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The deaths of the Emperor Julian on the testimonies of Christian and pagan writers from the IV century

Abstract

There are several themes which are about the life of the Emperor Julian, including several reports which have been produced about this death, and have called my attention. Writers from the Late Antiquity, Christian or non-Christian, provided versions of such an event. Among the Christian writers, I highlight the deacon Ephraim of Nísibis (Syria) and the bishop Gregory of Nazianzo (Capadocia/Turkey). In relation to the pagan writers, I highlight the sophist Libanius and the military Ammianus Marcellinus. The four writers wrote important reports about the death of the Emperor in a time span from 363 a.C. to 392 a.C. However their reports on Julian's death are different according to their intentions and their contexts. For that reason Julian has several deaths. Thus, I aim to analyze the Julian deaths described by the four writers. The Christian speeches prepare a negative memory of the Emperor, while the pagan testimonies create a virtuous memory about such a character. Thus, we hypothesize that the several versions of Julian's death are related to events which permeate the moments of the writing of the death narratives, thus the writers get Julian's living memory through several reports about the funeral event. (AU)

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