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
The Travels Of John Bell In Persia and China
John Bell was born in 1690 in Antermony, Scotland. He seems to have decided at an early age to study medicine, but was lured into the world of adventure and travel by hearing stories of Peter the Great of Russia, who was a famous figure in Europe in the early eighteenth century. He resolved to visit Russia for himself, and set out to St. Petersburg in July 1714. The czar was preparing a delegation under the command of Aremy Petrovich Valenskyto travel to Persia; and Bell, with his medical background, volunteered to join the party as an attendant.
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