Frasi di Flavio Claudio Giuliano

Flavio Claudio Giuliano foto
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Flavio Claudio Giuliano

Data di nascita: 6. Novembre 331
Data di morte: 26. Giugno 363

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Flavio Claudio Giuliano è stato un imperatore e filosofo romano, l'ultimo sovrano dichiaratamente pagano, che tentò, senza successo, di restaurare la religione romana dopo che essa era stata abbandonata a favore del cristianesimo da suo zio Costantino I e dal figlio Costanzo II.

Membro della dinastia costantiniana , fu Cesare in Gallia dal 355; un pronunciamento militare nel 361 e la contemporanea morte del cugino Costanzo II lo resero imperatore fino alla morte, avvenuta nel 363 durante la campagna militare in Persia.

Per distinguerlo da Didio Giuliano o da Giuliano di Pannonia, usurpatore dell'epoca di Carino, fu chiamato anche Giuliano II, Giuliano Augusto, Giuliano il Filosofo o Giuliano l'Apostata dai cristiani, che lo presentarono come un persecutore ma, per quanto personalmente avverso al cristianesimo, nel suo regno vi fu un'iniziale tolleranza; non ci furono comunque mai persecuzioni anticristiane e venne praticata la tolleranza nei confronti di tutte le religioni, comprese le diverse dottrine cristiane e verso l'ebraismo, al punto di ordinare la ricostruzione del tempio ebraico di Gerusalemme secondo un programma di ripristino e rafforzamento dei culti religiosi locali; il tentativo di ricostruzione però venne abbandonato.

Giuliano scrisse numerose opere di carattere filosofico, religioso, polemico e celebrativo, in molte delle quali criticò il cristianesimo. La sua ispirazione filosofica fu in gran parte neoplatonica.

Frasi Flavio Claudio Giuliano

„Mosè ha dato della differenza delle lingue una ragione superlativamente favolosa. Dice che i figli degli uomini, riunitisi, volevano fabbricare una città e, in essa, una gran torre; ma Dio dichiarò: qui bisogna scendere e confondere le loro lingue. - E, perché nessuno creda che io voglia darla ad intendere, leggiamo nel testo stesso di Mosè, quel che segue: «E dissero: "Orsù; fabbrichiamoci una città ed una torre, la cui cupola giunga fino al cielo; e facciamoci un nome prima di essere dispersi su tutta la faccia della terra". E scese il Signore a vedere la città e la torre, che i figli degli uomini edificavano. E disse il Signore: "Ecco, essi sono un medesimo popolo, e una medesima lingua hanno tutti; e questo cominciarono a fare; ed ora non resteranno dal compiere tutto ciò che hanno cominciato. Dunque: discendiamo là, e confondiamo la loro lingua, affinché non capisca l'uno la parola dell'altro". E li disperseil Signore Iddio su tutta la faccia della terra, ed essi cessarono di fabbricare la città e la torre».Poi volete che a questo crediamo; ma voi non credete a ciò che dice Omero degli Aloadi, che tre montagne meditavano di porre l'una sull'altra, «onde fosse ascendibile il cielo». Per me io dico che questo racconto è ugualmente favoloso che quello. Ma voi, che il primo accogliete, per qual ragione, in nome di Dio, respingete la favola di Omero? Poiché questo - credo - uomini ignoranti non lo capiscono: che, se anche tutte le genti che popolano la terra avessero la medesima voce e la medesima lingua, fabbricare una torre che arrivi fino al cielo non potrebbero affatto, quand'anche facessero mattoni di tutta quanta la terra. Mattoni ce ne vorrebbero infiniti di grandezza pari a tutta intera la terra per arrivare al solo cerchio della luna. Ammettiamo pure che tutte le genti si siano riunite parlando una stessa lingua ed abbiano ridotto in mattoni e cavato le pietre di tutta la terra; come potranno arrivare fino al cielo, se anche la loro opera dovesse stendersi più sottile di un filo allungato? In conclusione: voi che stimate vera una favola così evidentemente falsa, e pretendete che Dio abbia avuto paura della unità di voce degli uomini e per questo sia disceso a confonderne le lingue, oserete ancora menare vanto della vostra conoscenza di Dio?“

— Flavio Claudio Giuliano

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„A very weighty argument is this — namely, that neither does the light which descends from thence, chiefly upon the world, mix itself with anything, nor admit of dirtiness or pollution, but remains entirely, and in all things that are, free from defilement, admixture, and suffering.“

— Julian (emperor)
Context: A very weighty argument is this — namely, that neither does the light which descends from thence, chiefly upon the world, mix itself with anything, nor admit of dirtiness or pollution, but remains entirely, and in all things that are, free from defilement, admixture, and suffering. Besides, we must pay attention to the other kinds of phenomena, both to the Intelligible, and yet more to the Sensible — whatever are connected with matter, or will manifest themselves in relation to our subject. <!-- Here, again, the Intelligible is the centre of the species that lie around the mighty Sun, through whose means the species connected with Matter are benefited, inasmuch as they would be unable either to exist, or to subsist, unless they be helped by him as regards their existence. Besides, is not he the author of the separation of Species and of the combination of Matter? He not merely allows himself to be mentally conceived, but to be an object of the sight, for the distribution of his rays over the whole world, and the unity of his light, demonstrate the creative and separating powers of his mode of action. And as there are still numerous visible benefits connected with the essence of this deity, which surround that which is intermediate between the Intelligible and the Sensible powers, let. us pass on to his final and visible conclusion. The first degree of his, contains as it were the model and the substance for a pattern to the Solar Angels who are stationed around the lowest world. After this comes that which is generative of things perceptible to Sense: of which the more refined part contains the source of heaven and the stars, whilst the inferior part superintends generation, containing from all eternity within itself the ungenerated essence of generation.

„Never indeed will there be or appear an orator so gifted that he could describe such surpassing beauty as shines forth on the countenance of the gods.“

— Julian (emperor)
Context: As for the beauty of the gods, not even Hermes tried to describe it in his tale; he said that it transcended description, and must be comprehended by the eye of the mind; for in words it was hard to portray and impossible to convey to mortal ears. Never indeed will there be or appear an orator so gifted that he could describe such surpassing beauty as shines forth on the countenance of the gods.

„Caesar, can there be anyone so dull and stupid as to take pains over jesting? I always thought that such pleasantries were a relaxation of the mind and a relief from pains and cares.“

— Julian (emperor)
Context: "It is the season of the Kronia, during which the god allows us to make merry. But, my dear friend, as I have no talent for amusing or entertaining I must methinks take pains not to talk mere nonsense." "But, Caesar, can there be anyone so dull and stupid as to take pains over jesting? I always thought that such pleasantries were a relaxation of the mind and a relief from pains and cares." "Yes, and no doubt your view is correct, but that is not how the matter strikes me. For by nature I have no turn for raillery, or parody, or raising a laugh."

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„The visible world has, as I have said, subsisted around him from all eternity: and the Light also which surrounds the world has also its place from all eternity, not intermittently, nor in different degrees at different times, but constantly and in an equable manner.“

— Julian (emperor)
Context: The visible world has, as I have said, subsisted around him from all eternity: and the Light also which surrounds the world has also its place from all eternity, not intermittently, nor in different degrees at different times, but constantly and in an equable manner. But whosoever will attempt to estimate, as far as thought goes, this external Nature, by the measure of Time, he will very easily discover respecting the Sun, Sovereign of all things, of how many blessings he is, from all eternity, the author to the world.

„Of all things nothing exists that is not by its substance the offspring of ocean.“

— Julian (emperor)
Context: Of all things nothing exists that is not by its substance the offspring of ocean. But why will you have me tell this to the vulgar? Although better to have been shrouded in silence, it nevertheless has been spoken; at all events I declare it, although all men will not readily receive the same.

„It must therefore be laid down that the sovereign Sun proceeded from the One God, — One out of the one Intelligible world“

— Julian (emperor)
Context: To explain, however, everything relating to the nature of this deity, is beyond the power of man, even though the god himself should grant him the ability to understand it: in a case where it seems, to me at least, impossible even mentally to conceive all its extent. And now that we have discussed so much, we must put as it were a seal upon this subject; and to stay a while and pass on to other points no less requiring examination. What then is this seal; and what comprises everything, as it were in a summary of the conception concerning the nature of the god? May He Himself inspire our understanding when we attempt briefly to explain the source out of which he proceeded; and what he is himself; and with what effects he fills the visible world. It must therefore be laid down that the sovereign Sun proceeded from the One God, — One out of the one Intelligible world; he is stationed in the middle of the Intelligible Powers, according to the strictest sense of "middle position;" bringing the last with the first into a union both harmonious and loving, and which fastens together the things that were divided: containing within himself the means of perfecting, of cementing together, of generative life, and of the uniform existence, and to the world of Sense, the author of all kinds of good; not merely adorning and cheering it with the radiance wherewith he himself illumines the same, but also by making subordinate to himself the existence of the Solar Angels; and containing within himself the unbegotten Cause of things begotten; and moreover, prior to this, the unfading, unchanging source of things eternal. All, therefore, that was fitting to be said touching the nature of this deity (although very much has been passed over in silence) has now been stated at some length.

„The rite, therefore, enjoins upon us who are celestial by our nature, but who have been carried down to earth, to reap virtue joined with piety from our conduct upon earth, and to aspire upwards unto the deity, the primal source of being and the fount of life.“

— Julian (emperor)
Context: When the Sun touches the equinoctial circle, where that which is most definite is placed (for equality is definite, but inequality indefinite and inexplicable); at that very moment (according to the report), the Sacred Tree is cut down; then come the other rites in their order; whereof some are done in compliance with rules that be holy and not to be divulged; others for reasons allowable to be discussed. The "Cutting of the Tree;" this part refers to the legend about the Gallos, and has nothing to do with the rites which it accompanies; for the gods have thereby, I fancy, taught us symbolically that we ought to pluck what is most beautiful on earth, namely virtue joined with piety, and offer the same unto the goddess, for a token of good government here below. For the Tree springs up out of the earth and aspires upwards into the air; it is likewise beautiful to see and be seen, and to afford us shade in hot weather; and furthermore to produce, and regale us with its fruit; thus a large share of a generous nature resides in it. The rite, therefore, enjoins upon us who are celestial by our nature, but who have been carried down to earth, to reap virtue joined with piety from our conduct upon earth, and to aspire upwards unto the deity, the primal source of being and the fount of life.

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