“He divided his life into care for the state and devotion to the altars, associating with the gods in countless initiations, mourning for our desecrated temples, when mourning was all that he could do, but then, when the opportunity came, taking up arms for them. He restored the ruined temples to their places, and he restored their ritual back to them and all others: he brought back, as it were from exile, sacrifice and libation, and renewed the festivals that had fallen into abeyance. He did away with the danger that was attached to the worship of higher powers, never allowed his intellect to be diverted from his consideration of the gods, dispersed the mist that enveloped so many, and would have done the same for us all, had he not been untimely taken from us.”
~ Libanius, Funeral Oration for The Emperor Julian
Today, 26 June 2016, marks 1,653 years since the death of Flavius Claudius Iulianus Augustus. A nephew of the Emperor Constantine, Julian rejected Christianity and, when he acceded to the throne, restored state sponsorship of traditional Hellenistic religious practices. His reign lasted only two years. He was wounded in battle while on campaign against the Persians, and died of infection a few days later.