Medicine in the Thought and Action of the Emperor Julian

In: The International Journal of the Platonic Tradition
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  • 1 Department of Classics, University of Iowa

Abstract

This paper assembles evidence from the full scope of Julian’s writings that the emperor had a pronounced interest in medicine and human health, which impacted both his rhetorical and real approach to political, philosophical, and religious problems. His initiatives aimed to promote doctors, medical research, and public health. He emphasized a holistic view of bodily and spiritual health in his version of theurgic Neoplatonism. Medical frames of reference also played an appreciable role in his anti-Christian program. Finally, he himself and others styled him as a physician-king on a divine mission to heal the Empire of the Christian disease.

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