Letters of Julian/Letter 27
[362, Before May, Constantinople]
To an Emperor who had an eye solely to gain, your request would have appeared hard to grant, and he would not have thought that he ought to injure the public prosperity by granting a particular indulgence to any. But since I have not made it my aim to collect the greatest possible sums from my subjects, but rather to be the source of the greatest possible blessings to them, this fact shall for you too cancel your debts. Nevertheless it will not cancel the whole sum absolutely, but there shall be a division of the amount, and part shall be remitted to you, part shall be used for the needs of the army; since from it you yourselves assuredly gain no slight advantages, namely, peace and security. Accordingly I remit for you, down to the third assessment, the whole sum that is in arrears for the period preceding. But thereafter you will contribute as usual. For the amount remitted is sufficient indulgence for you, while for my part I must not neglect the public interest. Concerning this I have sent orders to the prefects also, in order that your indulgence may be carried into effect. May the gods keep you prosperous for all time!
- An answer to a petition. For Julian's remission of arrears, ἐλλείματα, Latin reliqua, of taxes at Antioch, cf. Misopogon, 365b. For his popularity with the provincials due to this liberality, cf. Ammianus 25. 4. 15.
- Apparently he means that the arrears are remitted down to the year 359, but they must pay what is due from that date.