Readings from Gibbon: The Death Of Julian The Apostate

In this reading, Julian the Apostate crosses the Tigris, then burns his boats and marches deep into enemy territory. The Persians fall back, scorching the earth as they flee before the forces of Julian.

The Roman army soon runs short of food and supplies and are misled by the treachery of their guide. Julian realizes that in order to save his army he must turn around and head back to the Tigris. As the Romans retreat they are harried by the Persians.

The Romans are forced to give battle and Julian rushes to and fro without his curiass. The Romans defeat the Persians, and as Julian pursues them, he is struck by an enemy spear. Taken back to his tent, he gives a deathbed oration, disputes philosophy, and dies.


Read this chapter online: Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire XXIV