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The Romanization Of Julian

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Chapter Summary

Julian the Apostate was viewed by some as a hero, by others as a devil, because of his return to paganism and his carefully considered attempt not only to put a stop to the expansion of Christendom but also to make sure that the pagan tradition as he saw it would triumph. This chapter discusses the image of Julian by comparing the picture painted by Ammianus Marcellinus with that in other sources and with Julian's own writings. It examines how Ammianus tries to persuade his readers to form the same favourable opinion towards Julian. Next to the show of impartiality and this indirect glorification by vilifying contrasting characters, both aimed at winning the Roman public over to Ammianus' opinion of Julian, there occurs in some passages a process, which the author calls as the 'romanization' of Julian. The chapter gives two examples of this process.

Keywords: Ammianus Marcellinus; Julian the Apostate; pagan tradition; Romanization

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