Letters of Julian/Letter 54

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

54. To Eustochius[1][edit]

[Late in 362, from Antioch]

The wise Hesiod[2] thinks that we ought to invite our neighbours to our feasts that they may rejoice with us, since they sorrow and mourn with us when any unexpected misfortune befalls us. But I say that it is our friends that we ought to invite, rather than our neighbours; and for this reason, that it is possible to have a neighbour who is one's enemy, but that a friend should be an enemy is no more possible than for white to be black, or hot cold. And if there were no other proof that you are my friend not now only, but for a long time past, and that you have steadily maintained your regard for me, nevertheless the fact that my feeling for you has been and is what it is, would be strong evidence of that friendship. Come, therefore, that you may in person share my consulship.[3] The state post will bring you, and you may use one carriage and an extra horse. And in case we ought to pray for further aid, I have invoked for you the blessing of the goddess of the Crossroads[4] and the god of the Ways.[5]


  1. This is either Eustochius of Palestine, whose knowledge of law and eloquence is praised by Libanius, Letter 699 (789 Foerster), or a sophist of Cappadocia of the same name. We do not know which of these men it was to whom Gregory Nazianzen addressed his Letters 189-191.
  2. τὸν δὲ μάλιστα καλεῖν ὅς τις σεθεν ἐγγύθι ναίει; Works and Days 313, a favourite quotation.
  3. Julian, with Sallustius as colleague, entered on the consulship January 1st, 363.
  4. Hecate, Latin Trivia.
  5. Hermes.