Julian: A Novel

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Vintage International, 2003 - Fiction - 503 pages
10 Reviews
The remarkable bestseller about the fourth-century Roman emperor who famously tried to halt the spread of Christianity, Julian is widely regarded as one of Gore Vidal’s finest historical novels.

Julian the Apostate, nephew of Constantine the Great, was one of the brightest yet briefest lights in the history of the Roman Empire. A military genius on the level of Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great, a graceful and persuasive essayist, and a philosopher devoted to worshipping the gods of Hellenism, he became embroiled in a fierce intellectual war with Christianity that provoked his murder at the age of thirty-two, only four years into his brilliantly humane and compassionate reign. A marvelously imaginative and insightful novel of classical antiquity, Julian captures the religious and political ferment of a desperate age and restores with blazing wit and vigor the legacy of an impassioned ruler.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dbsovereign - LibraryThing

Vidal's goodbye to paganism. He has always loved Rome, and I think this book allowed him to justify spending so much time there (doing research). One finds oneself wondering what would have happened if Christianity had not taken things over. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - antiquary - LibraryThing

The only one of Vidal's books I really like. On the whole sympathetic but detached account of Julian the Apostate told as his own account with comments by two pagan philosopher friends after his death. He comes across as well-intentioned but na´ve. Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Gore Vidal was born in 1925 at the United States Military Academy at West Point. His first novel, Williwaw, written when he was nineteen years old and serving in the Army, appeared in the spring of 1946. Since then he has written twenty-three novels, five plays, many screenplays, short stories, well over two hundred essays, and a memoir.

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