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Julian the Apostate: 361-363 Paperback – December 1, 1999

4.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Abbot Giuseppe Ricciotti was born at Rome in 1890. In 1906 he entered the Congregation of Canons Regular of the Lateran, and was ordained a priest seven years after. He was a noted biblical scholar and orientalist, teaching Hebrew and comparative Semitics for two years in Genoa. He also taught Church history at the University of Bari for ten years. Abbot Ricciotti s works include The Life of Christ, Paul the Apostle, The Acts of the Apostles, The Age of Martyrs, and Julian the Apostate. His books remain unique and noteworthy for their accurate information and clear, attractive style. He died in 1964.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: TAN Books; Reprint edition (December 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0895556324
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895556325
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,715,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ricciotti's enjoyable undesignated sequel to his Age of Martyr's picks up with the precarious period following the triumph of the Faith under Constantine in which Julian defiantly attempts to rescind the reforms of his predecessors after rejecting the creed of his youth in favor of the theosophical Neoplatonism and pagan mysticism of the old empire, restoring the superstitious mystery cults to their former primacy of place before their ultimate eradication under his successors. The author offers insight into Julian's inquisitive mind and longing for mystical experience that was being unfulfilled by the heavily Arian-influenced Church of his time, leading this fascinating character into spiritual ruin while he belligerently sought to drag the newly converted Empire along the same path to perdition. Incredibly well-researched, Ricciotti paints a balanced and unvillifying portrait of a pitiable lost soul inbittered by the opposition to his futile religious agenda that would lead to his memory being loathed for centuries as one synonymous with apostasy.
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By A Customer on February 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
Ricciotti's book on Julian was first published in the 1950s. For decades it has only been available used. While readable and making no major errors in fact, he has been superceded by more modern works. You will find it an interesting read and will get value for your money. Julian is one of the fascinating characters of late Roman history and the one whom we know the most about, not only from several major sources but also from the Emperor's own surviving writings. Julian, a fascinating character, is worth anyone's time to investigate.
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Format: Paperback
I love this book. It's a very well-written life of a fascinatingly weird character. There are a couple of more recent books, but I don't imagine they can reproduce the memorability of meeting Julian in Guiseppe's hands. It's comprehensive. You'll learn quite a bit of late Roman culture (including the Christian vs. pagan controversy), but nothing in this book is laborious learning. If you are looking for a place to start on Julian, this is probably the place.

EDIT 1/8/2012: Since writing this review I've aged and learned a lot; given more thought this book may or may not be the place to start. See the comments to this review for a couple of other recommendations. I'm not qualified comment on the historical veracity of this book. I'll certainly grant that it's written from a Catholic (possibly a traditionalist Catholic) perspective, not that I remember it taking over the book, but it assumes (as the comments point out) that you agree that his apostacy was a bad thing. Regardless of that it was still a very enjoyable read, and his psychological assessment of Julian and his motives was still compelling, though I'm not the expert to critique it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just a note to those who may wish to purchase this book: the author is a Catholic priest. This, of course, is important because Julian tried to restore polytheism after Christianity had become the state religion.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While the good Abbott does strive to be genuinely historical in his work, one has to wonder at the comment in the publisher's preface by Thomas Nelson. "Apostasy from the Truth Faith always has dire consequences because one loses the special blessings and guidance from Almighty God." The Catholics, of course, have labeled the Emperor Julian as an "Apostate" because he attempted to slow the rise of Christianity while trying to rekindle interest and devotion to a more polytheistic approach to religion. He also quotes, "What if he had not lost The True Faith? How would history then have read?" Why not ask What if he had lived and succeeded? Maybe there would have been no Christian Crusades, no Inquisition, etc.

Really, if you want to more about Julian and his attempt to restore balance to the way people worshiped in the 4th Century, CE, try Gore Vidal's "Julian" and/or Adrian Murdoch's "The Last Pagan: Julian the Apostate and the Death of the World".
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