This study of the last pagan Roman emperor provides remarkable insight into the man and his times. The figure of Julian demands the attention of historians. As the last pagan Roman Emperor, he provides a focus for studying the religious transformations that were taking place in the empire in the fourth century. Further, his secular policies and concerns concentrate attention on other transformations--social and political--within the period.
Notably, Julian elicited sharply divided opinion from his contemporaries, which is largely polarised between pagan supporters and Christian opponents. Such division of opinion is also matched by the modern literature on him. Was he the prospective saviour of the Roman Empire, or was he out-of-touch and living in the past? Was he an evangelist for Mithraism, or an altogether more traditional pagan? Was he a shrewd military man, or a rash risk-taker whose luck spectacularly ran out on his Persian expedition? These questions and more are asked and discussed, allowing students to reach their own verdict on this exciting and controversial emperor.
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