The Roman Eastern Frontier and the Persian Wars (AD 226-363): A Documentary History

By Michael H. Dodgeon; Samuel N. C. Lieu | Go to book overview

9

Rome and Shapur II

The Persian Expedition of Julian (March-June, 363)

(A) CHRONOLOGY AND ANALYSIS OF THE SOURCES

The preliminaries

Julian’s desire to avenge the frontier regions which had suffered from the recent Persian incursions and his refusal to discuss peace with an embassy from Persia: Libanius or. XVII, 19 and XVIII, 164. His boast that he would restore Singara: Ephrem, Hymni Contra Julianum II, 15. (On his refusal to defend Nisibis on account of its citizens’ loyalty to the Christian faith, see Sozomen, V, 3, 5=ELF 91). He commanded Arsak (Arsaces), the king of Armenia, to muster a large army and to join him later at a place to be designated: Amm. XXIII, 2, 2, Lib., or. XVIII, 215 and Soz., VI, 1, 2. 1 He ordered ships to be built in Samosata: Malalas, XIII, pp. 328, 21-329, 2 (=Magnus of Carrhae, FGrH 225, F 1). His enquiries at various famous oracles: Theodoret, Historia Ecclesiastica III, 21, 1-4. His intention to establish Hormisdas as ruler of Persia: Libanius, ep. 1402, 3. See also Libanius, ep. 737, 1-3 for an example of Roman optimism concerning the campaign.


From Antioch to Callinicum (5-27 March)

Upon leaving Antioch, Julian headed for Hierapolis via Litarbae 2(5 March),3 Beroea (6 March) and Batnae (8 March). Cf. ELF 98 (= ep. 58, Wright). He was met by a delegation from the Antiochene curia at Litarbae and rejected their requests: ELF 98. See also Libanius, or. I, 132 and XVI, 1. (Malalas, XIII, p. 328, 6-19 suggests that he passed through Cyrrhus, but this is unlikely as Cyrrhus was not on the direct route from Antioch to Litarbae. ) A colonnade collapsed at Hierapolis 4 and killed fifty soldiers: Amm.

-231-

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