given lavishly to those in need, have recovered my gifts again many times over at the hands of the gods, though I am a poor man of business; nor have I ever repented of that lavish giving. And of the present time I will say nothing, for it would be altogether irrational of me to compare the expenditure of private persons with that of an Emperor; but when I was myself still a private person I know that this happened to me many times. My grandmother’s estate for instance was kept for me untouched, though others had taken possession of it by violence, because from the little that I had I spent money on those in need and gave them a share. We ought then to share our money with all men, but more generously with the good, and with the helpless and poor so as to suffice for their need. And I will assert, even though it be paradoxical to say so, that it would be a pious act to share our clothes and food even with the wicked. For it is to the humanity in a man that we give, and not to his moral character. This too, when I consider it, seems to me altogether wrong; I mean that we call Zeus by the title ‘God of Strangers,’ while we show ourselves more inhospitable to strangers than are the very Scythians. How, I ask, can one who wishes to sacrifice to Zeus, the God of Strangers, even approach his temple? With what conscience can he do so, when he has forgotten the saying ‘From Zeus come all beggars and strangers; and a gift is precious though small ? Again, the man who worships Zeus the God of Comrades, and who, though he sees his neighbours in need of money’, does not give them even so much as a drachma, how, I say, can he think that he is worshipping Zeus aright? When I observe this I am wholly amazed, since I see that these titles of the gods are from the beginning of the world their express images, yet in our practice we pay no attention to anything of the sort. The gods are called by us ‘gods of kindred,’ and Zeus the ‘God of Kindred,’ but we treat our kinsmen as though they were strangers. I say ‘kinsmen’ because every man, whether he will or no, is akin to every other man.” – Emperor Julian, Letter to a Priest