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The remarkable bestseller about the fourth-century Roman emperor who famously tried to halt the spread of Christianity, Julian is widely regarded as one of Gore Vidal’s finest historical novels.
Julian the Apostate, nephew of Constantine the Great, was one of the brightest yet briefest lights in the history of the Roman Empire. A military genius on the level of Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great, a graceful and persuasive essayist, and a philosopher devoted to worshipping the gods of Hellenism, he became embroiled in a fierce intellectual war with Christianity that provoked his murder at the age of thirty-two, only four years into his brilliantly humane and compassionate reign. A marvelously imaginative and insightful novel of classical antiquity, Julian captures the religious and political ferment of a desperate age and restores with blazing wit and vigor the legacy of an impassioned ruler.
“High entertainment.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A subtle, provoking, enthralling book. . . . Vidal’s ability to invoke a world is amazing.” —The Christian Science Monitor
“Historical fiction in the true, honorable sense. . . . Full of vivid, richly wrought fictional detail.” —The Wall Street Journal
“A real hero. . . . An excellent book.” —Chicago Daily News
“Gore Vidal has the sharpest sense of what political power consists of, how it is achieved and what it does to a man. And at the same time he is funny, roaringly funny. . . . Julian is a brilliant beacon of light in the dim grey landscape of the historical novel.” –Louis Auchincloss