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Ammianus Marcellinus’ Judgement Of Julian’s Piety

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Chapter Summary

Around the spring equinox of 362, while he was residing at Constantinople, the emperor Julian wrote a theological treatise in honour of the Mother of the gods. The most remarkable term in Ammianus' verdict on Julian's religiosity is superstitiosus, which expresses deviation from the standards of correct religion. The critical surveys presented by the respective authors are very helpful for anyone trying to come to terms with the function(s) of the terms in a certain period. This chapter concentrates on those aspects of their history before Ammianus Marcellinus that are directly relevant for the historian's use of them. The contemporary historian Ammianus Marcellinus, a pagan himself and an admirer of the neo-pagan emperor, looked at the evidence on what was characteristic of Julian's religious conduct, and he concluded to a scathing judgment: superstitiosus.

Keywords: Ammianus Marcellinus; Constantinople; Julian; pagan; superstitiosus



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