REPUBLICAN VIRTUES AND IMPERIAL GREATNESS: THE IMAGE OF JULIAN IN CLAUDIUS MAMERTINUS’ PANEGYRIC
Keywords:emperor Julian, Claudius Mamertinus, Ammianus Marcellinus, panegyric, image, virtues
Our work is devoted to the analysis of Mamertinus’ ‘Panegyric’ in honor of emperor Julian. Julian’s reign provoked fierce controversy about his image and activities. His policies found both apologists from pagan historians and rhetoricians and uncompromising critics from christians. Claudius Mamertinus, who dedicated the Panegyric to Julian, occupies a special place here – he stands at the origins of the exaltation of the image of the emperor, his work was read and quoted by the next defenders of the ‘restorer of paganism’.
The main theme of the panegyric was the glorification of the emperor Julian. The author of the panegyric tries to prove that Julian is not a usurper, and therefore contrasts his impeccable behavior with the vices of his predecessor Constantius. Then, determining the socio-political ideals of the future government, the author of the panegyric criticizes the Republic, where bribery and flattery towards voters were commonplace. The emperor himself is an ideal hero for him. However, even in these flattering descriptions you can find contradictions that will manifest themselves in the future: populism and attempts to please everyone and attempts to control all public affairs. One way or another, Mamertinus’ text became a model for further glorification of the image of Julian among pagan writers, most influencing between them was Ammianus Marcellinus. Julian’s image becomes more prominent: what Mamertinus perceives purely positively because of the peculiarities of the genre, Ammianus shows as good intentions, which have not always been realized.