Julian, Orations 1-5

LCL 13: xii-xiii

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Julian had in mind. Another sophistic element in his style is the use of commonplaces, literary allusions that had passed into the sophistic language and can be found in all the writers of reminiscence Greek in his day. He himself derides this practice1 but he cannot resist dragging in the well-worn references to Cyrus, Darius, and Alexander, to the nepenthe poured out by Helen in the Odyssey, to the defiance of nature by Xerxes, or the refusal of Socrates to admit the happiness of the Great King. Julian wished to make Neo-Platonism the philosophy of his revived Hellenism, but he belonged to the younger or Syrian branch of the school, of which Iamblichus was the real founder, and he only once mentions Plotinus. Iamblichus he ranked with Plato and paid him a fanatical devotion. His philosophical writing, especially in the two prose Hymns, is obscure, partly because his theories are only vaguely realised, partly because he reproduces the obscurity of his model, Iamblichus. In satire and narrative he can be clear and straightforward.

  • 1236 A.


The Vossianus (V), Leyden, 13th or 14th cent, (contains also the Letters of Libanius), is the only reliable MS. of Julian, and was once complete except for a few Letters. Where pages are lost from V a group of inferior MSS. are used, Marcianus 366 (M), 251 (Mb), both 15th cent., five Monacenses (at Munich), and several Parisini (at Paris). Cobet’s contributions to the text are in Mnemosyne 8, 9, 10 (old series 1859–1861) and 10, 11 (new series 1882–1883). A. Papadoulos Kerameus published in Rheinisches Museum, 1887, six new Letters discovered on the island of Chalcis.


Misopogon and Letters (with Latin version) Martin, Paris, 1566. Martin and Cantoclarus, Paris, 1583. Petau (Petavius) Paris, 1630. Spanheim, Leipzig, 1696. Oration I, Schaefer, Leipzig, 1802 (with Latin version and Wyttenbach’s Critical Epistle to Ruhnken). Hertlein, Leipzig (Teubner), 1875–1876.1 Against the Christians, Neumann, Leipzig, 1880. Letters: Heyler, Mainz, 1828. Westermann, Leipzig, 1854.


La Vie de l’Empereur Julien, Abbé de la Bleterie, Paris, 1735. Strauss, Der Romantiker auf dem Throne der Caesaren, Mannheim, 1847. Mücke Julian’s Leben und Schriften, Gotha, 1868. Naville, Julien l’Apostat, Neufchâtel, 1877. Schwartz, De vita et scriptis Juliani, Bonn, 1888. Gildersleeve Julian in Essays and Studies, Baltimore, 1890. Gardner, Julian, New York, 1895. France (W. C. Wright), Julian’s Relation to Neo-Platonism