— Julian (emperor) Roman Emperor, philosopher and writer 331 - 363
Upon the Sovereign Sun (362)
Contesto: From my earliest infancy I was possessed with a strange longing for the solar rays, so that when, as a boy, I cast my eyes upon the ethereal splendour, my soul felt seized and carried up out of itself. And not merely was it my delight to gaze upon the solar brightness, but at night also whenever I walked out in clear weather, disregarding all else, I used to fix my eyes upon the beauty of the heavens; so that I neither paid attention to what was said to me, nor took any notice of what was going on. On this account, people used to think me too much given to such pursuits, and far too inquisitive for my age: and they even suspected me, long before my beard was grown, of practising divination by means of the heavenly bodies. And. yet at that time no book on the subject had fallen into my hands, and I was utterly ignorant of what that science meant. But what use is it to quote these matters, when I have still stranger things to mention; if I should mention what I at that time thought about the gods? But let oblivion rest upon that epoch of darkness! How the radiance of heaven, diffused all round me, used to lift up my soul to its own contemplation! to such a degree that I discovered for myself that the moon's motion was in the opposite direction to that of the rest of the system, long before I met with any works giving the philosophy of such matters.