- Hardcover: 528 pages
- Publisher: Harvard University Press (January 1, 1923)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0674991737
- ISBN-13: 978-0674991736
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.1 x 6.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,368,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Julian, Volume III (Loeb Classical Library, No. 157) (Volume 3)
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The Loeb series date back to the turn of the last century. They are designed for people with at least some knowledge of Greek or Latin. They are a sort of compromise between a straight English translation and an annotated copy of the original text. On the left page is printed the text in Greek or Latin depending on the language of the writer and on the right side is the text in English. For somebody who knows even a little Greek or Latin these texts are invaluable. You can try to read the text in the original language knowing that you can correct yourself by looking on the next page or you can read the text in translation and check the translation with the original for more detail. While some of the translations are excellent mostly they are merely serviceable since they are designed more as an aid to translation rather than a translation in themselves. Most of them follow the Greek or Latin very closely. These books are also very small, maybe just over a quarter the size of your average hardcover book. This means that you'll need to buy more than just one book to read a complete work. They are also somewhat pricey considering their size. The Loeb Collection is very large but most of the more famous works can be found in better (and cheaper) translations elsewhere. If you want to read a rarer book or read one in the original language then you can't do better than the Loeb Editions.
There are 3 volumes of Julian in the Loeb series which includes all his known works. Julian the Apostate was Emperor of Rome in the middle of the 4th Century. He was a member of Constantine's family but he abandoned Constantine's new faith and tried to return Rome to paganism. He was also a philosopher which explain the quantity of his writing which has survived. Ever since a child he had been locked away in a villa by his cousin Constantius who also had his father killed. His life before becoming Emperor was filled with danger since any hint that he could be a threat to his cousin would be met with deadly consequences. In the end through lucky chance he ended up as Emperor only to be killed in just over a year when his Persian campaign failed disastrously. He is easily the best documented Emperor in Roman history since we have more of his writings than of any other Emperor's as well as an excellent history by Ammianus Marcellinus (the last great Latin historian), panegyrics and letters by the orator Libanius, and violent denouncements from Christian writers like Gregory of Nazianzus all of whom knew him personally. He wrote letters, orations, philosophical treatises, satires, and hymns. He also wrote a Commentary of his wars in Gaul which was based off of Caesar's Commentaries and which is unfortunately lost. Also missing is his denunciation of Christianity called Against the Galilaeans. Only fragments survive. His works are (mostly) easy to read and engaging and the translation is solid if a little formal. It was translated in 1923 after all. This is one of those cases where this material is unavailable outside of the Loeb series.
This last volume contains a collection of Julian's remaining letters. Letters are never as easy to read as other works but there is much valuable information in these. While they do vary significantly depending on the topic and the recipient on the whole they are interesting and keep your interest. Also included in this volume is the remainders of Julian's 'Against the Galileans,' his diatribe against Christianity.
Against the Galilaeans. Its a side by side cross examination of Christianity Versus Paganism. A good read for anyone who isnt afraid to have their faith debated. Julian asks a lot of relevant questions on the nature of divinity, debates sections of text, Pagan and Christian, extensively, and places those wich are relevant side by side, for a compare/contrast session that is sure to leave you asking questions at best, and offended at worst. He is a bit brash sometimes, and tries to make a case against parts of the bible, but that makes it more interesting, and he asks himself a lot of the same questions that i did. It also helps that this book is over 1200 years old, and is still very relevant. I recommend it.