Talk:Julian (emperor)

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Consensus name change sought[edit]

How is it that two years on there still hasn't been a change away from naming the article after an obvious Christian slur on the man, a slur that is no longer the prevalent usage and that clearly was not what he was called in his lifetime? Why can't the man just be called by his well-known name, e.g. Julian (Roman emperor)? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:49, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Furthermore, can there be any dispute that someone who sees "Julian (Roman emperor)" will immediately know what he was and why he's significant - he was a Roman emperor - whereas many who see "Julian the Apostate" will have no idea what that even means. Even if they know what an apostate is, what is he apostate from? It doesn't say who he is!

As a matter of principle, Wikipedia article titles should not be implicitly taking sides in a dispute almost 1700 years ago between Christians and Hellenists in the Roman Empire. From our perspective, given the decline of Christianity as a common set of beliefs shared within the Western intellectual classes, the question of which world-view may lay claim to definitional hegemony is hardly cut-and-dried. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:32, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

"Julian the Apostate" as a name is not less favored in academic circles as a survey of articles published in peer reviewed journals will show. A well-constructed Google search will also show that "Julian the Apostate" is not the most common way to refer to the emperor. At the same time the epithet "apostate" is an attack on the person of Julian by people who gained power after him and rendered him anathema.

There have been a number of attempts to move this article to a name that would be less polemical and less derogatory. The fact that there have been a number of attempts suggests that the issue is important enough to be reconsidered.

What name would have the most likelihood to be acceptable for a consensus?

  • The most recently dismissed name change was for "Flavius Claudius Iulianus", which was the emperor's real name. This is the solution that was taken with the emperor Tacitus.
  • Another possibility would be to own the name "Julian" and redirect other inquiries to "Julian_(disambiguation)". Julian does have enough historical significance to own the name. This is the solution taken with the emperor Joannes. It is the tendency regarding Roman emperors to use the simplest form of reference.
  • Yet another possibility would be "Julian (emperor)". This is the solution taken with Honorius.

Perhaps there are other solutions. Assuming that such a move were to be made, what would you prefer? -- spincontrol 03:39, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

I would prefer no move. As Doktorspin notes, there have been previous attempts to move the article, and they have never won consensus. It is, of course, false to say "'Julian the Apostate' as a name is not favored in academic circles as a survey of article published in peer reviewed journals will show"--surveys have been made during previous attempts to change the article title, and the emperor Julian is still often called "Julian the Apostate" in academic discourse. --Akhilleus (talk) 03:58, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
And for an updated survey, one might start by searching Google Scholar for "Julian the Apostate": I got 206 results for the exact phrase in Social Sciences, Arts, and Humanities for the period 2008-2010. #4 in my results: Emile F. Kutash, "The Prevailing Circumstances: The Pagan Philosophers of Athens in a Time of Stress," Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies, 10 (2008). --Akhilleus (talk) 04:07, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Humor me for the moment. I realize that some people don't want the article moved. But this is not an opportunity to rekindle that debate. This is an attempt to find the most suitable name if this article were to be moved. -- spincontrol 05:15, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

The fact that "Julian the Apostate" IS used in scholarly articles is not debatable. However, this hardly means that it is THE MOST COMMON way of referring to him. By far the most common way is simply "Julian". It seems clear that per WP policy, you want to use the MOST COMMON form as the article title, not just "one that is also used".
Now in the spirit of humoring you :P my preference would be that the article should own Julian, as per the fact that this in fact how he is most commonly referred to, and the fact that by "Julian" one is far likelier to mean the emperor, than someone else (ie Julian of Norwich). For evidence of this, try a Google scholar search, searching for the word "Julian" occuring in the TITLE of the article, and excluding the word "Madden" (thus eliminating the Madden-Julian oscilation). You will find that all uses of the name 'Julian' without further disambiguation do in fact refer to the Emperor Julian. Furthermore, you will find that the Emperor is referred to either as "Julian" or "the Emperor Julian" more frequently that as "Julian the Apostate". Most importantly, you will find that Julian of Norwich is practically NEVER referred to as simply "Julian". Scholarly usage of the non-disambiguated form of "Julian" is reserved fairly exclusively for the subject of this article, thus, it is clear that the subject of this article should own "Julian". "The apostate" is not necessary as a disambiguation in the title.
So, summing up, I'd prefer Julian.
PS I'd also recommend you don't bring up the point of "the apostate" being derogatory. While this is true, it will not matter, and will be used by those opposing the move as an excuse to oppose your proposal. Drop the matter of derogatoriness altogether, and simply present the actual usage. It really is enough. Druworos (talk) 19:39, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
Great. Thanks for the comment. I'll leave off with the stuff about "the apostate". The figures should be convincing enough by themselves. -- spincontrol 04:59, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

I've corrected my first statement of the request for suggestions because it wasn't as accurate as I wanted to be. It should have read: "Julian the Apostate" as a name is less favored in academic circles as a survey of articles published in peer reviewed journals will show. Sorry for any confusion. -- spincontrol 04:59, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Some stats[1]:

  • Julian_the_Apostate has been viewed 11696 times in 200912.
  • Julian_of_Norwich has been viewed 7001 times in 200912.
  • Julian has been viewed 6801 times in 200912.
  • Didius_Julianus has been viewed 3683 times in 200912.

The present article used to sit at Julian. Haukur (talk) 11:10, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

I found a few efforts to move from the current title to Julian followed by reversions, by I couldn't see where it was originally called Julian. Can you supply the diff?
The stats would suggest that the present article could claim the right to use "Julian" as its title. It would be interesting to know how many of those viewing "Julian" went on to this article. -- spincontrol 14:01, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
It's confusing to sort through the archives, especially if you can't see deleted revisions (non-admins can't, right? or am I misremembering?) but the Internet Archive will give you most of the story.[2] Julian used to contain an article on the emperor until December 2004 when the article was moved to Julian the Apostate. From December 2004 to August 2005 Julian was a redirect to Julian the Apostate at which point it became a redirect to Julian (disambiguation). In January 2006, Julian started hosting the disambiguation page. Haukur (talk) 16:22, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
This would mean that "Julian the Apostate" has been the title for five years. It has faced a number of ad hoc reverts to "Julian" as well as at least three consensus moves to change the name.
At present Julian (disambiguation) is a basic disambiguation page, while Julian features information about the name and the many famous Julians. What I would envisage is a change from "Julian" to "Julian (name)", leaving "Julian" available for this article, if "Julian" is the most likely consensus candidate. -- spincontrol 16:48, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Hmm, which name is used by Encyclopaedia Britannica and other respected sources? Flamarande (talk) 15:50, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't have EB, but I do know that the most respected resource in the field, the Cambridge Ancient History, uses "Julian". How does your question relate to the best possible name to change this article to if it were to be moved? -- spincontrol 16:32, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Respected English sources tend to show which name is widely used (that's why we don't use Wikipedia in this issue - the name changes all too often). Try to find the online site of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Flamarande (talk) 16:51, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
The usage of the Cambridge Ancient History is very much to the point. Other articles on well-known emperors are titled simply Augustus, Tiberius, Claudius, Vespasian, etc. Contemporary scholarship at least from the mid-20th century calls him "the Emperor Julian," or just "Julian." "Julian the Apostate" as a form of reference was meant to stigmatize him for his religious preferences, and thus violates the policy of neutrality, since it was a derogation by Christians. Scholars who began to recognize this bias stopped using it; others preserve it without thinking because of its familiarity, or because they have a Christian POV. The principle of neutrality may not be as highly valued elsewhere as it is on Wikipedia, so the frequency with which "Julian the Apostate" appears should carry less weight as an argument. But given that "Julian" is a common personal name in English, Julian (emperor) seems reasonable as an article title. Cynwolfe (talk) 17:04, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
The POV argument has fallen on deaf ears whenever this article has come up for name change consideration. I'd hope to argue on the stats, such as the usage in the scholarly world. -- spincontrol 17:25, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
If I see the POV argument again, I will consider going to ArbCom. It shows ignorance of or disregard for actual scholarly usage. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:13, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
I also think the epithet is POV and can easily demonstrate it, but rest assured I won't be using it. -- spincontrol 22:50, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
For what it's worth, EB online uses Julian. -- spincontrol 17:20, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
The Loeb Classical Library edition of his works uses "Julian" as well. --Saddhiyama (talk) 17:34, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Cynwolfe and some of the other contributors above seem to be making a mistake that is sadly common on this page: thinking that Wikipedia's policy of neutrality means being inoffensive. NPOV means, quite simply, "representing fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been published by reliable sources." If this has an application to the names of articles (it's not entirely clear that it does) that does not mean selecting an inoffensive name, but rather using whatever name is used most often by reliable sources--which is in fact what the relevant policy, WP:NAME, specifies. That, at least, is why the "POV argument" falls on deaf ears in my case. (Also, it's not clear to me why calling Julian an apostate is derogatory anyway. It's certainly a fact that he rejected Christianity. It's just as easy to see that as a positive instead of a negative.)

Anyway, I don't have strong objections to a title like Julian (Roman emperor)--this is less ambiguous and therefore preferable to Julian (emperor). If people would make an argument for this title that didn't center around specious charges of "POV" and poorly interpreted Google searches, I might even support it. --Akhilleus (talk) 17:50, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

I think I've been misunderstood here: I'm not worried about hurting a dead emperor's feelings. It's a non-neutral POV because it's a purely Christian POV, and it's intellectually inaccurate except from an intra-Christian perspective. The word "apostasy" is an inherently POV word in that it establishes a perspective within a belief system and characterizes an individual as stepping away from it. From the perspective of those who had not converted to Christianity, Julian would've been a traditionalist or preservationist or restorationist or such: he hadn't 'stepped away' from anything. You can't separate this issue from the question of what to call him, because this issue is why scholars stopped using the name. Or why do you think, Akhilleus, that scholars stopped calling him "Julian the Apostate"? It would be like calling an article John Brown (traitor) — one of the charges on which he was convicted was treason, but he's now referred to as an "abolitionist." Cynwolfe (talk) 18:16, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
No more a Christian POV than Edward the Confessor, which also started as a Christian term - and which scholars also still use. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:13, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
But this is the thing, Cynwolfe: scholars haven't stopped calling him "Julian the Apostate"--see my post above. As I mentioned, an article in Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies calls him this, which I have a hard time seeing as an example of a "purely Christian POV." Or see Glen Bowersock's book, or Adrian Murdoch's The Last Pagan: Julian the Apostate and the Death of the Ancient World, or Rowland Smith's Julian's Gods: Religion and Philosophy in the Thought and Action of Julian the Apostate, or Shaun Tougher's Julian the Apostate. Hm, I guess Murdoch's book is more popular than scholarly, but it's still evidence towards this point. --Akhilleus (talk) 19:14, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Both Akhilleus and PMA are right. But "Julian the Apostate" is a reductive, sectarian label perpetuated by a hostile tradition. Not all scholars have stopped using it (though I would certainly ask them why not — I suspect that in many cases it's for the very reason that "the Apostate" is contentious and sexy). For the record, I actually don't have any problem calling an article "Pope Paul II" or "Saint Augustine" (though I think we go with Augustine of Hippo) because those honorifics tell you something about who the person was. Julian was a Roman emperor, and as far as I know, he's the only Roman emperor identified by a nickname like this. Why not call him Julian (emperor)? Cynwolfe (talk) 22:49, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
I did a casual survey of EB entries when I looked online for their Julian article and, from what I could see, entries with a history leaning used "Julian", while entries dealing with saints used "Julian the Apostate". -- spincontrol 23:05, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm trying hard to avoid getting into details that will take us away from the the discussion at hand regarding the preferred name for the article beside "Julian the Apostate". (And if it must be discussed now rather than when a request for move is made, can I place the current tangent under another section? Thanks.) -- spincontrol 19:26, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
For my part, it's fine to split this discussion off into a separate section, but I think you have enough responses to conclude that the target of your move request should be Julian (emperor) or Julian (Roman emperor). --Akhilleus (talk) 19:33, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

I'd say so far, three people seem to prefer "Julian" (if I understand Haukur and Saddhiyama correctly), one for "Julian (emperor)" and one for "Julian (Roman emperor)". -- spincontrol 23:33, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Oh, I don't have any strong opinion - just trying to provide information. Haukur (talk) 10:36, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
My personal feeling is that "the Apostate" is derogatory, but, at the end of the day, Akhileus and Septentrionalis would have to be right on that you want to be using the most common form of reference (regardless of whether it may be derogatory). This is all that should matter, and I am fairly confident that "Julian the Apostate" can be displayed to no longer be the most common form of FIRST (there you have it) reference. This is why I would implore all people, especially those actually interested in making a successful proposal for a move, to simply entirely steer clear of the issue of POV. It has become abundantly clear that there will never be a consensus on that matter, and all such a discussion would achieve would be to sidetrack the discussion away from what matters: actual usage, which, at the end of the day, I firmly belive will justify a move.
Also, as I said above, my own preference would be that the article own Julian. I can hardly imagine that Julian of Norwich is evered termed, on first reference, simply "Julian", much unlike the subject of this article. If however the consensus is that further disambiguation would be necessary, you clearly want to use the most common disambiguation. In our case, that is (or seems to be) Julian (emperor). Adding "Roman" is really unnecessary. Druworos (talk) 19:00, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
I would consider an argument for simple Julian, if it will show that the overwhelming majority of readers, typing in Julian, want this article - I am not convinced, but it is possible. I would vehemently oppose anything else; if Julian needs disambiguation, the present title is how English does it. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:15, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
I agree completely with Septentrionalis. I do believe that this emperor is more known as "Julian". Flamarande (talk) 19:26, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

That sounds, for the intents of this discussion, like two more people preferring "Julian". -- spincontrol 01:37, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

'Most common'[edit]

Let's examine this notion of "most common". Based on what? Search results? Even if perfect parameters could be found (and those problems are well discussed here), another issue is that public domain sources (hence from the 19th and early 20th century) will vastly outnumber works of contemporary scholarship, significant amounts of which is not online or is behind firewalls. You can't really filter your search results by date adequately, either, because of so-called 'publishing companies' that simply scan PD books and sell them under their own covers, with a new pub date. Therefore, we are taking the intellectually risible position that we shouldn't evaluate on the merits, but go with a vague notion of 'what's common' (even though the debate itself shows that "Julian the Apostate" is far from common consensus in 2010) — even if that means perpetuating inaccuracy or bias? That's exactly the kind of thinking that gets Wikipedia mocked.

And what about Ivan the Terrible or Catherine the Great? These are redirect links to articles properly titled Ivan IV of Russia and Catherine II of Russia. The former are assuredly the 'most common' forms of reference to these figures, but there are good reasons they're no longer considered the most helpful way to identify them in a 21st century encyclopedia.

I don't buy the idea that we have to be intellectual Luddites and consent to perpetuating misleading or antiquated views. The issue is not that the "the Apostate" is "offensive" (to whom? that's just silly). It's that like "the Terrible" or "the Great," it's a distorting intellectual artifact from another time. These nicknames can be discussed more usefully in the body of the article. It's no longer consensus, even if you find it still used; it's contentious, when an intellectually neutral form of identification is available. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:04, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Exactly to the contrary: we should go with a vague notion of 'what's common' even if that means perpetuating inaccuracy or bias.
I strongly disagree with several of your posts and I think that they are hurting the "move"-side more than the arguments of the other side (i.e.: your posts arguing that "'the Apostate' is a hostile Christian POV and that's why we should move the article to a more neutral name" is slowly getting on everybody's nerves).
I'm in favour of Julian instead of Julian the Apostate because Julian seems IMHO to be more popular (he was formerly famous with the title "the apostate" but these days he seems to be more famous - written about - under his own name) and not because such a title is a "distorting intellectual artifact from another time".
We shouldn't make any judgement calls. When we are debating the name of an article we should mainly concern ourselves with the following: "Which name is used by the average person? Does this name include a title or not?"
Let me pick two clear examples: Alexander the Great and Herod the Great. Everybody with minimum knowledge about history knows which guys the articles are about. These are two examples of the names we want; these are the names we NEED. Now try to imagine how many of us could identify Alexander III of Macedon or Herod I of Judea. I hope that most of us agree that such names are ridiculous; however these are the kind of names Cynewolf seems to be loudly defending:
He wrote: "And what about Ivan the Terrible or Catherine the Great? These are redirect links to articles properly titled Ivan IV of Russia and Catherine II of Russia. The former are assuredly the 'most common' forms of reference to these figures, but there are good reasons they're no longer considered the most helpful way to identify them in a 21st century encyclopedia." (emphasize mine)
I completely disagree with that and as a matter of fact I believe exactly the contrary: there are NO good reasons to prefer 'Ivan IV of Russia' and 'Catherine II of Russia' over 'Ivan the Terrible' and 'Catherine the Great' . The current names are utterly ridiculous. Following this reasoning we end up with two clear examples of bureaucratic blindness and stupidity: Napoleon I of France (instead of the famous Napoleon Bonaparte) and Victoria of the United Kingdom (instead of Queen Victoria).
In his post above Cynewolf finally seems to have dropped the POV-argument but reading all his other posts (more above) it was his major banner. STUFF neutrality and this all this whinnying about NPOV, let us use common sense and common names instead. Neutrality is to be applied on the contents of the articles and not their bloody names. Flamarande (talk) 19:26, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
First of, let me point out what's wrong with 'common sense' assumptions: I'm a 'she,' not a 'he.' And since you misspelled my name too, I'm afraid you've rather eroded your credibility with me in terms of how closely you can pay attention and follow an argument. I've listed several grounds for not calling this article "Julian the Apostate." The very existence of this discussion shows that there is no 'common sense' assumption of what to call the emperor Julian: if that were true, there wouldn't be such a debate about it. It may be true that 50 years ago, "Julian the Apostate" would've been most common. Although that phrase is still used, I simply don't see it used most of the time in the scholarly literature. There is no common consensus; if that could be demonstrated, it would be grounds for using it. But since you can offer no proof of that other than your faith in your evident keen editing instincts, there seems to be a consensus on this page that the article should be called either Julian (emperor) or Julian (Roman emperor). Cynwolfe (talk) 21:59, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
Addendum: Apologies for my tone, Flam. Let me put it another way. The Secret Decoder Ring I got in my box of Cheerios works just as well as the Secret Decoder Ring you got in your Lucky Charms. My impression of 'most common' is just as valid as yours. And I don't agree that in the last 30 years, "Julian the Apostate" would be the most familiar way to talk or think about this emperor. In fact, you could probably point to Gore Vidal's novel Julian as marking a shift in popular perception: the sympathetic treatment in fiction made people think about Julian differently, from a non-Christian POV. Now, I'm willing to bet that if I went down to the mall and grabbed 25 people at random and asked them "Have you ever heard of Julian the Apostate?", I'd get 25 blank looks, in part because "apostate" is an uncommon word. It isn't a word I'd use in common conversation, for sure. (Since I live in a college town, I might not get 25 non-responses, in truth.) Now, if I grabbed 25 of these 'average people' (whatever that means) at random and asked "Have you ever heard of a Roman emperor named Julian?" I'm betting I'd at least get some game attempts to answer, because Roman emperor provided a frame of reference: "Is that the guy who got stabbed in Rome?" (No, but thanks for playing.) Any argument that "apostate" rings a bell for the average person just doesn't cut it. If these mythical Average People Who've Heard of Julian exist, I say they are more likely to get Julian (Roman emperor) than some greekified esoteric expression like "the Apostate." Now, you can accuse me of changing my reasoning; the fact is that I can think of abundant reasons not to call this article "Julian the Apostate" and not a single positive reason to call it that, except that some participants in this discussion think they possess superior psychic knowledge of what 'most people' or 'the average person' thinks. I just don't see "the Apostate" as coming as easily to any person's mind or to their typing fingers as "Roman emperor." Cynwolfe (talk) 23:41, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
I apologize for assuming that you were male, and for misspelling your name. What can I say? I'm only human and I do some mistakes. However I must point out that you focused your reply solely on said mistakes and avoided completely the main arguments.
In this particular case we have the Roman emperor 'Julian' who entered historiography as "Julian the Apostate". The importance and POV of the title simply doesn't matter all, what matters is if the name recently shifted to 'Julian' or not. AFAIK it has shifted. I'm basing my opinion on some books I bought in the last years and on EB online (why do you think that I asked for it, Spincontrol?) Flamarande (talk) 00:12, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Cynwolfe, in an earlier discussion on the name change issue, I pointed out that other Wiki articles are more seriously named, but the response was simply WP:OTHERSTUFF. You can't use other stuff to make such a point. And POV, as you've seen, is not functional. Nevertheless, I think the most common name can be established as "Julian" and it isn't a matter of particularly recent times, as I pointed out above. That's the way I intend to present the issue. -- spincontrol 01:37, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Well, the last comment I'll make on this before I say "Good luck, Doktorspin" and depart would be this:
  • Attempts to arrive at 'most common' through statistical analysis of search results are doomed, not only because of the difficulties of parameters, but because all the relevant materials are not online to be searched (or are too deep for public search engines to find).
  • 'Most common' is a judgment call, and that's OK, because as noted above, we're still human. An acceptable view of 'most common' can be arrived at through consensus: I happen to agree with Flamarande that Napoleon Bonaparte should be called that, absolutely.
  • No consensus, however, exists on Julian, as this discussion demonstrates self-evidently. Perfectly intelligent people disagree, with good reasons. (I"ve stated several of mine; those reasons contribute to why usage has changed.)
  • I don't see any positive reason for using "Julian the Apostate" stated other than it's presumed to be "most common" by some.
  • But we've already established that 'most common' is a perception. Others disagree that that there's anything 'common' about the little-used word 'apostate,' which is much more "astonishing" as an identifier than "Roman emperor".
  • Because no consensus points to an agreed-upon "most common," other forms of Wiki-reasoning, which include the relative value of sources and not actively supporting partisan views, are brought to bear in determining what form of identification is endorsed for this person in the title of his article. I've never seen a policy that said "you must blindly and mindlessly perpetuate outdated, biased, and inaccurate terminology." That would create serious problems in science articles. The humanities have methodologies, too.
So, sorry to have roiled the seas so much. But unlike "Napoleon Bonaparte," "Julian the Apostate" simply can't be shown to be "most common." The reasons it's being used less frequently have to do with its less-than-helpful framing of the subject matter. So don't confuse the parts of the argument: it has become no longer "most common" (if it ever was) because it's biased and not useful. This is a matter of understanding the history of the usage of the phrase; but the argument that "Julian the Apostate" is "most common" can't stand on its own merits. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:33, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Don't go too far away Cynwolfe. I'll be seeking consensus on a name change next week. I personally think that the name should be "Julian" and my modest research in Google and JStor suggest that Julian is far more common among people who write about the emperor that "Julian the Apostate". You know why this is the case among history scholars. I would think the differential is different among religious scholars, if EB articles can be indicative. But do come back. -- spincontrol 21:53, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Either rename it to "Julian" or -- since this was not the only Roman emperor with that cognomen -- use the tria nomina.

Incidentally, Wikipedia needs an article on the senatorial revival, aka "pagan revival" of the late fourth century. That would be a more appropriate "see also" than the meaningless "See also: henosis, henotheism" (which are concepts that Julian has nothing to do with, and are articles in which he naturally receives no mention). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:38, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

My two cents: First, calling this guy "The Apostate" is not correct since it is a nickname given to an emperor by his detractors. So at first glance this article would be best served by labeling it "Julian" and then saying right away in the opening paragraph, "(Also known as/Commonly known as "Julian The Apostate.")

However, since no one has mentioned "Caligula" or "Pompey the Great" here, I will. Caligula was a nickname given to the emperor in his youth, but no one in his right mind would use it during his reign. He was "Gaius" or "Caesar" or "Augustus." Nevertheless, everyone is perfectly happy to label that emperor's webpage "Caligula," and all throughout his article he is constantly referred to by that name and no other. The same paradoxically, goes for "Pompey's" page (which lacks "The Great," even though Pompey is most commonly referred to as "Pompey The Great!"

So what's to be made of this discrepancy? It seems that the negative religious origins of Julian's nickname is what irks most people here, just as it seems that there is no agreed upon standard for naming here at Wikipedia (as any quick glance through the non-English webpages will amply demonstrate!) So to sum up, I personally think that Julian's page should be relabeled "Julian," with "The Apostate" either in parenthesis in the title or an A.K.A. reference down in the first paragraph. Then, the disambiguation page can clearly state "also known as "Julian the Apostate" to avoid confusion. Thanks114.148.151.180 (talk) 04:01, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Google search for non-apostated Julian[edit]

I would be interested in finding a fair Google search that could be more indicative of the hits related to Julian in which he is specifically not called "Julian the Apostate". A recent search criterion I used was

(julian constantius|marcellinus|libanius|jovian|valens|themistius|"Maximus of Ephesus") -julian-the-apostate -apostata -apostate-julian -julian-calendar -julian-dates -julian-basilica

All the phrases above starting with a minus are removed from the search. The above looks for "julian" in the context of one or more of the following: constantius, marcellinus, libanius, jovian, valens, themistius, Maximus of Ephesus. This is based on the assumption that the name "Julian" in the context of these names should be our Julian.

I'd appreciate any suggested improvements. -- spincontrol 18:07, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

I sympathize with the difficulty of trying to construct a search for this. I don't know why evidence of usage in standard sources such as the Cambridge Ancient History wouldn't be sufficient. Cynwolfe (talk) 18:45, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Doesn't CAH use "Apostate" at first reference? (Everybody uses "Julian" for the fifth reference, as they use Edward for Edward the Confessor - and for the same reasons. We should do the same in article text.) Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:06, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
In the CAH edition I have access to, the first reference to Julian is v.13 p.3, "The future emperor Julian", and from there on appears to be just "Julian". -- spincontrol 22:58, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't have any good suggestions for improving the search, but maybe someone at Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Computing could offer some advice. The search linked above gets many relevant results, but also turns up a small number of results for Ritchie Valens. (Presumably there are fewer pop stars with "Jovian" in their name...) --Akhilleus (talk) 19:29, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Thinking about it, all we'd need is an astronomer named Julian something who wrote about Jovian moons or a cultural historian talking of Jovian mythology. The adjectival use is the problem. Hmm. -- spincontrol 19:26, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

A slightly more relevant search:

(julian constantius|marcellinus|libanius|themistius|"Maximus of Ephesus"|misopogon) -julian-the-apostate -apostata -apostate-julian -julian-line -julian-calendar -julian-dates -julian-basilica

Gone are both Valens and Jovian and I've used Misopogon as a key. -- spincontrol 23:00, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Search for Julian and other famous names of his time[edit]

Here are some simpler google searches that show the difference between "julian the apostate" and "julian". In each case I have attempted to limit the "julian" search by removing a series of known unhelpful uses of "julian". The hit rates actually seem to change depending on the time of day, but the ratios generally seem to remain the same.

Search context name Julian Julian the Apostate
Oribasius 3,000 2,410
Themistius 11,500 3,000
Misopogon 31,600 2,890
Ctesiphon 11,500 8,430
Libanius 45,400 12,500
Ammianus (Marcellinus) 84,700 21,800
Jovian (&) Constantius 95,000 48,500

Let's assume a margin of 10% false hits in these results for Julian and I think we are safe in the results. -- spincontrol 00:12, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Again, even if one finds other statistics to support other views, the existence of these results supports the view that it simply isn't self-evident that "Julian the Apostate" is the "most common" form of reference. And for "most common" to be a valid perception, it has to be readily apparent, yes? Cynwolfe (talk) 14:37, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Julian the Apostate, Julian and the emperor Julian[edit]

107,000 for "Julian the Apostate"

276,000 for (Julian Libanius|Ammianus|Misopogon|Themistius|Constantius) -"Julian the Apostate" -"Julian basilica" -"Julian calendar"

265,000 for (Julian Libanius|Ammianus|Misopogon|Themistius|Constantius) -"Julian the Apostate" -"Julian basilica" -"Julian calendar" -"emperor Julian"

The third search removes all instances of the phrase "emperor Julian" from the previous search.

"Julian" is substantially more frequent than either "Julian the Apostate" or the "emperor Julian". -- spincontrol 22:15, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Google scholar[edit]

For the years 2008-2010:

284 for (julian libanius|marcellinus|themistius|misopogon|constantius|ctesiphon) -"julian the apostate" -"julian calendar" -"julian alps" -"julian basilica"

210 for "Julian the Apostate"

-- spincontrol 22:16, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Google Wikipedia[edit]

686 "julian the apostate"

636 julian libanius OR marcellinus OR constantius -"julian -the -apostate" -"julian -calendar" -"julian -basilica"

Looks good for "Julian the Apostate" until we factor in the fact that there is a template for every Roman emperor which links to "Julian the Apostate". There are 170 Roman emperors of which one refers to "Julian the Apostate" and three to "Julian", so the adjusted results are:

517 "Julian the Apostate"

639 "Julian"

The written consensus on Wikipedia is against "Julian the Apostate". -- spincontrol 22:16, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Unbelievable!! 1) I actually read all this..... stuff. 2) you STILL haven't stopped!! I am a complete novice ("idiot") at history. The Emperor Julian, to me, meant just one guy: your guy. Period. "Apostate"? How could he BE an "apostate"? He NEVER believed in the first place. That's important!! Because he never believed in Jesus, he CAN'T BE an "apostate". But, "Julian the Unbeliever"? How derogatory is THAT? It's POV...Catholic... right? To discredit the guy. Catholic. Certainly, Protestants have no dog in this fight. lol. you guys....

I vote for the Roman Emperor Julian (11/355-6/363 CE) and Disambiguate the rest of the Wiki entries.(Paleocon44 (talk) 21:19, 29 March 2010 (UTC))

I'm fully in agreement that the article should be moved, but early in his life he was Christian, or at least publicly professed it (the article itself mentions that he even had a minor position as a lector in the church, and he came to his paganism later on through lots of philosophical studying and soul-searching. This isn't too surprising, since he was raised as a member of the Christian Constantinian dynasty, so of course he wouldn't have been pagan all his life, but it's a fact that's relevant here. I still don't think it's fair for Wikipedia to stick him with the pejorative label of "apostate" in the official title of his article, of course. Lost tiree, lost dutch :O (talk) 20:25, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Move the page already. There are also various places in the article text that reek of POV and weasel words. Simanos (talk) 12:50, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
You will gain nothing if you move the page without getting an agreement and without following the proper steps (let me improve that: you will lose the goodwill of some users). Flamarande (talk) 13:17, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Well I didn't move the page, did I? What I meant was that I agreed with the move and that I'm noticing a "dragging of feet" of some to follow the "proper steps". As Monty Pythons might say: "Get on with it!" :p Simanos (talk) 12:55, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't see any forward movement. Shouldn't we start voting and stuff and post it on some noticeboard and ask admins to take a look? Simanos (talk) 13:06, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

His sarcophagus[edit]

The Sarcophagus of the Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate(Istanbul Archaeological Museum): (on the left)

& (in the middle)

Turkish source: "Topkapı Sarayı ve Çevresinin Bizans Devri Arkeolojisi" (by Hülya Tezcan) Böri (talk) 13:42, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

The Sarcophagus of Julian the Apostate: first in the Church of the Holy Apostles > Topkapı Palace (until 1847) > Hagia Eirene /Aya İrini Church (until 1916) > Istanbul Archaeological Museum now! (& there is no cross on it! because he was not a christian!)

But he was buried in the Church of the Holy Apostles in a porphyry sarcophagus. from:

It is generally accepted that the Emperor Julian was reburied in the Church of the Holy Apostles at Constantinople at some unknown date after his initial burial outside Tarsus in Cilicia in 363. Böri (talk) 09:49, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

If it is "generally accepted" (by whom?) then it should be possible to produce some evidence to this effect. Do you have a quotation to support (a) that it was a reburial and (b) that this theory is "generally accepted" by whoever you have in mind? (Not that you're probably wrong, but that this ought to go into the article, and so needs proper references and quotes). Roger Pearse (talk) 16:09, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
The pictures of the sarcophagus of Julian are MOST interesting! Roger Pearse (talk) 16:09, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm not wrong. I wrote the Turkish source... & the Turkish historians know that it is the sarcophagus of Julian the Apostate. NO CROSS on it! Böri (talk) 09:13, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
He was far from the only person that was not a Christian at the time, so the fact that there are no crosses on it does not automatically make it his sarcophagus. It would be interesting to see some citations from those Turkish historians, just remember if the general consensus in international academia is that it is not his tomb, then the former view would still be a minority, although if it is the general consensus in Turkish academia, it may still warrant a mention in the article. --Saddhiyama (talk) 09:36, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Useful and less useful[edit]

I could wish that this page demonstrated rather less determination by one atheist to rename Julian the Apostate, and rather more interest in reading his work.Roger Pearse (talk) 16:04, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

As this can only be directed at me, please desist from making the false claim that I am an atheist. You are wrong and you know you are wrong. You have been on the same forum as me for many years. You should know better.
As to the wish that I demonstrate "more interest in reading his work", you'll note that when I completely overhauled the page from March to June 2009, I added extensive footnotes from various scholarly sources including reference to the works of Julian and more specifically the information about his works was amplified. -- spincontrol 03:48, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

I've uploaded the letters of Julian to Roger Pearse (talk) 16:04, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Good work. -- spincontrol 03:48, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

military training[edit]

Like all members of the Imperial family Julian had received some military training in his youth, though his military acumen before his assignment to Gaul in 355 remained untested. Our sources have a tendency to play upon Julian's intrinsic martial qualities as a way of promoting hid right to rule. Ammianus 16.5.10. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:05, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Please don't start with blank spaces, it messes with the formatting. Also, what? Ian.thomson (talk) 20:06, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Flavius Claudius Julianus[edit]

Could we please stop shuffling the spelling of the emperor's name? It is the convention in most classics departments around the world to distinguish between consonantal and vowel usages of "I" (vowel->"i", consonant->"j") and "V" (vowel->"u", consonant->"v") in Latin (we are not writing in majuscule). This is also the convention used on Wikipedia. We usually don't find Avgvstvs and Ivlivs in learned journals. I don't see the logic in starting a war of liberation of the original orthography of Latin names beginning with Julian's. There is obviously not a consensus for changing the spelling. This should mean that such changes should cease. -- spincontrol 07:04, 2 May 2011 (UTC)


Hello, Just lazily drifting past via the Apostate page, I was looking for a reference to insert into the notable apostates section. I see one that says "The Decline and Fall" chapter 23, does that refer to the book entitled The_History_of_the_Decline_and_Fall_of_the_Roman_Empire or something else ? EdwardLane (talk) 10:03, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Yep, Chapter 23 of Gibbon's Decline and Fall is about Julian. Somebody should clarify that footnote. Lost tiree, lost dutch :O (talk) 20:33, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

"Julian and religious issues"[edit]

Given the amount of heat the title of this article has already generated with its "apostate" slur to Julian (this state of being apostate never having been demonstrated--in that he has never been shown to have ever been christian in any meaningful sense, showing pagan tendencies from his teens), it is obviously unacceptable and unlikely to ever gain any consensus to change the above named section heading to "Julian the Apostate". -- spincontrol 16:14, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

OK, as long as you don't call him a pagan. I'm not so much worried about slandering a dead emperor as I am misrepresenting and obscuring his documented religious beliefs by calling him a "pagan," a word which even Christian apologists didn't use when they were directly addressing those of other religious beliefs (for instance, the future Saint Ambrose uses gentes when he replies to the Third Relatio of Symmachus, not pagani). "Pagan" is OK when writing within a Christian frame of reference, but it doesn't describe the religion of anybody in Julian's time.[3] I too would like to see "the Apostate" go away in the article title, per WP:ROMANS, which states: "Roman emperors are generally considered the primary topic for generic names. Titus, Claudius, and Nero are all articles on Roman emperors, even though these are generic names shared by many other Romans." Why then the Emperor Julian isn't just "Julian" or (since this is a common modern name) "Julian (emperor)" I do not know. Note the coy omission of Julian as an exception in the WP:ROMANS guideline. Nor, I add hastily, do I wish to reopen this, because nobody needs to hear the lame, I mean same, arguments again. Cynwolfe (talk) 16:50, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Caligula? Elagabalus? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:49, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
I was beginning to think I wasn't going to get your attention with that "coy." Both these are names used for the emperors in their lifetime as names, even if not official nomenclature, and aren't merely tacked-on descriptive epithets; it's my perception that they continue to be the "most common" names. I imagine that if you look at good scholarly sources, Gaius will be quantitatively competitive with Caligula. But to my mind Caligula remains the best choice here because in popular culture it's the name by which he's most known, therefore the name that users are most likely to recognize and to look up in a reference aimed at general readers: in other words, "most common." And Gaius Caesar or Gaius of course would need disambiguation, so why not just call him Caligula and be done with it? Seems like the simplest solution. Elagabalus, for instance, is most likely to be encountered under that name (or the Helio- version) in later artistic depictions, as can be observed in the list at his article. My excursion into Credo convinced me not that "Julian the Apostate" is demonstrably less or more common, but rather that it isn't clearly preferred in modern reference works, as I've surveyed the Credo ones below. Some of them reduce "the Apostate" to an explanatory parenthesis, and for what it's worth Vidal named his novel Julian, period. (Certainly if I were his publisher I would've advised him not to scare off readers with "the Apostate.") I find it a counter-informative and reductive way to describe this emperor, but neither that nor neutrality is the issue with naming, as I understand it. That's why I'm not prepared to spill blood over this, though it causes me to ask a question which I encounter regularly on WP and for which I think the community lacks a good answer: is WP obligated to perpetuate an anachronism (rather than explaining it as such) or obscurantism? That is, even if it could be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that 219,427 books refer to "Julian the Apostate," and 212,657 don't, is WP obliged to go with the former even though it occludes a disinterested presentation of this emperor's career? The answer may be yes. If this is indeed the will of the council, I only reiterate for the record how I see the questions here. Cynwolfe (talk) 19:47, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
You're right of course re "pagan". It is an early christian sleight in itself from "pagus" referring to a country district. Country disbelievers. And your mention of the WP:ROMANS guideline is a good point on the arbitrariness of the title of this article. Add it to the other issues with "the Apostate" for the next attempt to fix the title. -- spincontrol 18:22, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
If its been established that the common usage in neutral scholarly works of reference is Julian then the article name should be changed accordingly. Yt95 (talk) 11:53, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
In my view, these kinds of things have to occur by consensus or not at all. There's just no numerical way to determine "most common," and while my mere impression is that ancient historians and classicists of the last 30 years do not call him "Julian the Apostate" as if that's his name, and that this is a holdover from more Christian-centric days, you can't "prove" it and it's a waste of everybody's time to attempt to do so. Numerically, you'll get a lot of hits because even if a scholar doesn't call him "Julian the Apostate," the tradition of that name must be explained in any extended treatment of Julian. My chief argument against "Julian the Apostate" as "most common" is that "apostate" itself is an uncommon word: if you grab 50 people at your local mall and ask them if they've heard of either "Julian the Apostate" or "the Emperor Julian," you'll probably get a stronger glint of recognition with the "Emperor" phrase, simply because most people know what a Roman emperor is and not what an "apostate" is. As far as I know, Julian is the only emperor who's identified with a title not part of his official nomenclature. Since "Julian the Apostate" would of course redirect here, I don't see the value of WP promulgating a tendentious nickname instead of following our usual naming policy as outlined in WP:ROMANS. There are, however, people who feel very strongly that we should perpetuate "the Apostate" for reasons that are unclear to me, but valid to them. Cynwolfe (talk) 12:23, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
The problem with wikipedia consensus was best illustrated a couple of years ago regarding the article currently titled "Catholic Church". I spent 1/2 day at a library listing every reference work I could find that had an article on the church described in the Wikipedia page and it was overwhelmingly in favour of Roman Catholic Church. I listed all this on my wiki user page and the response I got (no kidding) was "Shut up" from the people who preach to the world about charity. The Apostate epithet is sectarian pov in origin but I wouldn't get side tracked by that. If someone could take the time and detail what recognised reference works call the subject of this article then I would follow that even though I would be unhappy if it turned out to be Apostate. Yt95 (talk) 12:56, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
Cynwolfe and spin, I continue to agree with your position, and continue to agree that "the Apostate" is in no way neutral and must go. :bloodofox: (talk) 13:20, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
First of all, let me express appreciation for the kind of careful work you describe, Yt95. But the response you got is discouraging. You're right that the sectarian origin of the epithet isn't really the point; the "now" is more important than "then." I'm reluctant to stir this up again, but since I already have, I may be able to do some of the work you suggest, through my handy-dandy new Credo account. Mayve not much today, though. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:38, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Have checked Credo. In works that refer to him several times throughout other entries, I've only included the title of his entry, except to look more closely at Late Antiquity: A Guide to the Postclassical World. I omitted references pertaining only to Gore Vidal's novel.

  • Encyclopedia of Classical Philosophy (1997) twice calls him "Julian the Apostate" (in the entries on Christianity and Oenomaus) and four times call him "the emperor Julian" (entries on Eunapius, Platonism, Sophists and Christianity — that is, he's referred to both ways in the Christianity entry); he has no independent entry.
While the article on Julian is called "Julian the Apostate," he is referred to as such only in the entries on Himerius, Sassanians, Eunapius (as "the pagan emperor Julian" on first ref), Sallustius, and Gregory of Nazianus.
He is not referred to as "the Apostate", nor is that word used, in the entries Emperor, Sacred Landscapes, Ephrem (except once parenthetically in reference to the title of a literary work), Nisbis, Emesa, Cappadocia, Ephesus, Bostra, Paganism, Famine, Armaments, Barbarian, Ammianus Marcellinus, Conversion, Empire Building, Agens in Rebus, Religious Communities, Martyrs, Limes, Donatism, Councils, War and Violence, Patronage, Marble, Temple, Rhetoric, Foederati, Philosophical Tradition and the Self, Barbarians and Ethnicity, Remaking the Past, and Holiness. In these he is simply Julian or the Emperor Julian. (I have excluded the titles of bibliographical references.) I don't know what to make of this. Clearly the editors didn't find "the Apostate" a necessary epithet to distinguish the Emperor Julian from other Julians, but they did choose to title his entry "Julian the Apostate."
  • Cambridge Guide to Theatre (2000): "The motif of vocation, imperfectly understood by Brand and evaded by Peer, is also drawn from Kierkegaard and was to hold together the sprawling two-part Emperor and Galilean completed in 1873. Ibsen uses Julian the Apostate to explore the ironies of a man confusedly searching for vocation, while the world-will progresses regardless." Here the apostasy is the literary theme.
  • Encyclopedia of African History (2004), one mention in the entry "Donatist Church: North Africa" with the phrase "the accession of Julian as emperor"; does not refer to him elsewhere as "apostate"

I don't have time at the moment to observe any patterns. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:42, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Church Martyrs[edit]

Right now, the Church Martyrs section is a total mess-- there's no reference, just an unsorted list of people who may or may not have been martyred during his reign. I've asked both Wikiproject Classical Greece and Rome, and Wikiproject Christianity for input, since they might have some expertise, but if it can't be salvaged with references that both source the facts in that section, and their relevance to Julian and his reign, I'm just going to delete the whole section and move it to the talk page in a week or so. In its current state, it's basically List of killings of Muhammad, Rome Edition, and inappropriate for this article. ----Lost tiree, lost dutch :O (talk) 22:47, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

Should not be difficult to source; most of them read as though they are from the Catholic Encyclopedia. Since the bloodlessness of Julian's reforms is a major claim in many modern treatments, a short list of possible exceptions seems WP:DUE. Many of these are doubtless later defamation; it may be helpful to frame them with the utterly absurd stories of human sacrifice from Gregory Nazianzen and Theodoret (and if we do not mention those here, where?). Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:23, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
If we do end up canning the section, sourced exceptions to the purported bloodlessness of his religious policy could be integrated into the paragraphs about his overall religious policies. That might be more elegant than a list anyway-- this is kind of formatted like an In Pop Culture section, only with martyrs instead of animes. ----Lost tiree, lost dutch :O (talk) 23:39, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
That might give it greater weight. Julian's reforms were usually bloodless; but [list of a dozen named Christians] were killed during his reign. Of these, Anthemius was executed for administrative malfeasance; X and Y are probably mythical... will look as bloody as Diocletian. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 01:09, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, I meant highlighting any (verifiably) notable instances, not just putting the whole mess of a list in one big sentence. Even with references, I don't really think that all of the ones in the list should be mentioned-- the trick is just figuring out which (if any) are notable and sourced enough to keep around. ----Lost tiree, lost dutch :O (talk) 01:35, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Nobody has actually worked on improving this, so I'm moving it to the talk page until somebody with expertise can figure out what's salvageable and what can be properly cited. --Lost tiree, lost dutch :O (talk) 21:06, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Reverting as mischievious. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:42, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
How is removing unsourced, probably irrelevant content "mischievous"? I always thought the burden of evidence was on the one arguing for inclusion? Huon (talk) 22:06, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
I've discussed it here, it's been tagged as unreferenced for ages, I've solicited help from various other wikiprojects and gotten nothing, so I did exactly what I said I would do upthread-- move it to the talk page until it stops being a totally unreferenced festering sore of a section. I didn't just remove it out of nowhere. --Lost tiree, lost dutch :O (talk) 22:11, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Martyr list[edit]

Although Julian was responsible for temporarily stopping factional struggles between Arian and Athanasian Christians, the following martyrs have traditionally been dated to his reign:

  • Artemius, Arian administrator beheaded for maladministration
  • Saint Basil of Ancyra, Athanasian executed in persecutions of Julian
  • Cyril of Heliopolis
  • Dometius of Persia
  • Saint Dorotheus of Tyre, exiled to Thrace and there allegedly martyred
  • Saint Eupsychios of Caesarea
  • Saint Gemellus of Ancyra, allegedly executed by crucifixion for criticising the emperor,
  • John and Paul, martyred under unknown conditions.
  • Saints Manuel, Savel and Ishmael, Persian envoys to the court of Julian, allegedly executed by beheading for criticising the emperor
  • St. Carina with her husband, Melasippus, and their 13 year old son, Antoninus. Feast day: November 7th. Arrested on account of their Christian Faith, Martyr Carina with Melasippus died under torture. Antoninus was beheaded. They suffered at Ancyra in Phrygia in 363.

Gone again[edit]

Having found this section overgrown with totally unsourced material, I lopped the additions, though couldn't see any reason for keeping the section. Three minutes later Bloodfox removed the whole section, stating ""Martyred" is completely inappropriate, non-POV, loaded language. Was Julian "Martyred"? No, because he wasn't a Christian? Further, this section lacks any references whatsoever." I have to agree.

I think the inappropriateness of the section has been noted by a number of editors now. Can we leave the material in the talk page until some good reason to return some or all of it is found, please? -- spincontrol 20:00, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Like I said earlier, I'd be amenable to this section being put back in if it's sourced and rewritten. But it hasn't been, so out it goes. You made the right call here. Lost tiree, lost dutch :O (talk) 14:36, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

Are sources supposed to be in brackets?[edit]

I thought sources should be outside the brackets regarding the information it is the source for. Crzyclarks1 (talk) 02:36, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Could you clarify? Do mean brackets [ and ] or parenthesis ( and ) ? When you say "sources," do you mean the numerical footnote link? I think the style is that if the citation applies only to the information contained within the parenthesis, the footnote goes within too; but if the footnote applies to the entire statement, it goes outside. I could be wrong. I'll help you look through the MOS if you want to be more specific. Is there a particular passage in the article you could point to? Cynwolfe (talk) 14:38, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
I think the citations should go after the ' ( ) ' , not sure on the Wikipedia rules for that though. Regarding English, the full stop should go after it though. i.e " The king went on holiday (he's lazy).~ref~ " Crzyclarks1 (talk) 14:54, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
On the second point, not if the entire sentence is in parentheses: "The king went on holiday. (He's lazy.)" Huon (talk) 15:14, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
According to this [4], punctuation needs to go after the bracket: For text inside brackets, use punctuation which belongs to it. If the words form a complete sentence they should end with a full-stop (or question mark if appropriate). The sentence into which the brackets are inserted also has its punctuation. It must end with a full stop or question mark, outside the brackets, even if the brackets come at the end of that sentence. So citations will need to go after the brackets/punctuation too. Crzyclarks1 (talk) 07:28, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

"Julian the Philosopher"[edit]

Is this actually a common way a referring to Julian? If I search for "Julian the Philosopher" on Google Scholar, I get a reasonable number of results. After the first 10 results or so, a great many of them seem to be citations of two sources: a 1910 article by PH Webb, "The coinage of the reign of Julian the Philosopher", and Alice Gardener's Julian the Philosopher. There are also a number of results which seem to have text derived from this article, e.g. this webpage listing the contents of Will Durant's Story of Civilization links back to this article. Some of the results that use the phrase "Julian the philosopher" are simply referring to Julian's philosophical activity (in contrast to his activity as a general or emperor), and aren't using the phrase as a title/name. So I'm wondering just how common it is to call Julian "the Philosopher", and whether that's a name that should be listed in the lead. --Akhilleus (talk) 05:18, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

That's one trouble with claims that something's "common". "Also known as" is adequate and shouldn't have been changed. I would emphasize Akhilleus's point that "Julian the philosopher" will often mean "Julian as a philosopher." It's far from clear (see many discussions on this page previously) that "Julian the Apostate" is still common as a preferred usage by contemporary scholars. Cynwolfe (talk) 12:29, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Straw Poll: Proposed Move to Julian (emperor)[edit]

As anyone reading this page can see, there have been several previous debates over whether to move this article, and what to call it. The most recent such debate took place in early 2010 (some comments were added to it in 2011 and 2012). This isn't an attempt to restart an argument over the reasons why the article should or shouldn't be moved. Those can be summarized quite briefly, and I don't believe any point will be served by rehashing the arguments. The purpose of this section is simply to determine whether a consensus currently exists for moving the article to what may be the least controversial alternative to the present title, Julian the Apostate. To summarize the main points:

Arguments in favour of the proposed move:
  • The epithet Apostate was applied by Julian's political enemies as a pejorative, since apostasy was a crime against God.
  • Most people today are unfamiliar with the concept of apostasy, making the term less useful as an identifier.
  • Some classical scholars (including contributors to Wikipedia) find the term offensive because of its original intent, notwithstanding modern attitudes.
  • Use of the phrase Julian the Apostate in scholarly sources (including classical references) has declined considerably in recent years.
Arguments against the proposed move:
  • The emperor has been called Julian the Apostate in English for centuries; it remains the most familiar way of referring to him for English speakers outside of academic circles.
  • Articles in English Wikipedia normally appear under the most familiar title.
  • None of the proposed titles for this article has gained a consensus in favour of a move.

The reason why this proposal is to move the article to Julian (emperor) is because that title seemed to be consistent with other articles about Roman emperors requiring disambiguation because their names were shared with other significant historical figures, and provides the simplest form of disambiguation necessary to achieve that goal. Among the alternatives not being considered for this proposal:

  • Julian currently describes the personal name, which may be primary for that title in English and other languages; it might be argued that amongst historical figures, the emperor is the most significant and therefore should be primary, but it is not clear that persons typing Julian in the search window are more likely to be looking for the emperor than for the personal name and all other significant historical or cultural figures named Julian combined.
  • Julian (Roman emperor) is overprecise, as there have been no non-Roman emperors known simply as Julian; the only other emperors who could be called Julian were also Romans, and all of them are either much better known by other names, or are of so little significance that it is unlikely anyone unfamiliar with this Julian will be looking for them. Of the current articles about Roman emperors, four use the style name (emperor), and none use name (Roman emperor).
  • Flavius Claudius Julianus is unlikely to be searched by anyone other than classical scholars.

Please indicate below whether you support or oppose moving the article to Julian (emperor). P Aculeius (talk) 13:11, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

  • Support moving to Julian (emperor). I don't think it can be proven that "Julian the Apostate" remains the most familiar way of referring to him for English speakers outside of academic circles, or within for that matter. If you're unfamiliar with Julian or just encountered him, the most fundamental piece of information (and the first thing you're likely to have grasped) is that he's a Roman emperor. That is the most useful way to identify him. ("Emperor" is sufficient, I agree.) I don't think the pejorative nature of the Apostate is grounds for the move; rather, I think that the pejorative nature of the name, and an awareness that it represents a narrowly Christian assessment of this historical figure, is why the name has become no longer "most common". Cynwolfe (talk) 21:22, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Support moving to Julian (emperor). I second the assessment of User:Cynwolfe above. The pejorative is narrow and anachronistic. Many emperor pages include the various monikers applied, but the simple identification as "Emperor" is more consistent with like pages, more encyclopedic, and more likely to be found in a search. Laszlo Panaflex (talk) 21:43, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Actually, I'm not sure there are other Roman emperors who appears with a title along the lines of the Adjective/Noun, which isn't in keeping with WP:ROMANS. Some are known by a nickname under the principle of "most common" (Caligula) or by an anglicized form (Vespasian instead of Vespasianus). But this seems to be a designation unique to Julian—another reason, in my view, that it's out of keeping with our usual article title practice. Cynwolfe (talk) 22:39, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
There are two: Philip the Arab and Constantine the Great. Consistency would argue for Marcus Julius Philippus instead of Philip the Arab, but that's much less well-known, and I doubt there are many who feel the common name is objectionable for the reasons that Julian the Apostate is objectionable. So I'm content to leave it where it is for the moment. Constantine the Great is a pretty common appellation. Again, probably not objectionable. Also, don't forget that every emperor whose name is followed by a Roman numeral is called ~ the [ordinal number] in spoken English. P Aculeius (talk) 23:06, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Right, I forgot about Philip the Arab, but I guess I thought it was under Constantine I because that's what I always link to. Cynwolfe (talk) 01:14, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
I meant that their pejorative monikers are included in the text of the article, not in the title. Constantine V "Kopronymos," for example. And I agree that these types of names should only be in the discussion, not the title. Laszlo Panaflex (talk) 22:46, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Support, just as we don't call Attila "the Hun" in the article title. Huon (talk) 23:38, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
There aren't a lot of other well-known Attilas. Unfortunately, Julian is a somewhat common name; heck, it's even an adjective. There are other emperors named Julian. Majoreditor (talk) 23:59, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Salvius Julianus (where the "other emperors" link goes to) wasn't an emperor, though. But that led me to another problem I don't have time to fix: Julianus is a redirect to Julian (disambiguation), which lists only one of the several people named Julianus who have articles. Cynwolfe (talk) 01:14, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Support per reasons outlined above, especially "The epithet Apostate was applied by Julian's political enemies as a pejorative, since apostasy was a crime against God." This is inappropriate. :bloodofox: (talk) 02:15, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment. The Manual of Style suggests the following:
Wikipedia does not necessarily use the subject's "official" name as an article title; it prefers to use the name that is most frequently used to refer to the subject in English-language reliable sources. (see WP:COMMONNAME)

Perhaps we should be less concerned about whether the current title is perjorative or not - and more concerned about what name is most frequently used. A few years ago I would have said that Julian the Apostate is the more commonly used name. At present I'm not sure. It's not as commonly used by historians as it once was. A quick online scan (admittedly, not the best approach) suggests that both (Emperor) Julian and Julian the Apostate are commonly used. Majoreditor (talk) 02:59, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

  • Support. Common usage is clearly changing and now slightly favours "(the emperor) Julian". That being the case, it is worth noting that the older common name is intentionally pejorative, while the more recent common name is neutral. A good reason to adopt it. Andrew Dalby 20:05, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Support a move to a) "Julian", or b) "Julian (emperor)", or c) "Julian (Roman emperor)" depending on the consensus, though I prefer plain "Julian", as recommended by WP:ROMANS. Today the most reliable sources, as I showed in earlier, probably archived, postings on this talk page, sources such as learned journals, as sampled through jstor and google scholar, indicate that the simple name is more widely in use. Julian, who was educated by a pagan slave who had already taught Julian's mother, has never been shown to have been christian, though he was forced to learn christianity. The epithet is not only NPOV, but apparently also inappropriate. Go with reliable sources and get rid of "apostate". -- spin|control 20:29, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Alright, it's been a week and no new comments have been posted in over five days. Including myself, that makes seven votes in favour of the proposed move, and one comment that's neither clearly in favour of or opposed to the move. Even interpreting it as a vote against the move, we appear to have a strong consensus. There was also a notice of this poll on the WikiProject Classical Greece and Rome talk page posted on March 13. The subject was debated there prior to this poll, and most of the people who participated in that discussion voted above. Of those who didn't, there appeared to be two in favour of the proposed move and one probably opposed. Taking all of the above into consideration, and the lack of any further comment since March 14, I believe we can say that a consensus has been reached in favour of the move. Thank you all for participating! P Aculeius (talk) 12:24, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! -- spin|control 06:15, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

I fell way behind on keeping track of this article, but it warm the cockles of my heart that this move finally, finally happened a few months ago. Never thought I'd see the day! Lost tiree, lost dutch :O (talk) 19:50, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

Hear, hear! I just had the same reaction. :-) Q·L·1968 22:15, 28 October 2013 (UTC)

Statue Source[edit]

This article displays an image of the famous "Louvre Statue" supposedly of Julian. Most recent scholarship, however, suggests that the statue is not of Julian at all but rather another figure, probably a priest of the second century and almost certainly not even from Julian's reign. Indeed, the statue is not even considered in modern historical databases such as Oxford University's "Last Statues of Antiquity" project.

Might I suggest that if the statue is going to continue to be used in the article, a line should at the very least be added about the ambiguity of the finding and *some* evidence put in to justify it, otherwise it should be removed entirely. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:07, 31 October 2013 (UTC)