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Law and Legislator in the Philosophy of Julian the Emperor

In: Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek and Roman Political Thought
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  • 1 Professor Emeritus of Metaphysics and Ancient Philosophy, University of FribourgFribourgSwitzerland
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Abstract

This paper surveys the conceptions of law and of legislation to be found in the philosophy of Julian the Emperor. A hierarchy of levels of law is described, going from transcendent divine orders and paradigmatic laws down to the laws of nature, laws innate in human souls and regional laws. Julian’s ideal legislator is discussed, as inspired by transcendent, paradigmatic laws and as subordinate to law and its protector. An example of Julian’s legislation is discussed. Attention is paid to Julian’s use of Plato’s Republic, Statesman, and Laws.

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