Notes

1. Socrates, Ecclesiastical History, III.24, also mentions Jovian's encouragement of Athanasius.

2. For a recent treatment of Athanasius and his difficulties, see T.D. Barnes, Athanasius and Constantius. Theology and Politics in the Constantinian Empire (Cambridge, Mass., 1993).

3. George of Cappadocia was installed at Alexandria in the place of Athanasius during the reign of Constantius. He was not well-liked and was murdered by polytheists when he attempted to turn a Mithraeum into a church during Julian's reign. The Alexandrians, who perhaps expected relative immunity from Julian, were severely rebuked by the emperor; Socrates, Ecclesiastical History, III.2-4, records the events and quotes a letter from Julian to the city. Julian, who had been under George's guardianship in the 340s, ordered that George's library be sent to him; the Alexandrians' tardiness provoked further harsh words from emperor to city; these are preserved among Julian's correspondence.

4. Interestingly, Christians seem to have no difficulty considering the polytheist emperor Julian the 'most religious and philosophical' emperor when such remarks might seem to suit their petition. Presumably, they mean to show respect to the dead emperor and the precedent he had set.

5. It is not surprising that emperors occasionally lost their patience, as happens here: Jovian, in effect, tells the bishops (using polite modern slang) to 'Buzz off! Get lost!,' and wishes (below) that one of his petitioners had been cast in the sea by his fellow-voyagers and offers the hope that the ship might never again have favourable winds. More diplomatically, Theodosius once limited the number of embassies and representatives (Codex Theodosianus 12.12.7).