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Julian the Apostate, detail of a marble statue; in the Louvre, Paris.—Giraudon/Art Resource, New York
(born AD 331/332, Constantinopledied June 26/27, 363, Ctesiphon, Mesopotamia) Roman emperor (361–363), noted scholar and military leader. The nephew of Constantine I, he was raised a Christian but converted to mystical paganism. As caesar (subemperor) in the west, he restored the Rhine frontier and was proclaimed Augustus (senior emperor) by his armies. Though Constantius II initially objected to Julian as his successor, he accepted him on his deathbed (361). As emperor Julian proclaimed freedom of worship for pagans and Christians in 361; he nevertheless promoted paganism over Christianity, against which he committed acts of violence and persecution. He introduced austerity to government, reducing imperial staff and overhauling imperial finances. To reassert Roman power in the east he attacked Persia; the effort failed, and he was killed in a retreat near Baghdad.
Variants of JULIAN
Julian or Julian the Apostate Latin Julianus Apostata orig. Flavius Claudius Julianus
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Julian, visit Britannica.com.