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Selected Works Vol 1. The Julianic Orations. (Loeb Classical Library): v. 1 Hardcover – 1 Jul 1989


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Selected Works Vol 1. The Julianic Orations. (Loeb Classical Library): v. 1 + Autobiography and Selected Letters: v. 1 (Loeb Classical Library)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Libanius: In Praise of Julian 2 Feb 2006
By Johannes Platonicus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Libanius of Antioch was one of the most industrious and voluminous writers of all antiquity (AD 314-393). His contemporaries hailed him as the finest of orators and rhetoricians, while the philosophical inner-circles of the Greek East found in him a learned sophist to whom they consulted for insights into the higher meaning of Hesiod and Homer. Libanius may be compared to one of his correspondents, the famous golden-mouthed orator Quintus Aurelius Symmachus, who is also well-known, like Libanius, for his rhetoric and assiduous traditional pagan values. Furthermore, Libanius was respected and admired by Hellenists and Christians alike [despite religious disparity], while at times his pen spilled out diplomatic ink in addresses to dignitaries like Sapor, the warrior-king of the new-born Persian Empire. Libanius was proud of his Hellenism and sought by all means to support the emperor Julian in his pagan revival; and he zealously persisted in this campaign even in the wake of the reign of the religious autocrat, Theodosius the Great's, whose laws directed against pagan syncretic religion dealt it devistating blows. This volume then concerns itself solely with Julian, his hardships growing up, his exploits in war, his rise to the purple, his virtues, his religion, his short-lived reformed regime and his sudden death. All the Orations selected here, of course, speak on Julian's behalf; and they are bedecked with sincere words poured out from a personal friend of Julian, who shared with him a common spirit for Greek letters and the mystic rites of ancient Greece. With this said, this volume will be very useful--and even indispensable--to students of the era. Even though this is just one of the many by-partisan accounts of Julian's life, there is something unique about Libanius' connection to Julian. A must have for lovers of Late Rome.
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