Topics in Ancient History: History and Historiography - Emperor Julian, aka the Apostate

History 280A.001

Fall 2008
2231 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
Thurs 12-2

Literary engagement with emperor Julian, by historians as well as other writers, began the moment Julian became sole ruler in 361 and it has continued without interruption until today. Among the reasons for this continuous and vigorously conducted engagement with this emperor are the fact that he encapsulates many of the changes then affecting the Roman empire as a whole: military engagements on the Western as well as Eastern frontier, financial reforms, shifts in urban administration and the transfer of religious affiliation from one set of gods to another God.

This course will focus on crucial turning points in the historiographic ";estimation"; of Julian, primarily in the West (his Byzantine reception remains severely understudied!), beginning with Lorenzo de'Medici. We will then focus on his own literary legacy and that of his direct contemporaries in order to gain insights into the emperor and his role as seen by these late Roman contemporaries.

Assignments are in-class presentations and a substantial research paper.


Also listed as 285A