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Julian Theurgistes And The Rain Miracle

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Chapter Summary

The most interesting and debated events of Marcus Aurelius' Marcomannic wars were the lightning and rain miracles. As far as ancient sources tell, Julian was the most famous and celebrated Chaldean in late antiquity. The Oracula Chaldaea are attributed to him, a work that was, according to tradition, dictated to him and his father by Hekate-Psyche and Apollo, i.e., it is a divinely given writing. This work, written in hexameter and dealing with cosmological topics rather than oracles, did not survive; only fragments preserved by Proclus and Damascius have been collected. Claudian chose Marcus Aurelius, the most popular emperor of late Antiquity, to compare with Honorius, the rain miracle entered his writing in reference to Marcus Aurelius. There is another written source for the use of magic: the altar of the Egyptian magus, Arnuphis in Aquileia. Therefore, the participation of Julian in the Marcomannic wars cannot be excluded.

Keywords: Claudian; Julian Theurgistes; late Antiquity; Marcomannic wars; Marcus Aurelius; rain miracle



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