Letters of Julian/Letter 24

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

24. To the Alexandrians, an Edict[1][edit]

[362, Constantinople]

One who had been banished by so many imperial decrees issued by many Emperors ought to have waited for at least one imperial edict, and then on the strength of that returned to his own country, and not displayed rashness and folly, and insulted the laws as though they did not exist. For we have not, even now, granted to the Galilaeans who were exiled by Constantius[2] of blessed memory to return to their churches, but only to their own countries. Yet I learn that the most audacious Athanasius, elated by his accustomed insolence, has again seized what is called among them the episcopal throne,[3] and that this is not a little displeasing to the God-fearing citizens[4] of Alexandria. Wherefore we publicly warn him to depart from the city forthwith, on the very day that he shall receive this letter of our clemency. But if he remain within the city, we publicly warn him that he will receive a much greater and more severe punishment.[5]


  1. See Introduction, under Athanasius.
  2. Constantius was an Arian and had appointed Bishop George of Cappadocia to the see of Alexandria. Athanasius was then in exile by the decree of Constantius.
  3. Athanasius had installed himself in his church on February 21st, 362.
  4. i.e. the Pagans.
  5. Athanasius withdrew from Alexandria, but not from Egypt, in consequence of this edict. For a second edict banishing him from Egypt, see Letter 47.