Khairete, my blog readers,
It may seem strange to see that on this Hellenistic blog my first real post is about a person with a Latin, Roman name. Yet I think that this person is one of, if not the most important historical figure in the history of Hellenismos, Religio Romana, and by extension all reconstructionist “pagan” religions. And yet he is little known in mainstream society.
The reason I’m writing this is because a grave injustice done to this Emperor. For he is most commonly known as Julian the Apostate or Julianus Apostata. The epithet “Apostate” comes from Latin and means something like “Infidel”. Infidel as in “non-Christian“. For Flavius Claudius Julianus was the last Pagan Emperor of the Roman Empire, and he did much to restore the traditional Hellenic polytheistic religion, and by extension other polytheistic traditions in the Empire, to its former glory, and he tried to bring Christianity back down to the same level as the other religions of the Imperium Romanum, and not as elevated high above with tax exempts and other privileges.
He rebuilt many temples once destroyed by Christians, and attempted to restore ancient cults and oracles to prominence. For all this he is sometimes considered to be the founder of Hellenismos, and he indeed first coined the term in a religious meaning, and he is also in a wider sense the founder of Reconstructionism as a method for religious practices. In short he ought to be considered a Hḗrōs of Hellenismos, Religio Romana, and other Reconstructionist religions, especially those of a territory once occupied by the Imperium Romanum. Continue reading