"Since his death on a Persian battlefield in A.D. 363, the violent end of the Emperor Julian has become synonymous with the death of paganism. But how did a young philosopher-warrior, who ruled for only eighteen months, come to be seen as one of the most potent threats to Christianity?" "Driven by a burning hatred of the Church, rooted in the brutal murder of his family and the treachery of his Christian predecessor Emperor Constantius II, Julian dedicated his brief reign to the eradication of this new and dangerous cult. He vowed to rid the Roman Empire of heresy and restore paganism to the hearts and minds of its citizens." "Although vilified throughout history as the 'Apostate', Julian was an inspirational and visionary leader. He made appointments on merit rather than influence or money, cut down on bureaucracy and had an economic policy geared to avoid corruption and waste. His experiment with paganism may have ultimately failed, but Julian has long been a hero of secular humanists and critics of Christianity's historical record." "Drawing on Julian's own writings, and using extensive new archaeological and literary research, Adrian Murdoch explores the vivid, engaging and complex character of this controversial emperor. The Last Pagan will fascinate anyone with an interest in ancient history or the history of Christianity."--BOOK JACKET.