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The emperor Julian (A.D. 361-363) was not only the last pagan emperor of Rome, but also the last ruling member of the Constantinian dynasty. Despite relying on the legitimacy that came with his link to the dynasty founded by his Christian uncle, Constantine (A.D. 306-337), Julian frequently tried to distance himself from his Christian predecessors, but often his imperial decisions were closer to Constantine’s ideal than any pagan ideal. This particularly is clear through Julian’s attempts to remove himself from the actions and imperial persona of his cousin and immediate predecessor Constantius II (A.D. 337-361), especially in relation to the treatment of different Christian sects. While Constantius is alleged to have favoured the Arians, Julian sought a more tolerant and balanced relationship. Despite this attempt, Julian consequently portrayed himself as a very Constantinian prince. The speaker will discuss how Julian treated the various Christian sects in opposition to how they were treated by his cousin Constantius II.
What is the ancient Greek word for 'blue'? Do we know what colour Achilles' hair or Athena's eyes were, despite being told that they are xanthos and glaukos? It is very interesting that we are not sure when it comes to translating ancient Greek colour terms into contemporary equivalents (or vice-versa), for it reminds us that we are dealing with an ancient culture which literally 'saw the world differently' from us. In this talk, I will present some of the questions that arise on the 'subjective' side i.e. in connection with how the ancient Greeks perceived and described colour, and on the 'objective' side, with recent work that examines surviving traces of pigment to reconstruct the colour of Greek sculpture and architecture.