Letters of Julian/Letter 14

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

14. To Prohaeresius[1][edit]

[End of 361 or early in 362. Constantinople]

Why should I not address the excellent Prohaeresius, a man who has poured forth his eloquence on the young as rivers pour their floods over the plain; who rivals Pericles in his discourses, except that he does not agitate and embroil Greece?[2] But you must not be surprised that I have imitated Spartan brevity in writing to you. For though it becomes sages like you to compose very long and impressive discourses, from me to you even a few words are enough. Moreover you must know that from all quarters at once I am inundated by affairs. As for the causes of my return,[3] if you are going to write an historical account I will make a very precise report for you, and will hand over to you the letters,[4] as written evidence. But if you have resolved to devote your energies to the last, till old age,[5] to your rhetorical studies and exercises, you will perhaps not reproach me for my silence.


  1. The Armenian sophist, a Christian, who taught at Athens. For his Life see Eunapius, Lives of the Sophists and Philosophers , pp. 477-515 (Wright). See Introduction.
  2. Aristophanes, Acharnians 531, ξυνεκύκα τὴν Ἑλλάδα.
  3. i.e. from Gaul, when he marched against the Emperor Constantius, in 361. This letter was probably written after his triumphal entry into Constantinople on December 11th.
  4. For the correspondence between Julian and Constantius cf. Ammianus Marcellinus 20. 8. 5.
  5. Prohaeresius was already in the late eighties.