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Julianus Apostata

Bust of Julian, from Athens. National Archaeological Museum, Athens (Greece). Photo Jona Lendering.
Bust of Julian, from Athens (National Archaeological Museum, Athens)
Julianus Apostata: emperor of the Roman world (361-363).


  • May 331: Flavius Julianus 
  • 6 November 355: Flavius Julianus Caesar 
  • February 360: Flavius Claudius Julianus Augustus 
  • 26 June 363: killed in action
nickname: Apostata ("the apostate")

Successor of: Constantius II


  • father: Julius Constantius
  • mother: Basilina
  • wife: Helena
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Bust of a priest of Serapis, long time believed to be a portrait of Julian the Apostate. Musée de Cluny, Paris (France). Photo Jona Lendering.
Bust of a priest of Serapis, long time believed to be a portrait of Julian the Apostate (Musée de Cluny, Paris)

Main deeds:
  • Youth spent in Macellum (Cappadocia)
  • 349 To Constantinople; later studies in Nicomedia with Libanius, in Pergamon, Ephesus
  • 355, Spring: Studies in Athens
  • 355, 6 November: Julianus appointed as caesar
  • 356 Consul (with Constantius II consul VIII); Julian liberates Cologne; war against the Alamans
  • 357 Consul II (with Constantius II consul IX); Constantius' state visit to Rome; Julian defeats the Alamans near Argentoratum and campaigns beyond the Rhine
  • 358 Constantius successfully campaigns against the Sarmatians, Quadi, and Limigantes; Barbatio repels an attack of the Juthungi on Raetia; Julian attacks the Franks along the Meuse
  • 359 Julian again across the Rhine; fall of Barbatio; Constantius' second campaign against the Limigantes; the Sasanian king Shapur II captures Amida; Constantius to the east; treason trials
  • 360 Consul III (with Constantius II consul X); Julian proclaimed emperor in Lutetia, attacks the Franks, visits Vienne, accepts the titles Germanicus maximus, Alamannicus maximus, Francicus maximus, and Sarmaticus maximus
  • 361 Constantius in Mesopotamia, prepares war against Julian; dies during his march to the west; Julian sole ruler; enters Constantinople, confesses his pagan beliefs; First Edict of Religious Tolerance; publishes his Hymn to Helios, Hymn to the Mother of the gods, Against the Galileans, Caesares
  • 362 Julian to Antioch; publishes Misopogon
  • 362, 17 June: Edict on Teaching (against the Christians)
  • 363 Consul IV (with Flavius Sallustius); leaves Alexandria to fight against the Persians; invades Mesopotamia, reaches Ctesiphon,
  • 363, 26 June: defeated and killed

Shapur's victory relief at Taq-e Bostan. Photo Marco Prins.
Shapur's victory relief at Taq-e Bostan

With the death of Julian, the dynasty founded by Constantius I Chlorus came to an end.

Buildings: Ankara, Column of Julian

Contemporary events:

  • 361 Bishops Georgios returns to Alexandria, where he is lynched
  • 362 Athanasius returns to Alexandria, and forced to flee; fire in the temple of Apollo in Daphne (near Antioch); martyrdom of Dorotheus of Tyre; persecution of Christians in Baalbek
  • 363 Attempt to rebuild the Jewish temple of Jerusalem; fire in the temple of Apollo on the Palatine
Succeeded by: Jovian

This brief article has been written to offer background information
to the real articles on Livius.Org. One day, this webpage will be
improved. A list of completed articles can be found here.

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