The Personality of Julian the Apostate

Julian Statue by Tataryn77

Julian built a solid foundation for the successes he had as Caesar. It was not by sheer luck that he managed to beat back the barbarians in Gaul. But to understand the reasons for his success, we have to look at the habits of the man. How did he live? How did he use his newfound power? How did he use his time? Not only do these questions reveal the reasons for his success, they also reveal personality of the man.
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Why Constantius II Executed Gallus

When Constantius II ordered the massacre of 337, he spared Constantius Gallus and his younger brother Julian due to their young age. For the next ten odd years, he kept his cousins under close guard, allowing them only to study. But in 351, Constantius summoned Gallus to see him. He was about to march west to crush the rebel Magnentius, who had usurped the throne. Since Constantius could not leave the east undefended against the Persians, he chose to make Gallus Caesar of the East. What Constantius did not expect was the need to remove Gallus a few years later. Find out why Constantius had to execute Gallus.
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How Barbarians Forced a Scholar to be a Caesar

Nobody expected Julian to do well as Caesar. All his life he had been nothing more than a scholar and a bookworm. What did he know about waging war or running an empire? With this in mind, the emperor Constantius II made sure that Julian’s chief officials reported to him. Although this curtailed Julian’s powers, it was better than losing the western empire. But all this caution was for naught. In the end, Julian proved his worth as a Caesar within a year of his ascension. Find out how he did so.
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How a scholar became Caesar

Flavius Claudius Julianus, known to posterity as Julian the Apostate was the sole emperor of the Roman Empire from 361-363. During his reign, he tried to revive the old pagan practices in place of Christianity. His pagan beliefs and actions earned him his famous nickname. But Julian did not seek the throne. Constantius II forced it on him. All Julian wanted to do was to study. Read on to find out the chain of events that led him to become Caesar.
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Dissension Amongst the Sons of Constantine

Constantine the Great preached and worked for unity throughout his entire life. Ironically, when he died, there was to be no unity in the empire. Not only did the church remain divided, even his sons could not stop fighting amongst themselves. The fighting led to instability and chaos at a time when external threats assailed the empire. Read on to find out who emerged victorious and how he did it.
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Impact of Justinian’s War on Italy

Justinian invaded Italy because he saw a chance to unite the East and the West under his rule. The riches of Italy would also make a welcome addition to his empire. But what was supposed to be an easy victory, turned into a long drawn out war that lasted decades. By the time he managed to conquer Italy in the 550s, it was a mere shadow of its former self. Read on to learn the impact of Justinian’s war on Italy.
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How Narses Conquered Italy

Narses was the most powerful eunuch during the reign of Justinian. An influential and popular figure at the court, he enjoyed the favour and the friendship of both the emperor and the empress. In turn, he also gave them his complete loyalty. But when Justinian gave him the task of conquering Italy, Narses was well over seventy. He also had very little experience in conducting a battle, let alone a whole campaign. How then could this frail old eunuch conquer Italy?
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The Mixed Legacy of Procopius

One of the most interesting characters of the Age of Justinian was the historian Procopius. We owe him a great debt for recording the events that happened during his time. The first of his writings is the Wars of Justinian and the second is the Buildings of Justinian. But this is not the entire legacy that Procopius left us. He is also famous for his Secret History which portrays the characters of the age in a vastly different and negative light. Who exactly is this man whose words we depend on to shed light on his era? Read on to find out.
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How Theodora Destroyed John the Cappadocian

It was common knowledge that the empress Theodora was powerful as she was ruthless. Those who dared to cross her met with sorry ends. But despite being aware of her fearsome reputation, John the Cappadocian foolishly pitted himself against her to obtain the throne. In doing so, he underestimated her and overestimated his own ability. That was the last fatal mistake he would make. For the rest of her life, Theodora did all she could to destroy him. Read on to find out what she did.
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How John the Cappadocian Became Theodora’s Enemy

The most universally hated man in the Byzantine Empire of his day was the loathsome John the Cappadocian. As the empire’s premier tax collector, he was brutal, efficient and merciless. In private, he led a depraved and shocking lifestyle that made him even more repulsive. But there were two reasons he remained in power for so long. Firstly, Justinian valued his ability highly. Secondly, John was not yet an enemy of Theodora. Everything changed when John became Theodora’s enemy. Find out what insane reason led him to do so.
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