By Simon Swain
Themistius' shut courting with Christian emperors from Constantius to Theodosius makes him probably the most very important political thinkers and politicians of the later fourth century, and his dealings with Julian the Apostate have lately attracted a lot hypothesis. This quantity offers a brand new severe variation, translation and research of Themistius' Letter to Julian approximately kingship and executive, which survives typically in Arabic, including texts, translations and analyses of Julian's Letter to Themistius and Sopater's Letter to Himerius. the amount is done with a textual content, translation and research of the opposite real paintings of Greek political idea to outlive in Arabic, the Letter of Aristotle to Alexander, which dates from an ancient times and throws into aid the actual matters of Themistius, Julian, and the rulers of the fourth-century Roman global.
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Additional info for Themistius, Julian, and Greek Political Theory Under Rome: Texts, Translations, and Studies of Four Key Works
Orr. 2, 3, 11). Two of the most widely remarked issues in the interpretation of the Letter to Julian are the absence from it of the key Themistian ideas of the king as living law and (almost certainly39) the king as the embodiment of his favourite royal quality, philanthrōpia. In the first and still important study of the Letter, Jeanne Croissant (1930) suggested that the reason for these absences is that Julian had clearly asserted to Constantius that the king is subject to the laws and that he rejected a theocratic presentation of monarchy, and that Themistius, being sensitive to his likes, also omitted to speak of philanthrōpia because this quality was too closely associated with the notion of a divinely sanctioned king, which Julian rejected.
Julian’s wish to persecute Christians thus dispensed with the need for any legally enacted harassment (Or. 4. 93). The doctrine of the emperor as ‘ensouled law’ is, as Themistius tells Jovian, ‘the contribution made by Philosophy’ (Or. 37 Closely related to the king’s possession of the ultimate virtue, wisdom,38 and learning is his characterization as a philosopher in the mode of a genuine Platonic ruler who imitates God (see esp. Orr. 2, 3, 11). Two of the most widely remarked issues in the interpretation of the Letter to Julian are the absence from it of the key Themistian ideas of the king as living law and (almost certainly39) the king as the embodiment of his favourite royal quality, philanthrōpia.
12. 20 for the ‘science of being a king’, Or. 18. 21; Synesius, To the Emperor, On Kingship 13. 7 the king as ‘a technitēs of warfare’; Themistius, Or. 8 114b (Valens and the intricate technē of ruling). See Julian, Orr. 5 To the Mother of the Gods, 7 To the Cynic Heraclius; Elm (2012) 106–36. Below, Ch. 3, pp. 58–9. Themistius, Letter to Julian 41 present ‘generally held opinions’ (To Nicocles 41). The writer’s art lay in the selection of the material for the particular occasion and here Themistius was up to the job.