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Avenging Julian. Violence against Christians during the Years 361–363

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Chapter Summary

Early in June 362 CE Julian and his army left Constantinople in order to travel eastwards in the direction of Antioch on the Orontes; in the Syrian capital Julian intended to prepare the expedition against the Persians which would end in disaster and cost him his life. Julian's letter to Hecebolius, who, was governor of the province of Osrhoene, opens with the words: 'I have behaved to all the Galilaeans with such kindness and benevolence that none of them has suffered violence anywhere or been dragged into a temple or threatened into anything else of the sort against his own will'. The riots in Alexandria which resulted in the death of George the Cappadocian were the first outburst of religious violence during the reign of Julian. It seems reasonable to assume that Julian's lukewarm reaction stimulated pagans to settle accounts with Christians more violently than their emperor deemed right.

Keywords: Alexandria; Ancient Christianity; Constantinople; Julian; Persians



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