Letters of Julian/Letter 12

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From The Works of the Emperor Julian, volume III (1913) Loeb Classical Library.

12. To the philosopher Maximus[edit]

[End of 361 or early in 362. From Constantinople]

There is a tradition[1] that Alexander of Macedon used to sleep with Homer's poems under his pillow, in order that by night as well as by day he might busy himself with his martial writings. But I sleep with your letters as though they were healing drugs of some sort, and I do not cease to read them constantly as though they w ere newly written and had only just come into my hands. Therefore if you are willing to furnish me with intercourse by means of letters, as a semblance of your own society, write, and do not cease to do so continually. Or rather come,[2] with heaven's help, and consider that while you are away I cannot be said to be alive, except in so far as I am able to read what you have written.


  1. Plutarch, Alexander 12.
  2. Ammianus 22. 7. 3 describes Julian's effusive greeting of Maximus, for which he interrupted a meeting of the Senate.