The Roman emperor Julian, wary of the encroaching borders of the Persians, undertook a military campaign against the Persian Empire in March of A.D. 363. Despite some initial successes, the operation resulted in a defeat for Roman arms and Julian’s own death in battle. Yet the field of conflict yielded more than just a litany of forgotten sieges and dusty marches. The emperor had occasion to deliver two masterpieces of rhetoric, expressive of some of the noblest, and most memorable, sentiments ever uttered by a wearer of the imperial purple. We will review both of them here.Continue reading
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