Full Name: Flavius Claudius Julianus
Parents: Julius Constantius and Basilina
Date of Birth: circa 331
Royal House: Constantine
Spouse: Helena, daughter of Constantine I, emperor of Rome, and Fausta
Predecessor: Constantius II
Reign: 360 – 363
Summary: The son of a junior scion of the House of Constantine, both his parents converted to Christianity when Constantine proclaimed it as his favored religion. When Constantine died, Constantius II massacred many surviving members of the family, leaving only Julian and his half-brother, Gallus, alive from among their branch. During his youth, Julian was under constant guard and given a Christian education. He was largely raised by his maternal grandmother and educated by Eusebius, an Arian Christian bishop of Nicomedia. For the final years of his youth, he was educated by bBshop George of Csappodocia, who finally taught him the pre-Christian classics. When Julian became 18, he was allowed to live in Constantinople. From his education, he became a strong Christian leader and wrote strongly of the religion. For around five years, Julian toured around Greece learning the classics while lecturing on Christianity. In 351, Julian's brother, Gallus, became the caesar of the East. He was executed three years later after a short terrible reign. After his brother's death, Julian was imprisoned for a year under the fear that he was involved in his brother's intrigues. In 355, Julian was cleared of all charges and made caesar of the West to resolve problems in Gaul. During his stay there, Julian learned how to lead and run an army and led numerous campaigns against the Germans. After his campaigns, he began to rule Gaul directly, using his knowledge of Greek civil codes to run Germanic tribal cities. In the east, the Sassanid Empire has invaded Mesopotamia forcing Emperor Constantius II to demand troops be sent to the east. The troops in Gaul rebelled against their order and proclaimed Julian augustus, despite Julian's personal desire to remain a simple administrator. By November 360, Julian had accepted his bestowed title after numerous victories against the Franks. After a year campaign and the separate death of Consantius in 361, Julian was the uncontested Roman Emperor.
By the time Julian entered Constantinople, he had denied Christianity and become commonly known as "the Apostate," sticking to Greek pantheism. He still gave his cousin a Christian burial and placed him alongside Constantine the Great. Skipping his own dynasty's traditions, Julian harkened back to the era of Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius two hundred years prior, attempting to establish an older bureaucratic system that had been lost in the third century. He emptied the royal palaces and cleaned out the government. He removed and executed officials who had been too close to his immediate predecessors. Most importantly, Julian gave increased power to the cities to regulate their own local affairs, removing some of the responsibilities from the Senate. With the government in order, Julian travelled to Antioch to personally clean up the city that served as one of the most important trading centers in the world. To solidify his rule in the east, Julian set out on a campaign to invade Sassanid Persia. He marched his army all the way to Ctesiphon, the Sassanid capital along the Tigris River. The Roman army was quickly surrounded after first defeating the Persians at the Battle of Ctesiphon. Julian was forced to retreat and at the Battle of Samarra was wounded when Persian soldiers raided his camp. Three days later, Julian died from a major hemorrhage. A Roman commander, Jovian, was appointed the new emperor by the army.
Date of Death: 26 June 363
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