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Julian's "Consolation to Himself on the Departure of the Excellent Salutius": Rhetoric and philosophy in the Fourth Century

Lossl, Josef 2012. Julian's "Consolation to Himself on the Departure of the Excellent Salutius": Rhetoric and philosophy in the Fourth Century. In: Baker-Brian, Nicholas and Tougher, Shaun eds. Emperor and Author. The Writings of Julian the Apostate, Swansea: The Classical Press of Wales, pp. 61-74.

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Abstract

Sometime in 359 Julian the Apostate, who was going to be sole Roman Emperor from 361 to 363, but was then still "Caesar" in Gaul under Constantius II., wrote a consolation to himself on the departure of his close friend and advisor Salutius, who had been his "quaestor sacri palatii" or minister of justice since 355, but had (apparently suddenly and unexpectedly) been called back to Constantinople by the Emperor Constantius II. The work displays some typical features of an ancient consolation. Julian expresses his grief over Salutius's departure but also touches upon more general topics such as the nature of friendship, grieving, death and the nature of God. The present chapter asks in what sense Julian's work can be seen as a "typical" "consolation" in the context of the ancient consolatory genre as a whole. It also touches upon prosopographical questions regarding the addressee, explores the question of possible sources (including, for example, Cicero, who also wrote a consolation to himself and whose work "Laelius", "On Friendship", shares topics with Julian's work), and, finally, throws a brief glance on Julian's theological inclination. It concludes that while a theological interest is palpable in Julian's writing, it is difficult to identify in it any bias (e. g. pro- or anti-Christian), given the Classicizing nature of the work. Rather, what can be said is that the "consolation" can lay equal claim to being a work of rhetoric and of philosophy, a key text for understanding Julian's early career, and important for understanding the intellectual culture of the fourth century CE.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
D History General and Old World > DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
P Language and Literature > PA Classical philology
Publisher: The Classical Press of Wales
ISBN: 9781905125500
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2017 11:25
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/104198

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