This article entitled “History’s ‘So it seems’” explores the potential of phenomenology for the framing of histories which privilege partcipant perspectives. The theory agenda of the article adapts insights drawn from Heidegger’s ontological hermeneutic of Da-sein ‐ the human condition of being-there and being-aware (or not aware). The theory agenda also adapts Heidegger’s readings of Heraclitus. The practical agenda of the article illustrates this potential of Heidegger’s phenomenology for history by contrasting ‘so it once seemed’ senses of the Emperor Julian the Apostate’s Roman pagan self-hood. The contrasts are autobiographical (Julian’s Misopogon), contemporary biographical (Ammianus Marcellinus’s history), and long-lag biographical (Gore Vidal’s novel avowedly constrained by the sources).