The Sophist
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The Sophist

The Great Philosopher-Emperor You’ve Never Heard Of

The Story of an Orphan who Upended the Roman Empire

The emperor Julian modelled himself on Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius. The young philosopher made an idealistic attempt to return the Roman Empire to older, philosophically-guided values but died in battle after only 20 months in power. (Image: Julian II in Paris City Museum. Photo by Ωméga * on Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

In June 363 a demoralised and tired Roman army was marching deep in the territory of the enemy Sassanid Empire in what is now modern Iraq.

The retreating army was dangerously low on supplies in the sweltering heat of a Mesopotamian summer. Soldiers burdened by a…

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Steven Gambardella

Steven Gambardella

The lessons of philosophy and history, their practical benefits for your life and work. Feel free to get in touch: stevengambardella@gmail.com

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