Você está na página 1de 19

VI ll



The Emperor Julian and His Art o{ Writing.

. . . For one must not
speak of the ineffable. Julian (2184)

When on the cage of an elephant you see the inscription "bufralo," don't believe your eyes.
Kouzma Proutkov


on the other hand, literary camoufage could serve to form an elite; writing was supposed to be able to inform those exceptional men who were capable of grasping the camouflaged doctrine which shocks prejudice, at the same time conffrming average readers in their tradiiional
ignorance, sometimes called learned and always supposed salutary. Thus
* Translated by James H. Nichols, Jr. 95

ends, which could, nouetheless, be combined. On the one hand, thought could be camouflaged to escape persecution resulting from intolerance, which arises necessarily as much from knowledge that is rightly shielded from doubt as from any opinion that is wrongly shieldeJ from doubt.

In fact, the old art of writing rediscovered by Leo Strauss consisted in writing almost the opposite of what one thought, in order to camouflage what one said. This literary camouflage had two clearly distinct

what has tended to be too easily forgotten since the nineteenth centurythat one ought not to take literally everything that the great authors of earlier times wrote, nor to believe that they made explicit in their writings all that they wanted to say in them.

In a book on the art of writing which has been justly noted because it is truly noteworthy, Leo strauss has reminded us of



(ueqsrrq3 se ue8ed eql) Jeraue8-oi dEolorql",i, *r1r* ,q..r"f11 "fi,:?TXxI l, -{:_p_,r, y-n:q orp uaa^\leq 'tIcFI,rr ur ,('c.v Ugg raquacrql i:oWH^?:Zug ,asrnocsip ,rq N.IJBS aues aql o1 Buqecrpapiil qlllp q1-"lo{"q dproqs slqrlrrruor, 'ueur.,!\ o^eq sJJBcer oH aq r,qi JII,'\ l1r-ry1qi rc" pu, s{uql eq r,qr lou [mr eq q]roJacurq trqi ,s1urq s1q ,:aop IJB o}F^t E ra[ro srq r, 11n^ ,, lr.,nrs ,rrll ,irffi;rl;i"lHloo*:;"rT:J qcFlra Burlu,u Jo +re lualcue rrql quoJacusr{ m,!\ oo1 ueunf "rrirrlnc 'suogurdo sJq Bu,uuqc xqrrrqi riioqll^ :trql.n".rr,rpr.oT,r, sllal
eBeueur pq, x1",.1 :ryffi i: ffiili::r,#"H -T.il,,1"Hf:; *:t :l .1urql

ruslcJlsd.., cJuol,Id_o-aN peflec_os


1ou;J ol] sn urorJ xrnrr J1r1 legl .rr" ou ,treql .ecuig i..,. se uBql raqlo rapuolll o] "uo puB {uql ol eur Joduoc pue .oo1 .aEr urorr
uo Ir B rc

,qr, ,


if ffl#?f Tl1#ffj^-"Ii1"",f,#:{;;:;;;i'#"T'i,'ffi
os* ,,",,o.i *o.l;

o*d;, ;:Y J#T,fi*, ffi T',, r"ilIJ,;

.-"_::, se.n (.a.v Burrds) J, glg plapy itg lo irnlredep aql Jo uorsBcco aql uo JJosurq o1 ,rrrrrpp, ueJpf qcqrlt uoltr4osuoC

l:: uallnrt


rqdoso pqd





:*,i, ;fij*iJf;H:

t{,,n{ Jlasu,rq 1; 3u1sn uorJ palue^rr. tr,::--{qeraql r""Or^'t1?1HJTj lpado uec *-^q1^1, leeds *"qr ,^"qrlarylr .oslv 'tr Jo pIBs p"q rossecp_1a "*qi iJ,"iE, eql r"s1., qq irq^ a"1^oo1li,ft;"ip"aredde surrel lecJluapr lsorule uJ ua:1ods ,rU ,rr..1g oaT qcJq \ yo ..Bu4u.tr yo ug, l,ql ol lpJclldxe pa,,e,,r ,rru.f .suos,ar^J,uoqrppB o.r\l ro; Bu.4sa -ra1ur llrupcr]:ud ere *r-.p1 ,or"A*g ,B,.rrp.,lr cJqdosopld eqg .awp srq_Jo "qr 5o peeqe ,o_p1lq"q s,^r


Ti:y*-1"'u't luauraldruoc e su sarrnbar llalnlosqe Bun*.n Jo

eq ni*rrq euo -caJaul ue q'noqle .roradura-cr1.rrql., e^n ur_or1, 1nq raqdosoprd ue lluo lou sr uorlsa* luelcue roqtn, ,o5 .*rq ;o lqlrom ,rqi"J",i;rlJ i, s8upJr,n arp "q*o1 iT Jo soulJ eq] ,rnn,rolJq prri j." ur Burl4 dq rolq rouorl o] elqe aq rqSJu rJBl-:I] dB , sr leql puv .ssne4s oeT I 'o, eql dq puE ur qloq xlulqelrrirr, Jo s3uq,.r, 'f,"ro,rn, ueaq s,q .aur4 auros ro; pe1ca18eu alrnb 'seur Lq, ,rn^rnq Bulpear Jo uB uu ilB srql ,1.,nn" dr, ,r1


3ururcr1 Jo

-,tnapualua uocl ? Burdes eqr lq qcue.rd ul.pesserdxa epnlnlu agr Burumss" roqrnu x1""'g u{e1d iir'",] *:;K; 3^111-^1ryrr*'x,i 3uJ1Jur, Jo ue srql .lseaJ, lou 1r,q lrra-.irpee-r "rl, s,^r eqr lupads llrceBus :uoJ1".,ry eql p"gaoaupJa xi-rp,ror* B p,r{ Jo a'egnouruc






The Emperor lulian and His Art of

Writing ll


which Julian attacks the monks, too, while feigning to criticize only the neoCynics of his time and, further, opposing them to Antisthenes and Diogenes, whom he admires), it is said in passing: 'As for me, with respect to the gods, . . . I wish to say only the pious things" ( 187" ). Several months previously, the Emperor had spoken in great detail about many pagan divinities in his discourse, On the Mother of the Goils (inspired in part by Lucian's Syrian Goddess). Several months later he availed himself of another opportunity in the discourse, On Ki.ng Heli.os, which is an intentional parody of the writings of Iamblichus. It is clear that Julian did not really believe what he had written about the gods in these two discourses and that he kept sileut as to what he truly thought of the gods. Yet nothing, it seems, prevented him from developing therein whatever theological conceptions he had, if any, concerning pagan theology. Moreover, nothing permits us to suppose that his reason for concealing what he thought of the pagan gods was that he had remained a true Christian after his official apostasy. We are thus forced to admit that, in indicating that he kept his true thoughts about any divinities to himself, Julian wished to indicate that in his opinion there were none. This radical, but silent or camoufage, atheism is also suggested by the fact that, in his two ostensibly religious and "mystic" discourses, the Emperor reproduces the themes of the pagan theology of his time (assimilable, in his view, to those of Christian theology) only insofar as those themes have in his opinion a particularly inept and ridiculous character, which he takes pains to emphasize discreetly by accentuating it. After recoguizing that, on becoming Emperor, the philosopher Julian eeases to say all that he thiuks and even to think all that he says, one must ask the reason for this camouflage. Now, in his discourse, fn Response to the Cgnic Heracleios (Heracleios in fact designating not only a neo-Cynic philosopher, but also a Christian bishop or theologian), the Emperor recalls that in every age orators and writers with philoscphic leanings camoufaged their thoughts for fear of reprisal: "[The poet who uses a eertain kind of myth] wishes to exhort and instruct but in a concealed way. He does this in the case rfiere he is afraid to speak clearly because he is anxious about being hated by the audience. This is how Hesiod too evidently wrote" (2A7*b), Perhaps-but of whom and of what could a Roman Emperor be afraid? Ju1ian evidently could not fear persecution by the dying paganism of his time. On the contrary, he could see that it was impossible in that age to dethrone the pagan gods without enthroning in their place the Christian divinity, whose adepts would have persecuted the atheist Emperor more eflectively than pagans could have.2 In the ffnal analysis, then, it was for fear of the hatred of his

In the &scourse, To the Uneducated" Dogs (or Cynics), (in

ruslaqle crqdosoJrud sFI r,oq $Foi!' slrl uJ oSBBno.,Bc ol usrJnr peldruord 'sanlncglo. puosrad-rd l{rr,J^ 'raloarotr{ .tDtzp y{, :rriiir,}i*r, sFIr sr }r l:". ,oj .urrur8edJ5rolsar .iljpr*rq .uoslDt, peto^ep eq 'roredurg su pirl-.uaq o* prjlro ,Ji.u:yl adurg iql ,rry, oq e^eraq ol .rJqdoiorqd lqano ,ou ,*"[, jqrt o, eJqe B. lil eq ol ueril rareq B1U1o" eq :r _iis 1i pnlre,u nq'p,rr^.rrlrerrur pesoddr, !q, ot pre3er rrlp'' ..su,lrolsnr +so., Suoure luauraarSe r,iij" I""".i,lrdrp, uI ..seJ1.rc aqt, Jo adnp eql ,(erlr Jo srolr,ru ou uJ sel\ uennf .pnlcalJolul uB sy


e'(q*I9I) [elqept]

punos Eulqlou

r rns ry {, q"- ffi;il':,11,:[;i",Ti,:T,l_T::1,:,#,Il IiilLTi:l'3:;f :j,lTII,,::;il:{X,:1i,.".u,,^,1,.,1,n1f }.,,.s11eq,1


r;['JJl'"rl,T:H;J:::lj:: il*;:",r .,.et,o,,r rrr,



oos lnq,uep EulcraJd e .onr1 ur.,,q, n,o*',",,p aq, ur




p ue pjre,,r od -"U ;[:fr :1, -roto.mJ stl esnBca_{-po, lJ ;&1i,i:i_i::;,,:?.,H1il* ,.rrrri*iu ,ro*rq ,pi1q"h'"rii**.r""q ,rq esn,req 'pror aq .;;Fq;"Ii^r_ ,,-l.ri.:::f1r"";" ,, _ ,l,luorosqJJros a,411s ", "tqp"rr.i, ruoes JJL!\ lrols sJtp q8norllJv

ou ur pue ,ueur ureliaa

'spoc eql Jo reqlo/fqr eql Jo JB^FIB aql uodn rlpasoddns lBql elc-?j.r:Jo lopr :"i*,oir, rqi^xpop1,o* prlrtnr.aur^Bq raUB 'luql prdreluJ lsnru lr,ilirues eruus eqr uJ ssepqnop ",ro
lce3r aq1



-atuells Burqlou iT',"',ll,ff T'd',r"J; nue ,, ,poa ,ql -Pour puu ,p;qnroq .e1ere l3it.isia sB eq qceeds p*r'tr,rr.,'b "r'*rrrur"rdde plrpr. lresseceu eql lBrR arec"L1rIi e1r1 jsnu, ,^'ra.rr,i1uJ^rp lou op


"ili"r, nrr* n[-,r",Lt\

'eldurexa roJ-suors?cco

uo sqt

crqdos:1y1.:T d l"llXi:l ^,,,fT:,',::Jil:i,,rffi fiil:Ti#*# Jlf,;:.,,,-' u, i..o,,',i'*,qa-q, l,prnr^ i1Jny11p1s dq ,J.ilil,;.,.*'d;;',liJif #::,X-,ii[,:;l,U*,,'#tiifts


lr:r"-^", l::y"p*n "* ,r,rff;r}r"r:rqil ;itii;;::,?li,-1,,;:i#;;:l*;r;i;::r:ii;,":e;u*sernr,q, rql q"!q^ Jo .lr Europ ,o, ,uorr.a..o* y!': E dpelqnopun sB^\ ,Fjj*iru u {uo u aqr ul *, rsra' n-r # ;;; r* :::r:r"fi :lrrrTfff,, ffi?Trf Jo roJ ro3 ll lrq* ir-r.dd* nq' ,*pqr"'Joi" .rr,

lou sa^r

sr qcqm .alqe





The Emperor luli,an and His Art

otWriting ll


and the mockings of the unbelieving or skeptical intellectual that he was. No doubt, if Julian had wanted to be simply Emperor, he should and could have given up completely those mockings and stopped his subtle jesting. Having remained a philosopher, however, he could not abandon philosophic pedagogy; in addressing his writings only to a mature elite,

he took care that the tradition of what was for him the (discursive) truth should not be interrupted. The camouflaged mocking which escapes the vulgar permits the selection of strong minds who understand such ironies without being shocked by them, and who thus reveal that they are not so enslaved by prejudice as to be unapt to receive, perhaps with some benefit, a philosophic instruction which will itself be given them only between the lines for the same double reason of selection and

Now, this is exactly what Julian himself tells us on occasion. Thus, in the discourse, On King Helio's (in which Helios is at the same time the pagan divinity which the author exalts as Emperor, but which he derides as intellectual, and the symbol of the nous to which he appeals as philosopher), Julian speaks explicitly of his pedagogic vocation: "May the greata Helios [reason] grant that I no lesss know about him and that I teach everyone generally (xowff), but those worthy of learning particularly (;8is)" (fS7u;. Here, the appeal to the philosophic elite and the exclusion of the mass of the profane are only indicated. Elsewhere, however, the author expresses himself in a more open fashion, as for example in the discourse, ln Response to the Cgni,c Heracl.eios, where he says: "For not everything ought to be said; and even of those things which it is lawful to say [to an elite], certain things, in my opinion, must be kept quiet before the many" (239-b). However, it must be done with art: the same camouflage which seryes to hide from the vulgar the true meaning of what is said must attract the attention of the chosen few and provoke philosophic refection in them. This is precisely what ]ulian himself tells us in his discourse, Onthe Mother of the Godst
The Ancients always looked for the causes of things; . , . and when they had found them, they protected them with paradoxical myths, so that by means of the paradox and incongruity the counterfeit character [of what is said to us] would be detected and would turn us to the search for the truth lwhich is hidden from us or which is indicated only by hints]. I suppose that for the ordinary men there is sufficient benefft in the irrational story which is transmitted uniquely by [generally strange and contradictory] symbols, whereas for t-hose who are exceptional in intelligence, the huth
about the gods can be beneffcial only on the condition that they search for, ffnd, and grasp it [themselves] under the direction of the gods [that is to say, here, of reason, truly of philosophy], reminded by the enigmatic allu-

cJuol,Jd dlpcpuaqln, u? pe/u'ollo; llsnoJcsuoc


.ue51nf 1oo

_orl^^ yo Surrrr,lr Jo u" IBcIuo.rI aql ul 1ueur"sr,*e crqdosopqd -lalu.r qcnur sI ereql 1eq1 .uello8roy


1rr,* l1

p", jrr"pq.,oq ir"A, Ienlcal

roradurg eql



lno 4eeds o1 auo lq8no- ,sdus ueJpf eraq,r :rbrb aW 'esrnocslo er11 Jo Buruul8aq erll ul or1, ,reraa,

pap+erd eq ol lou rqBno luqn 1.,oq, ,p1rra * rrr"6j"o par.Lr,c p"i fiLqr eq ol lou lq8no qcrqa^ s8urql apJsln-o drrec e,ra, p";' jua{ods aq ilri{, ol lou tqBno qcrqrr &qt ao sruIl e^r :ool sfiu5p aseq uo puu lo ,ur1ai1a al7 uO

"i**L "rpo'i, "*r, i"i^ t;; i





fqdosopqd ol u,rp esle Er4q{ue ol pelo^ap e"rour ,spurur pu, sr,e eroJeq releeq] aql le sB .[]spe rcu seop {1dtu;s er{ leq} Eugearrer -asnecoq dq] poE peleale.r ,{pred pue uepppl tpred eql quoj;"irq oi oqe sdeqred 1nq !s1ce; esJcerd nqr r.,oq, "p J d1du4s luerou8i [ps rue sdeqred-slql ge uo gesdur sserd*o o1 dsea "r"ir"'q .uoqe8psolur sJ lou_ 1ng Jo z( Rrozr sB^4, rJcJq^\ puB . . . .Eupla8aq , lser e.[l IIB Jo 1o.r*rr^ 1"ron, lol plrom e{r ..qr4q,, s*I Jo pue ...pFozr.r e1qr8g1e1ur, ,i'.irrq ,{r* .po8 "q, lueu8erd se/t4, oq '.raqle; sF! uotleirq*qoc sJq;o erll Ejr,lr Jo ..ecue$qnq, ^, eql;o z(pec4eur8rua Buqeeds tq eJo-qrea'eqt h ,A"iqi n.,q _rp,(ur iJ eql snseJ '[is]r,IC pue po8 Pore^oc ue8ed eq] ourp etues eq] le oreq sI oq 4,I snsduolg Jo ralce.rerlc euJ^lp eql elupJcnla oi pel,renn oq.& asoql .reAe.ro11


'asmocsrp ew q p,er e^\ r,g^{ sl -uoc tueql ele4suotuep o-l alqe aq o1 edoq ol se rueql urcuec os Jo lou a;e deql asneceq sdeqred-auryora nqr o1 iaualsdu AqA'1""1p a"q1 tuor; selurlrur eql slueaard ueryo-lerll (q8noue urea.peepul .riqrq^; dlrrpo* Jo uos leql Jo esnceq dlenba euop eABq lJ ol ,ur"al ei1 X8oAupaa cqdosopqd B ol ,l\erl E rlfr r osle $q<plflp_uoED,t. to| Jo real urorJ Xpo pu qq8noql srq pa8egnouec roradrug_r5qdoso11qd ,q, f"ft r ,r1 prr1, -repun ol lgun peuaap ara^4, orl r esor1+ IIB 3o aupuelsrnprri *ory 1da1 llalereqrJop ecuaq pue cruorr ta,roarou:".a.r1"-q "q1 ,(seap; cruol,ld-oeN .sreqlo ""rr4r', ,iql


Byotue) sBepr pe^lecar enbiluc ,rrrty * dpo au.r.qcop puosrad srq alecr.rrunuoc ol ;o " Jo reqdosopqd "ql pelue^\ uurmf eql dqm sI lBqJ '1r 10 elqudec_eq o1 sa^les.'eqr le^ar lqgl* oq.vr .esoql lpo 1nq 'asoqr ge lsenb clqdo*$d erp oparrnor.rr'-ol-*i{ ."*r,4a lou plp en8o8epad aql ueun{ ...cnercog,, pood , ,y

-mpul ol lrre


",t;3f:l JffJ ffiil,:'liij-,lJ'il,",,J


leql snql pue

ul u,qr eloru sraqlo ,,F r" .rJruums ":lTg: agl 01 '>1eeds o1 0s 'pue pue oql o] uonceHer por eqr uo sserBord Jo '1no rq8nos aq lsno, lrlr oraqr s"qr"*or rp n-q, *rq1 ,ro1,




,li; fl,

# ffi

The Emperor lulian and His Art of




tradition. After the example o{ the great Plato, Julian the philosopher jested a great deal, particularly about things which the common run of readers someUmes take tragically and always endow with a seriousness which they consider profound. But, like Plato himself, Julian made fun of these things at the same time being careful not to shock the profane, and he, like Plato, did it so as to stir his chosen few to the intellectual efiort, which is philosophic precisely insofar as it is deemed able to liberate from the prejudices 'bf the theatey'' and "of the forum" those who are capable of it, thus leading them to (discursive) wisdom-that is, to full satisfaction, perfectly conscious of itself.T

Many examples of the art of writing practiced by Julian could be given. For lack of spaee I shall content myself with a single example, which seems particularly convincing to me. It is concerned with what Julian thinks and says when he speaks, in his philosophic writings, of myths, both generally and particularly. julian speaks of myths in all his pieces of a philosophic character. But his discourse, ln Responss to the Cgni.c Heracleios, is devoted entirely to the problem'of myth in general and of theological myths, pagan as well as Christian, in particular (cf. 205b"). The philosopher-Emperor explicitly formulates his own point of view at the very outset of his analysis, which begins as follows: "To discover the point at which the invention of myths began, as well as the person of him who ffrst tried to relate false stories in a believable form for the profft or the diversion of his audience, is probably quite as impossible as to ffnd the ffrst man who sneezed or spat" (205"). Obviously, in deffning the myth as a false story told in a believable fashion, ]ulian consciously opposes the traditional deffnition, implicitly or explicitly admiued by all the theologians, including the Stoics. For these men, myths (or at least certain myths) are true stories which, however, present themselves in an unbelievable form, in the sense of being unlikely, or at least incomprehensible. The task of the pagan or Christian theologian, on that premise, consists in interpreting a myth so as to restate in likely and comprehensible (not to say reasonable or rational) speech the truth which the myth reveals (discursively). The truth of the myth is defined as a harmonizing of what the myth says with what it speaks about. Thus the truth of the myth is supposed to be the (discursive) revelation of a reality. More exactly, it is not the myth which reveals a reality. It is the reality, generally divine, which reveals itself in and through the myth. Thus, the theological myth is the unbelievable discursive form of a divine revelation, which reveals what is or really exists "outside of its discursive revelation and independently
of the mythical, that is, unbelievable form of the myth. This is the source of the possibility of interpreting the myth by rationalizing its (dis-

uJ sI 'SuIuEaIII .(..pellBxq, U 4aql eq ol ue{Bl ere qcfu J: lnq suols -sardxe IEqreA Jlaql ^,) Jo 1ou,ra1ceruq, frop;prrtuoc eql lq pazrrepereqc eru sqldur pcfoloaql 1uq1 a8essed eJqe{reuror syp uI lsrs elou ed\ JIasrI 1uq.* rq lpeu.oa ,o] pnrr.*,*!'6"13 -:8-r9).' 'I 1nq perreJ"i .r"q1'r, q"iq [..zQ1ear, e ol 1T:.:1-:i-pi:' i eprslno urorJ luJr{ luu peeu 1ou op [paurype eq ol ere:qa\] uoru:r1l n""r, .p.n InJesn e ]B surre uopclpe.quoc oql oreq/$' perJupe eg rs}ur Suiueaur nql-:o rercreqc rrolcrperluoc erp 'ssaleqgeuog.. . .ll1ue>1ods ere s8,rJql erliln.rnVldes o1 sr edll sltp reqrl ;o qceeds uJ punoJ eq lsntu ,{rolcrperluoc BuJtpou dqar s1 spIJ . . . .[1Jpnb petJexo dressecou eqt op lo1 {ceJ luorsserdxa nqi lrrr'o1l! }Eqll spro^\ eB ]BIn er,c a)pl ]sn*, .s'qtp n,rr,rrp ,[uorsse.rd 1.,oq, elF^4. a.&\ ueqn -xa eql pue Supeeur_]t[ 11\ xtetueu]-r1,rn*q" o^.q esaqr o1 pre8er r{lp,r.,no5 '[d"to1c1pe4uoc




suJeluoc pel.rrrrrd xln,rnrrnag leql lng . . . .onbrun_s1-Eupuetu eldurrs rql'. .1-ai"1,"ffi


ro po{exe eq oq, uec qcrq,nl qceeds roJ osl, en.q sr Surql eures aqg .Bup_eeur_Xrol"pe'a.ro,;q4l euo oql pue pellexa *B auo oql 'dleureu .ueql Wln Jo j^l io dpo inq,.sruroy lnad**nag1',"r"q, yo .1ueso; :Jo rou lso., roqrlau ;o leeds lsnur ;"J . n, .. 1 rnr, ,;".;n;"" 'cuoJarp o1 H "qr Slesrnod potdde eaeq no,( y no,( o1 u..l\omJun dleplduroo eq lou qcry,rt gaslr uJ sepeJrea duuur
sJ rIcJrI r


B ur osJe pelueserd eq ugc Sulueeru sF{l ^. lnq :perrdril sr Burueetu esmocsrp z(reae 'fleleredes u1 "F;;# .slueueJe q"r" o.trl aserp Jo ":"-11 J. _inpo.ro" IFqs oA\ pesoduroc aq llqeqord ff1^ *i 1J .nrrno"srp'Jo uos B osl, sl qilu eql ecurs 'noli1 'EuJueeur e .{q pue qceeds xq petnius.roc sr esrnocsrp IJB .r,oq pu, qloq roJ sselaurelq p", i"y rf sl ll r{cJq,\ s3u1q1 eql roJ sv
o1 sn Jo


j:.nii&:rJ:lH:l,ff iT;jt"Ji[::#],,.H

Tru.i|if,','jil? -uue) sepnlcuoc pua 'surrel r1J q xroplplrr.ro" sr qcu,4a lunocce uB sB qllu seugep oq ,lI ol leurelxe .{1qear e o1. puodsarroc lou pFoc JJaslr slcrperluoc qclqa\ asmocsrp B tur{l (pogd e) Buqlprpe u1 .uo,icrp?4uoc ;o aldJcurrd eql-Jlesrr esrnocsrp ol luouetuur sr r{crq.&\ q}nrl uoJrel Jo -Irc eql pesn uerpf leql stueos ue sql,(ur ir, *rqi pr;rlge u iesleJ eq 1r uec lq,lo, puv iesIEJ sr Xrols , lril * o.r4 oq lI uBc .r\or{ lng .e8essed pelonb eql uJ sn slel uerpf leqrn dpsrcard st srq; .suoquo1ugi*.,q t.q 'suorlelaaar aurlrp ]ou er? ,qri* .esec leql u1 .q/u srql dq y1es1r lealor uaq+ louuec pue "gl'."ro;"rnq] lsrxo ,nop sleads lI qclq&r 1o.. Jo l,rp 'dro1s espy e sJ qMur aqr g lJega uJ .serrols nriey .,leureu .ere.leq1 sdes ueunf lurl.tr are^r sq1,(urcqr g eq ppo/r sJrll Jo euou .ao11 "lqrrrod
qcFi,r) tueluoc
stJ Jo

AJU?ssacou erB sasrnocsrp pcrBolo"yl *, ,ueJpf oi g"lprorr, uraq+roeuoul,rrr',::",-,,J1:1,'ffJLiJTlf;',:liff

rlln.rl eql BuJd;.rpo* xqrrrq,



atpuucalv ll

The Emperor lulian and His Art of

Writing Il





by its meaning that the theological myth contradicts itself. The mythical expression, which is also artistic, can at best camouflage this contradiction (at least in the eyes of the "many"; see 213d), by giving it an "exalted" and "coherent," that is, 'believable" appearance. More exactly, all myths have a contradictory meaning, because they contradict themselves by deffnition: what is not seU-contradictory is not a myth, properly so-called. But one and the same contradictory meaning can have two different verbal expressions: the one makes the contradiction appear explicitly while the other dissembles it without suppressing it, so that it is only implicit. One must therefore distinguish myths which openly present themselves as having a contradictory meaning from those which hide-or pretend to hide-their contradiction by expressing themselves in apparently "exalted" and'toherent" discourse. We shall shortly see that the telling of false stories without camouflaging their contradictory character in order to pass them off as true is what distinguishes poetry. But we have just seen that, according to Julian, if one aims to edify, it is necessary to dissimulate by apparently coherent speech the implied contradiction in the meaning of poetic works which treat divine things. We understand very well why this is so. In effect, the contradictory meaning cannot, by deffnition, correspond to any reality. To show by the very verbal expression that a story is contradictory is hence to present it openly as a ffction. And this is precisely what the poets do in telling their stories. On the other hand, the theologians claim to speak of real divinities. They are therefore obliged to camouflage verbally t}e contradictions inherent in the meaning of the stories they tell. Thus, it is the theologians who produce myths in the proper sense of the word, namely, 'Talse stories [because contradictory] in a believable form [because apparently coherent]" (205"). Now, the art of ffnding an apparently coherent verbal form for a false meaning which is not simple or unique (the contradictory meaning being precisely double) belongs to rhetoric. consequently, theology is a branch of rhetoric, which tries to ffnd (apparently) coherent verbal expressions for the contradictory meanings of poetic works which have divine things for their

Whatever the relations between theology, poetry, and rhetoric may be, Julian tells us clearly that according to him all myths are false stories. And we now know that these stories are false because their meaning is contradictory, in whatever verbal form they may happen to be croaked. Now, by the curious comparison of men's invention of myths with sneezing and spitting, Julian gives us to understand that there have always been and that there will always be myths on earth, as long as human beings live on it. Hence it can be asked why men invent false stories everywhere and always, sometimes taking them for true. Julian

lsoru lErI] ote,r\e sr eg l:lldo1d Jo esrnoc aql uI .ralcererJc enbsalor8 rpaql SupenluaccB tnlrol, pmsqe lpepcured n1r1r, o1 .uJq .,|lylfUi sasnuru lI puu .sqldur lecr8oloaql lsotu. ur eAJIE[er dlelalduoc sI qlru] ;o ecuereedde draa sJql .uopldo sI{ q ,aroruraqpng :drj, ; dlgessacau sJ a,rr, se.,Jla.uos:]c surroJ qcTl^/r lrqrrn'rrrql qln4 Jo uolsserdurr aql ]BrF os '(,{roprperluo, ,r.,urJqj ,J sqU.u p go i,r1.rrr* .*q nq, roJ l"ql uaas e Eq o^t rod .*rqt "qrj ,i rlp"iri d1lro{uur oql leql segsrlqBlso aq asneceq l1a1os "n"11rq alquaerraq "fa""Jy" sqllu pc;Boloaql aql slluc ueunf ]Bq] atou sn 1a1 ,aJuldlrrg elqe^a[aq B q]Jih selrols esl"J eq ll,*r.puu uaaq a^eq ,rrql "qr-uJ CrrrroJ sxe,ili p"; ir.rq;;ra^e r,r{l elerleq uegln{ saop lqr6 .os sJ sJql dq,u pelse eq lsnu 1J qu8e ere11


tuaql luaserd slaod eql ocurs ,&olcrpurluoc ,o "r:, ,h.rrr1, ,i, or.o1, tBIp ureql ol elll11 srenetu t1 .le1d q "rnq1 ile] daqt qcrqm ,rrrr1, qrq eql Sururelc lnoqlp\ sraqlo esnrue p,r, "q, lo ,nrrlnr*n-ql Ue^rp sleod 1ng .&1eod alerc orl .r ueur ro sleoa.nq sxe,l1e.[r nr"qg 'uorsralrp Jo sellesweql aaFdap ol .os op Jalau IIrAr i"q1 lue^r sdemp Jp.tr daqr pue .leld rqrod ur sorrols "*r*q esJ"J lualul ero;alaq]

ue." qcrq^4, o,ualxa-qr o] il :l'S#fT_TS,fi:j*: ::* urrelc 'ooq esleJ lcBJ ur q8noqlp .r{clq,n sauols : m e} 1r"ra'o1o"q1 eql ,o ssues radord aql q.s{ldur or1, 1.q_r,roqcg se ro qcns su paluaserd eru qc$#6 salrols as1e3 'sr teqfsq/ur crleod dluo lou'....{pressacau, q leql 'sdemle puu araqzudraaa ,aq gi^ .u4r{ o} Burproccy .BuJzaaus pue Suplrds o1 seredruoc ueln{ jrfi "rr,jl ,lqe^arlaq B qlJ^{ ,rFoi, osJeJ,, _*roj uollua uJ eq1 dlespe-rd sI rI 'Surueeur irrqt Jo rap,reqc drolcJpe4uoc 10 pue a8ue.4s aql alqrssod se qcntu se BurleJnurssrp lq .111roJ oJqg^erloq B ruaql ea13 o1 pa8rrqo aru leql .s1eod eql xq'p3r.ra,ru1 Jrrrop nrlrg ezJJrln daqf JI puy .erul sB serJols rr1$o Jleql luasard lsnru'Xeq1 .dpuanb -esuoC 'uaur ol InJasn eq ol urJBIc pue deld Burua4rp .rror, ,irer3olonql eql <pu,r{ raq}o oql ug .Burrreaip iqiqrr^"l.,o,rrg io esodrnd




.G_cL1Z) lrod , 1nq .suooduel Jo relrru Jo Uos B ]ou pereprs -uoc eq plno,lr oq leql os llesrcerd suoJleerc srq ol tueql peppe pue osn1,[ c,eod aql ;o uepre8 oql ur sacrds lee.r\s ase.Jl prr"qlr8 .,"qt cileod Surqlou puu ,re1ce-reqc cgJcads slJ "11- ",rrr*r, (sl peqqor .>1ueds o1 Jo os lr .lceJ sI.{] lq '.ro3: tpeaourar s1 rtrdur g1 o*ir{, yo lueure'uerre eJdruls e souroc "q1 -eq d4ood ltqt peJ erp Jo snolcsuoc xpcolied .raqlmJ ,r^.ioq"anoq* ,H u1 .porse11 EupuolJoS .sqilur pisn -oq,r,ri

ol repro


raqlla sqilur lue^ul ue.,

;eEessed Suprolloy aql ygrJ seBreura leq.r\ $ sJql .asec due u1 .1relrp ol dpo earas sq/urcn":d .poeq ,rqlo ,.Ii ,o ,pue .qlr(u, lnoqtiar u(4aod ou sJ eJeql 'pueq euo eql uo. ,rog .,{r1aod Jo rulBar eql q SIIBJ uorsJe^rC '(,906.p) ol ,o ,ei,raro", ,qr'ti tl^lraarp o, dq uo4senb ,lqr Ji ,;d;:; "q








The Emperor lulian and His Art of

Writing ll


faith in the myths is such that even his burlesque of them will prevent almost no one from taking them seriously and from believing that Julian
himself takes them seriously.

Now, if Julian realized that in &eological matters men ffrmly believe in perfectly "unbelievable" things, he must have asked himself why they did so. At ffrst glance, his rather in&rect respouse is hardly satisfying, although traditional in ancient philosophy. It is that people believe in myths from 'haivet6," that is, from lack of intelligence or, more exactly, because they do not notice the "strange and contradictory" character of what the myths tell.8 But a much more profound response-"Hegelian" before its time-is perhaps found in a curious passage of the Consolntion,
where Julian speaks of Alexander as follows:

It is told that Alexander wished for a Homer, not to profft from his company, but for the propagation of his glory. . . . However, that man lAlexander] never looked to the present: he was never satisffed with what was accorded to him in his time and he was not content with the things which were [actually] given to him. Even if a Homer had befallen him, he would perhaps have longed for the Apollonian lyre, to which Apollo sang the nuptials of Peleus. For Alexander took this story [relative to Apollo] not for a simple product of Homer's understanding, but for a true deed which Homer had woven into the web of his poem (250d-251-).
Stated otherwise, a poet, in order to divert, invents a false story which he himself presents as a ffction; but in the eyes of another man, this same story can seem "believable" to the point of being considered true, in &e sense of conforming to reality, even if it has a "strange and contradictory'' character. Since the man in question is Alexander, there can be no ques-

tion of naivet6 or of lack of intelligence. Thus Julian indicates an entirely different reason, namely, a desire for glory (or tecognition," in the Hegelian sense of the word) which is not satisffed by the fame acquired in one's lifetime. Now, since Julian speaks of Alexander and of Homer, he certainly wishes to tell us that the desire for glory, or for 'iecognition," that Ieads men to transform poetic ffctions into theological myths which people accept as true is such that it cannot be satisffed by any action performed on earth or by any eulogies earned there. Moreover, Julian carefully emphasizes that nothing occurring in the dimension of time could satisfy Alexander. That is to say that men believe in the truth of theological myths because these allow human beings to expect an eternal glory, an afterlife, in and through "recognition" on the part of immortal or divine beings. In short, men believe in the gods because they themselves wish to be immortal. Julian could have stopped there, if myths were told only by poets (who devote themselves to ffctions in play and to divert) or by religious men

lBq r qlp\ pue lno pugr ol s{ees uurrnf .esrnocsrp s1n uI ^4,oq, 'pel,crpep st'so.ta,cotag cpufi, arll o7 awod,sarg ir, ,rrr.,o#p or{l lBql raqdosopqd aqr lq r9rcayu ,qlJo..roprrgpr.,1,,i qr.,, o1 dlaqcara s1 11 puv 'ror^eqaq qq1 .lJpsn[, o1 .eseald nod ,ro toradug ,, io1..rq"q ,rq 3r Jo lrmoccu uu aarB o1 ,ero;araql ,peq uerrnf .raqdosol,qd-sy .f",rrnrroa ua., aql ;o zQ,ofuur lea.r8 aql o1 orr8u ,1qrnr11"q "q ueas sqldur osaql e{B.u o1 (a1nq lraa,lcu;,ur.sBz$ r{c..Ir!\) ,"^th,1.i
os op


dlalelduroc B uJ po^Bqaq urn"1 roradug aql

aq Jr ua^f, 'sqilur pcoloeql ue8ed o1 lcedsaniu^;J;";

ol sraqlo pe8rrnocua aq

p* .aldoad aqt "q plp 01 tuatp fe1 JJesum{ }ou




,reAeznoq ,zllou1


raqdosopqd uoa/r,req

aln roJ dpo paupsap uollJu$ap lq eram qcq,!\ .s;uqrrzn ,i#j::l';k spr u1 sqldu p1o1 uerrnf raqdosopqd eqr rBrI] euole uo.r]uelur sql qlr^\ lllenpu q u puy 'ra_qrla lpnorras'oo1 ,(11era11i io .,r4r1 do1"q ,oo u, ts,er l 'ro peaerlaq Buraq 1ou s11 ;o asodrna'"qr'ro3 ,,i"r"nlr^"osruq.r\ qldur due 11e] lou saop ,ue-qnf o1_holprorre ,auruu ]qio^ xp,r1 e ,aq luur sqldur crqdosoirqd "q, lo Jo asnBc eql ro^elBq,rn lng p,ar

qcH to

or eJqB pu, srurq or aardecar er, oq ! (asoql esoq+ ile o1 Xlrueur 4aq1 asodxa o_l llleercsrp puB ureql eFcrprr ^;*'ffi} o1 Xpycel repro ur sqlXru lecrBoloaql leeder setupetuos sraqdosopud ,laa,oaroyq '(,-,0.1I ''3'e '.;c) sreqlo eql Buqcoqs dqaraql dqdosopqd ro; lnoqlp!\ pa4r3 Xlrepcrlred are oqa\ srop.er etll ro ecualpn, aql Jo dlrceSes eql esJcJexo ol ropJo ur .z(Bo8epad crudosopud Jo suosee.r ro3 sreqdosolqd dq plol ue$o eran sq+{ur.puBg reqlo oql uO .(q_,6g6 ,.8.e ,.;c)'r"r.l"rrrro, eJaaurs alqno4 dlssalasn ppoc os op o] ueq/r Xllulcadse ,rrep d1rr1.,rurrA erB r{crq \ s8urqt uluec go Xlsnoncsr*ord B.rqr"ds uror; ir,rl ,.r,rr1r", .(lsapour lenlcallalq ,rea; uos

roJ raqtle_>lcogs

aql Jo .rBeJ roJ saurrlcop rJorlt Jo a.,os ol sq,,(*r sreqdosogqd ,pueq euo eqr uo .uorleueldxe 3o

lurll Jo lno Jo Jo lno '(,L06 ''B'a ..;c) raBuup Iylro-*.,r"n" illr.rors,cco .,J ..leroru, J'o ;;; secgnnferd (lecr8oloaqt.lperaue8)"nroq,i lecrsdqd ..,lueur,, laql

*roi nrrrq "qr "n^a,^A ",ir ^."i;;;;,

'aes) sBupg^\ u^\o s1q u1 sqlru qcns Jo alo{u puu 'lereua8 ur sqilur crqdosoJrqd "rr"rr;ku"tf;tiffi;rr:ffffi? Jo eiue}sxa erl} roJ uoqeueldxa reqlouB pu$ ol pepeau eroJerer.R uerrn{ .lqdosopud ;o'rrrlonrp Jo cJlsl -.relceffqc aq o1 'llrprdnls 's1 1eq] elerloq ...fleAIBu,, p1p eq .dleurg tou o'sqlrul puno;ord rog: 'luq] ja,rrr1q, p,r, seuo l" pug. ..frolcrpe.quoc 'sarrols eqe; 3uqu1 ;o lurod eql ol qlrnp ,rry o1 raqdosqlqd e seruocaq lI l,rlr {uI{+ 10u pp ar{ 'raqtrouu rod .uorsre^m 3 ro rqd uroJ 3 ueql io arour sB trqdosogqd papre8ar uelpf .Bupql auo ro; go lselear8 eql Sqpnlcur 'sraqdosolJqd.;o sBurlrr^ ^roNL.ueql ,qr uJ sB punoJ ere sqldu IIe^{ eq tn8 '(uta.[* trJrqer 10u seop lJ esn,ceq i1ry"i +,tll aag oqarr)




The Emperor lulian and His Art of

Writing ll


ought to be composed, if, in a general way, philosophy somehow needs the invention of myths too" (205r). To reply to this question, ]ulian begins by asking what branch of philosophy might need myths-'Talse stories with a believable form." He says:

With regard to these difierent branches [of philosophy, namely, according to the Stoic tripartition, logic, physics, and ethicsl, the invention of myths is appropriate neither to logic nor to mathematies, which is a part of physics; but if this invention is appropriate to any of these branches at all, it is with practical philosophy [with ethics] that it is concerned, namely, with that part of it which concerns the individual man [not the state as suchl, as well as the part of theology which deals with initiations and
mysteries (216b).

On the page preceding this passage, Julian had adopted the Stoic division of philosophy into only three parts. Stated otherwise, following the Stoics, he subsumes theology under physics. For him, though (as perhaps for Plato and certainly for Kant, as well as for certain "Democritbans," if not for Democritus himself ), physics can be true only insofar as it is mathematical, The nonmathematical remnant of physics is for him, as for Plato in the Timaeus, only a bevy of "myths," that is to say, false stories presented in a more or less "believabld' form. This is the case especially when the stories claim to describe a 'transcendent" or divine world. It is precisely because nothing true can be said of this world, for the simple reason that it does not exist at all, that one is obliged to have recourse to myths when one intends to speak of it. Now Julian gives us to understand, in the pages which follow the passage quoted, that the use of myths by a philosopher can be justiffed only in ethicsand not ethics as a whole, but only that part which is addressed to individuals. Stated otherwise, when a philosopher speaks as a theorist of the state or of society, that is, of man in gerreral or man as such, he must speak seriously and try to say the truth, avoiding all kinds of myths. A philosopher can himself tell, or have others tell, 'Talse stories in a believable form," intending to make them pass as true, only when he wants to act as a peda-gogue or as a dema-gogue, that is to say, when his goal is to educate individuals so that their life in common can take the form of a viable state truly worthy of the name, such as the Roman state was before its decadence. This understood, the philosopher-Emperor believes it necessary and possible to make his thought even more speciffq and to say directly that in any event myths, even edifying ones, should be told only to those who are not capable of understanding or accepting the truth. "The one who makes stories for the sake of the improvement of morals and introduces myths must not do this for men but for children, whether in age or

no,{;y'ar'oN,, :(pelonb sa8essed om1 oql 1se1 eql sonuquoc +srg Jo .le^oarour .q sI{I qcHr!\) e8essed aql uI sdEs 8urzno11o; Xprcrldxa eq lBrl^t ,sraqdoso[qd cn 'aureu lerll Jo dqlrom d1n4'uaurselsls eql s" 11a^r, se -ueqlne eqr IIB sllnpe en.tt Jo dnor8 elul aqr uJ aprs sF{ lE tJurpu o1 lpeer q aq'uarppqc ,(leraur are auegord eql Jo llrrofeur aql lBrF .lqdosopqd u; srossecapard sFI IIE 3uptto11o3'puulsrapun o1 sn sealB aq JI puy...llnpu, ,{pce;red Jlesu4rl pareplsuoc uuylnf 'sen aq 1eq1 reqdosoprd poo8 ,lng 'G-,966) rreru rou spo8 ragllau lsule8e sser8suerl o1 [pelepeq eq ol s" os plol ere sqtdu pcpoloaql uaq.,tl] ua{Bl eq }sntu erec lear8 'ecua8glalur rJaql ro a8e rleql Jo enurl dq a8els lerll lB
erB oq/$, 'uarpgqc o1 Xluo plof eq lsnur sqldur lBql uo^IC,, :sppB er.[ Jalzl

ol IIE eloqe lI peslcrexe sallesureql per{ oq^4, .sreqdosollqd luegcue aql dq ur;q 1q8ne1 ueaq p"q qcq,!\ Suqrr.tr Jo lff lecJuorJ ler{l ur JIosuIu pasrcrexe uulp{ 'pl$fl nnEDl, ro; pacucerd ,e8egnotuec sJqr Jo ryq+ spua eql ro; dle;luassa sJ lI puv .lcela Jo regtunu leurs &air, B ol qcsal ol pelue^4, aq '.raqdosolfid su .qcrqlr qlnr] eq] spatqns stl Jo sasseru eql IIrorJ eprq o+ perl uepnf 'relazyroq 'roredurg sB peaccns oJ .uraql Bu11a1 ur qcBel ol peqslh aq r{cJq^' srl}ru1 aq} auJ Ip pl.o/*, daql qSnoqrle ,11e 1e trraql e^o{eq lou p1no^, srepeer uesoqc sirl lerlr [e,r e qcns u.r ]I p1p eq 'spuep; qq Suoure uatuseluls urepec roJ pue sraqdosogqd ro5 lpo lueetu s8upg,n clqdosogqd sfq q sq+.(ur plol Jlasurq ueqn{ uarl^r lng .uaql e^e{eq o1 urc8e urBaq ppollr $gofeur leer8 aqt lerll dBlh B r1ons uI sJrn pue 'sqtdur ueBed p1o1 slce[qns qq 8u;aeq Iq lpo errdure sF1 e^Es ppoc roradurfl aql lerll pacuJ^uoc dpr-rg ueaq a^q ol suees .reqdosol -rud aql puy 'ura,r,o8 o+ paluesuoc 'roredurg ueruou su ,seq eq uloqar epoad eq1 Sqlecnpe W1,tr peurecuoc sr ueqn[ ,flecpcer4 rr.pelero[aue eq leur aJII Jo luzn lregl leql repro ur surroJ olqe^erraq u1 sqldur Bu1 -l;5pa p1o1 oq ol uraql slue^\ eH .d1p1uaur ro lgecrsdqd ,Bunod elpb ore oq.t\ esoql ql!v\ pauracuoc ,(le.rcedsa q ueqnf ,roradug sB ]ng or.uorfl a^eJlaq o1 8urf,r1 ol aerl B rlt;*\ Jlasu4rl ol tueql [el ot Jlasuqr{ spJqroJ eq se 1sn[ 'uepqrq3 ro ue8ed req]eq^.r ,sqldu Jo urFI epensred o] sraq]o ;o. sldurape eqt siedar uernf raqdosopqd aq1 dqzu, $ srqJ 's+uBJuJ o1 lpo elqBlarreq pue (luql IIB JoJ ..r(rolcJDe4uoc pue a8uer1s,, are rlcrtl^, salJols esleJ lnq elqeeerBe 'sqln4 oseql Jo aceld eql q .plol aq ol paeu tou seop oq.r\ iuorpe.qqp ro Surlzoc-reBns e paeu lou saop oqtlr pue sqln4 ..3upe1gr.r,, ro ..e1qeaarBesrp,, uelo reaq ol alqe eq ol Buo4s pue peund -rcsm dlluelcsns ueru 1ua31ge1u1 uu 'prozn aql Jo esuas IlnJ erll q llnpe ue s1 ueJpf 'reqdosopqd B sv .pasolc q alcrJc aq+ ,spro^\ esaql qll 4. '(q-,tZA) ..nod roJ peqrrcserd aq o1 lq8no [dluesur pureBe dpaurer e] o.tfiyltuo ueql ' ' ' slueJur Ifls ere [sequrcosse Iulrelsruru lur pue I] e^{ leqf uorssardurr erll eABg [ueFoloaqf ro doqsrq uensrrqC eq] Jo loqurls eq] ,soge1cera11]



ptry '(,gZa)

..serJols qcns e4nbar

praue8 ur or{^,






Th.e Emperor Julian

and His Art of

Writing ll


more surely.

shelter themselves from persecution, but also to gratify their taste for play and jest and in order that phirosophers courir""og.rir" each other

1or, lor that matter, anyone's secret-by writing the prlceding pages. For these pages will say nothing of interest to those whlor. tt e i-pero, wanted to exclude from the small number of comprehending readers of his philosophic writings. They wilr indeed say riothing at"all. In the spirit of their author, these pages contain-nothing othlr, and nothing more, than a modest sahrt addressed to the boi entend.eurs of phil losophy-over the oceans and through the centuries.

unmistakably that he himself did not believe in any of the theological myths which were told with more or less success in his epoch, it is not a-s an atheistic philosoplrer_but as a self-procraimed "devoit pagan,, and ^ "Neo-Platonic mystic" that history has trinsmitted him to ,s. ' Telling of Juliant art of writing, I hope r have not behayed his secret-

In the light of historical experience, the Emperor Julian's art of writing appears most extraordinary. For although he permitted himself to tell us

ll nru"
of the Emperor lulian, trans. W. C. Wright (S vols.; London; - 1, The Works Heinemann, 1g1g), 24gd-249", All references to the writings'of lulian will be to this edition.

2. It is obviously the crosiers of the bishops and not the stafis of ..the philosophers" that Julian really has in view in the followi.rg i.rr";iir" *hi"h he pretends to address to the "Cynic" Heracleios:
Furthermore, -why do. you [the "Cy]ics,'].circrrlate everyr,vhere and ply not only the mules but also, as- r hear tell, thlir drivers, ,"t o ur" *o." frigiiened before you,than before the soldiersi For, as I hear, yoo,rr" yo* rtrfi, even more cruellv than the soldiers do their swords. l[ i, trr"rlrore fftting that you also inspire th"; ;th;;f"* ('izq").

3. As-Emperor, Julian often takes issue with the'pure" intelectuars who isolate themselves from political action, and who nevirtheless p"rrnit th"*_ selves to advise statesmen. He does this notably in his very iroi"ui rnttn, to the Philosopher Themistius, wlrich he paroiies the styie or _in "sophists" and cruelly derides, "orrt"*porrry although again in u cu*orfluged lorm, the advice lavished on the new Emperor by his former tutor in phiro-sophy (whom Eunapius does not mention in his Li,fe of the sophisfs, wheie he civers lrnian with flowers). see more particularly 263b-267b. Letter 16 could also b1 quoted

uJ] peno11o3 e^Bq e^\,, :lr ur pl,s sseleqleuou uepnf .1ecrn1es lfredo sem (6o1 f,1o1e1duroc lsorulB ueeq sEq qcFI.&\) uoqsanb u.r BuBIrrr eql lBrll zr.r.ou4 e,!l .rr.rog
.{1e1e1duoc tuees

,(l8uplprun eir,l '[slsruoleld-oaN eE pue .epolspy .o1e16 Buprollo;] ureql uo pesodurrredns lou sJ asnec .roJrd e gr .ra,razuoq :uJod leualeur E osle lnq .JellBIAJ B :n6gl el\,, rol snrncldg l1upB rA 'eldurexo sntrrcou [ellolslrv Bp{] ";c) -eC[ o] seo8 qclqzn cpsleqle ue o1 ,sJ 'ursgerro]Bru e o1 lceq leq] ...ruspplsod,, peraqpe uegnf luqt epnlcuoc plnoc auo leql suorsnfle orer pue en8ea uo Jleseuo SuJseq lq,(po sI tI tng '(au{u.o !c6gl pue ,gg1 .eldwexe ro;.,;c) rusruoleld -oeu Jo [lrelncqred pue eurtt srq 5o dqdosogqd eqf Jo seJcuepue] crlcelca eq] solncrprr eq suorsBcco IBreAes uo 'erourreqJrnd '(p-,69r ';c) ..sclsdqdepur pc18o1oeql,, Jo enplser e se (..dgecruo4, s,(ezr.r,1e) slueserd JIesu4rI eq qcFI \ 'roipo aql Jo uollou uBllelo$1ry eql Jo onbqrrc .snqcreuex pe.llolloJ er{ lq} elqeqord sr 11'l11eurg'(po.oJ eq ol sr seepr Jo drooql eql yo enbpuc Iecruorr uB eraq { 'qggl-p6gI tsnoJ qo lpepcnred sJ .{uorr eql oraq/$, .p_q6gl :oleld ,c,_rg?l .eldurexe Jo eureu erp o] pouro{ sr ..lear8,, loqlrda Iecruofi eql o.req { .ro; "1c) allolsgy dq pesserdxe tusrcqrrc eql paldecce e^eq ol pue .1ec1s{qd -eJou ool eq ol turq lq paBpn! 'seepr yo &oeqt cruoleld aq1 pelcoler erreq o1 lllenba sueos eH'(p-"/gl puu q-eg7f dllelcedse';c) snqcrrquel ..aur^1p,, arp'reaoerour'8uJaq doq Sulddrq.tr qq'("771-,gpl lB punoJ lpored eql "3'e "yc) ,&lqdro4 pue inur1o14 dq palem8neq ursruoleld-oeN et11 u.r ..cps.(ur,, pelpc Buql{reae pelceler usrtn{ 1eq} ure}roc s} }I .lno puels eulr}cop leclqdos -ogqd olqrsod srq e>1eur o1 'e8palznoul rno :Jo elels lueserd eql ur .elqlssodun lsorule q 1J 'ue1p{ ;o .{uorJ Iecr}rrc oql pepp o1 lsee .{1eape1er sI U JI .g ;o sldacerd atp [ryotll srql
.('snqcJJqurel lueqdorerq snoqsnJlr erp



'[,Zgf ] ..nod o1 enlel tnoqlpr{ lou pW @?uoDl) souorx lo Toogpag aqt uO 6upg.v, Bur esneceq 'nod o1 snp elrr o1 .[1sn1pg reep dtu] ,perep . ' .

clqdosogqd reqlo etuos o1 sduqrad puB lsnlles o1 ,1uo lues se^\ pue parapn Ia^ou sB/r4, r{cFI,!\) esrnocsrp srq Jo relcBJBqc Icruofi orn salEcrpur .r(1rea1c uermf 'rapree seul IBraAes 'ratoelo111 .dlsnorras ue1e1 Buraq ruor; ,pesserdxe ereql 'luelq lecJ8o8epad s.roqlne eq] luezrerd lou saop lxeluoc o{l} Jo relcereqc lecluorJ aql 1ng 'relncryed ur snqcrlqruel Jo pue lureue8 uJ ruspolela-oeN Jo unJ se{Bu ueunf '(s8urlrr^\ srq ur asle erogru.drezr.o se) eBessed pelonb eg1 ur 'rrl,o111 'snqcJrqtuI sB eures eql oq, ,lxeluoc eql ol Eulproccy .g
sueur ..ssol 1.-qZZZ tp-Vll- :p6l"T :p89I f,69I :,08I 'JO 'uErInI roJ erer lou ere Bulueeur 'e1drr1 e ue,re 'elqnop e rltJ \ se8esse4 '(snolu) uoseou segp8ls ..sorreH,, +l 'snoues lsorloH po8 eqr o] ecuareJar r{lp sJ lI fl 'lecruorr :elqnop sJ Buruueur oq]'e8ssed pelonb aqt ur lng .(,gg1 ,{lercedse,spo1 aq1 lo nrlloyry aql uO 'esmocslp eql uI urrel srq] Jo osn peleader eql'eldurexe.rol ,.yc) enlel Iecruorr ue 'uerlnf .ro1 'seq ,1eet?,, lor{lJde Ituoqrperl eql ,alnr lereue8 B sy .z



.dd 'IIII ,1o1y st1tor14) . . . F1IC aql ..1nos cJqdosoprd e yo {,,., eqt sI Jo }sarelur eql pue esueJep eql dn e{e} ol ,(1pa1eeg,, :s.(es uerlnf ereq :uorsecco sq} uo

'(os 'gg





The Emperor lulian and His Art of Writing

II Iil

introduce the opinion of Epicurus"). This hypothetical interpretation would become absolutely certain if the author of the small treatise, OI the Cods and of the World, were the same Sallust who was Julian's friend. For the credo of that author (which is openly expressed in chapter XVII, the other chapters being "ironicali') is clearly Democritean and atheistic. But it is possible that the "Sallust" in question is only one of the pseudonyms of Damscius (alias "Marinus" as the supposed author of the so-called biography of Proclus, a pamphlet as ironical as it is ferocious). It seems, moreover, that Damscius, himself a "materialist" and a notorious atheist, knew the writings of Julian very well and imitated him in his own vita lsidori (which is in fact only a persiflage of neoPlatonism), and whose "diadochian Isidorus," moreover, never existed. As to it was publicly Julian s anti-christianity, it is universally known because avowed. But it has perhaps not been sufficiently emphasized that the Emperorphilosopher was "Nietzschean" or "Hegelian" before his time, insofar as he reproached Judeo-christianity above all for being a 'ieligion of slaves" (cf. 195"-196"; Lggdr 207d*208"; 213b; 238"-d). Cf. also fr. 5: "They [the Christian soldiersl Inew only how to pray [but were unfft for combat]" (Works Vol. III, pp. 298 and 299). 7. With regard to the Platonic origin of Julian's "irony," the following ('ironicali') passage from the discourse, In Resporwe to the Cynic Heracleios, is particularly characteristic: He [Plato n the Philebas and the Timaeus] insists that everything the poets say of the gods be implicitlybelieved, and-that no proof for what tiey iay be demanded of them. But I have quoted here this passage fTimaeus, 4$e-", which Julian obviously considers "ironical," although te must have known tlat this same passage was taken literally and seriously by the author of. the Epinornis] solely so that you ["Heracleios," here the syrnbol of the Christian theologianl will not be able to pretend, as many Platonists do, that Socrates' being naturally ironic is a ground for slighting the Platonic doctrine. For these words are not uttered by Socrates, but by Timaeus, who is least of all ironical. [This shows, incidentally, that Julian did not take at all seriously the myths of a pseudo-scientiffc cast that Plato jokingly put in the mouth of Timaeus to make fun of him (aiming perhaps at Eudoxus, or the young Aristotle, who was impressed and influenced !V Eudo-xus to the point of Urbati,rg with the philosophy of t}le Academy).1 For that matter, it is not sound, instead of examining what is said, to ask who says it and to whom the speeches are addressed. [An ironical passage, which shows tlat Julian knew full well that it is, on the contrary, only by posing these last two questions that the dialogues of Plato can be correctly interpreted.l Must I now refer you again to the omniscient Siren, the image of the messenger-god Hermes and the friend of Apollo and the Muses [namely, Aristotle]P He thinks that to those who ask if there are gods or who, in a general manner, undertake a [critical] study of this subject, one must not give an answer as to human beings, but administer a punishment as to beasts (237b-d). Evidently, Julian did not greatly appreciate people who take things too seriously, particularly in matters of religion or science, but also of politics and raisons diEtat. On several occasions he paid tribute to the philosophers of the past who knew how to joke, putting Democritus at their head beside Plato'

,(q pauJurrepp [dgresseceu] ]ueuou 8uplg aq1 1e .alqrssod sI sB o].rl ruoq

arnlredep e e1luaE sB etu roJ eBuErrB o1 , (srcu) uoseor eu.ralp e pue Eumuels

-ropun lceSred arour '.eJ,rl poo8 e eur luer8 ol ,acerB sq eur procce o1 . . ,po8 oql ol eperu sr [rnsear uuumq;o uoqsanb sl lI JI llsnorres leedde eql g dgecluo4] ..soIIeH,, qcreuoru Iesre^run erp Jo {se I .etup pml} aql rod :spuo esrnocsp eloq.rt. aql qcJq^{ rlll^r .snolres pue lecJuoq qloq e euoql eures eql dn se1el ueynJ
'eBessed snonElqure aq1 ur'ra1e1 a8ed

'(qZgI) e4durg
ueruog eql roJ elqelgord pue sn ro; poo8 sl 'u4rl seseeld srql se Euol sB ells eql Jo $lsel eql 01 eA[ e.{L alrrl.r\ sallosrno elecrpap ol pue e^1t ol sn lrurred eq ,{eur 1nq :[q1lee uo] eau o1 sn sllurred eq su 3uo1 se [seqcreeser crtJdos

rno ur '.{qdosollqd 3o uoprugep clols


aq} ot Eulprocce]

puosrod,, snonBrqure 'cluorJ ue Jo pue eql lB .eldruxe roJ ,so,qag Bu,ty ug 'esmocslp sJrl uJ ..'cJols,, e sB Jaqler sleeds roredtug ern (lueluoc sno8oleue ;o se8essed raqlo uI 'snrncrdg yo eldrcsrp InJqlleJ e se Euoleeds eq 01 stuoes reqdosopqd eql 'lxal sFIt uI 'GtgZ) .' ' ' str sesrerd plererl [ueumq] rno ueq \ ecJofar flurulrac errr '[..1e1uapuecsuu.r1,,] reJB sr lerJ.4 ol IIe l endse 1ou op puB 'aaeq {penlce orr\ leq /r rI}I^{ sellasmo luo}uoc s.{e.lt1e oqzll' .[sreqdosolrqd sn roJ pue uegn{ roredug eql roy] sn roJ sy,, :3u.r,(es 'opnlrpe (cnsreqfe) crqdos -opqd u.no sJr{ sqf o1 sesoddo uerlnJ'(esuc srr{ Jo speeu eql ro},(1e1os) .repue

s8uJql ourarp puE uuumrl q sseccns sn luer8 [snou] ..sor1a11, z(etu .[sreqd -osogqd e.rt pue 'uerlnf roredurg aql 'a^{] sn roJ sv .olqJssod q sql sE rEJ se 'lroddns IBurele u olels erqua eql roy [,(1ye.toc lpo 1J 1o Sunrrrn epqm selereual eq 'reqdosogqd e se 'qcq,ol uoseor c;qdosopqd ueumq ro stwu se sorreH ol Jlosurq Surssarppe ,(lsnoues mou] llsnorcerE errreserd pue luer8 ptre '[suur.{q cluoteld-oeN eqt 8u(pored fgecruorr] roy pederd [,ZgI-"ggI] 1sn{ eaeq J feqf IIe luer8 o1 EuJllpu aq [u4r{ uy Eulzreneq lnot{llaa spuoru -urocor roredurg oql urorl { .QpJ,rp ueBed eql ereq ..,soJlaH,,] eq de11 ol sesserppe eq leql ..rederd
:sdes eq..'soye11,,

-xely ol selnqulle eq qcq

\ opnlnle snorErler eql pezdpue snql Buraell


'd1ere1q ue1e1 sqp(ur pcpoloerp elerleq oqtrl. ...euey -ord,, eql o1 ..'ralcereqc &olcrperluoc fierll pue sseueBuerls rleql,, Eupresqo ,{q sqf.{ur esor{l Jo relceJr{c snoqr}clJ erll ezpSocer oq.u ...ecue31[elur ur luoq -decxa ere oql, esoqt, sesoddo uelpf urereq.tr'eaoqe pelonb."_r0,Lf .JC .g

'("SOg) ..lueuesntue ro ralqBnel esnc ol alq lou rrre J,, :Jlesurq yo (flecruorr) ereql s,(es aq !..se1e1 snoues,, yo Surlueds ur olld ol sralar ,(1llc1dxe uerrn{ qcJq^ q 'swsoog lBcrrnBs eq} Io Su.nrupeq oql l se IIa^\ se :ogp1 f (Surueeu elqnop"tlJ'Buplt e ql.L!\ oEessed lecruo4 ue) ,-q6ZZ 1"-,105 le uJe8e punoJ sl .(e1d crqdosoflld pre,rol epn]Ble eures eqI

-ogqduoul ;o 1q31s eqt le q8nel ol posn oot sntFcotueq1 feqf plol q tI .icBJ q 'sql euop e^eq o1 reedde [o1e14 .(prcyec] sreqdosolrqd ,(ueur lerg ^\oDI e.tr roJ fureql ur 8uile1d se,r\ ueur esr.tt eql JI SulsJrdms eq lou ruis ppo/r.t lJ 'Jlasurrq seueSorq uro{ er.uoc prp deqf JI ue^e 1nq :eupey Jo socsllJrrd url -roc E Jo {ro^{ eql .(1eer ere soueEolq p sa.tpa?o.tl peuoqueu-uego eql : (spour upsgr{O eqf lnq 'scrud3-oeu aql lou are oqa) (sc1ufi1 ,to) sBoq popcn?aun aqt oI'osrnocsrp sru ur des JIesu4rI lou eq seo(J

'(,Sgf )

snorres Eureq uetu [cgdos




The Emperor lulian and His Art of

Writing ll


destiny (;rpopr"ivn); and to permit me tlereafter to rise toward him and to hi*,'if that is fossible, forever lwhich Julian certainly does not remain """r this must be [as Julian himse]f thinks it mustl a [rehowever if believel; ligious] desire which goes beyond my merits in this life, may it at the very le*ast [Lut, of course, per impossibilel be for numerous and lengthy periods of time (15Sr-";. Let us ffnally note that this last passage is found again almost word for word in the last chapter (it is also both ironical and serious, although not at all tragic) of the small work already mentioned which is traditionally attributed to a
certain "Sallust."

10. Cf. The Caesars 318b: "Gods ought to test and investigate the tuuth, and not persuasiveness or seductiveness" (including the 'tweet spices" of
myths of any type whatsoever) ' 11. Cf. TheCaesars 314"-d:

You [the Emperor Probus] were too austere and always harsh, never yielding. You have sufiered unjustly and yet fittingly. O_ne cannot govern irorses,-cattle, mules, and still less men, without conceding something to
what gratiffes them.
[sweeiening bitter medications] to the sick, in order to ffnd them obedient on great occasions. "What, Papa [Silenus]," says Dionysus,'Are you going philosophic on us?" "Why not, my boy! ' . ' Let us then mix some serious words with our laughing onest"


is thus that doctors sometimes make small concessions