Julian the Apostate  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Flavius Claudius Julianus, known also as Julian or Julian the Apostate (331/332 – 26 June 363), was Roman Emperor (Caesar, November 355 to February 360; Augustus, February 360 to June 363) of the Constantinian dynasty. He was the last non-Christian Roman Emperor, and expended much energy during his reign attempting to supplant the growing power of Christianity within the empire with officially revived traditional Roman religious practices.

He is sometimes termed Julian the Apostate, because of his rejection of Christianity in favour of neoplatonic paganism; Edward Gibbon wrote:

The triumph of the party which he deserted and opposed has fixed a stain of infamy on the name of Julian; and the unsuccessful apostate has been overwhelmed with a torrent of pious invectives, of which the signal was given by the sonorous trumpet of Gregory Nazianzen.

In 363, Julian began a campaign against the Sassanid Empire. He died later that year from a wound received during a retreat during the campaign.

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