Julian Romance Open this page in a new tab

Drijvers (2022:12) describes the Julian Romance as follows:
The Julian Romance was composed by an anonymous author (or authors) in Syriac, most likely in the city of Edessa in northern Mesopotamia at the beginning of the sixth century, and surviving only in that language. The Julian Romance is a Christian discourse of historical fiction and consists of a number of narratives about the emperors Julian the Apostate and Jovian. The Romance and the stories it comprises are part of the large number of late antique discourses of imagination. ... The Julian Romance fits into the tradition of Christian polemical rhetoric against Julian which started to appear immediately after the death of the pagan emperor. While Julian is pictured as the worst emperor ever to have ruled the Roman Empire, Jovian is presented as the ideal Christian emperor. In the final and longest part of the Romance, Jovian plays a prominent role as second-incommand after Julian and as confidant of the emperor. After Julian’s death, Jovian becomes his successor. He openly promulgates a Christian policy and gradually develops into an ideal Christian emperor, a second Constantine.