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Julian or Julian the Apostate Latin
Julianus Apostata originally Flavius Claudius Julianus (born AD 331/332,
Constantinople died June 26/27, 363,
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 Ctesiphon.
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