The letters of Julian the Apostate

For some reason today I found myself looking at the Wikipedia page on Julian the Apostate, the last of the family of the emperor Constantine who tried to turn the empire pagan again.  Indeed I ended up adding a little known snippet on the end of his time in Antioch.  Julian found that Antioch was thoroughly Christian and resisted his policies at every turn.  So as he left, he appointed a thug named Alexander of Heliopolis as governor, to teach them a lesson and whip them into paganism.  Ammianus Marcellinus tells the story.  Even Libanius thought this was dishonourable conduct.  What happened afterwards I do not know.

But this led me to look at the list of works linked to.  The three volumes of the Loeb on Archive.org were linked, as were the HTML versions of a couple of works done by myself longer ago.

The article didn’t seem that good, and I looked at the Discussion page to see what sort of comments it was attracting.  Depressingly it consisted almost entirely of a headbanger demanding that the article be renamed from “Julian the Apostate” and seeing whatever evidence he could find or manufacture to show that this, standard, name for the man was somehow not standard.  Considering that few of Julian’s works were online in searchable form, such a desire could only arise from hatred of the Christians, rather than enthusiasm for Julian.

But all this caused me to go back to the Finereader projects of the three volumes of Julian that I have on disk.  They were done years ago, when Finereader 5 was the current version (it’s FR10 now).  I decided to scan the letters of Julian.  I loaded the thing into FR10, re-OCR’d it, and started proofing.

The accuracy was very good indeed.  But the blessed thing fought me hard when the time came to save it out.   It crashed, and refused, in various formats.  When I did manage to save something as HTML, it decided arbitarily to create HTML footnotes from some of the footnotes and stick them at the end.  Whereas I wanted to have them inline.  All in all it has been a pain.

Tomorrow I will format it all properly, and upload it to the additional fathers.

Leave a Reply