Date of Award

Spring 1996

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

R. Baine Harris

Committee Member

Kathy Pearson

Committee Member

Lawrence Hatab


The Neoplatonism of the Emperor Julian (A.D. 331-363) is critically compared to the Neoplatonism of Plotinus (A.D. 205-270). This is done by analyzing their concepts of First Principles, Fate and Destiny, Existence of the Divine Being, the Human Soul, Matter, Time and Eternity, the Contemplation of "The One," and "The One" itself. Julian's psychology is analyzed in light of his Neoplatonism, Mithrasism, and tragic life history. The historical aspects of the attempted pagan reformation during the reign of Julian (A.D. 360-363) is assessed for its historical effects on the Later Roman Empire and its successive generations, while the history of Neoplatonism between the death of Plotinus and the birth of Julian is explored for its effects on the philosophy itself. Julian was a very important transitional figure in Neoplatonic philosophy, not for his originality in thought, but for his widespread transmission of Neoplatonic doctrines through his and his associates writings.