Timeless writing on a lost time... Mar 13, 2008
Julian, by Gore Vidal, is a wonderful read. It takes you immediately into the fade of Greek rule, circa 300 AD, leading you by correspondences between multiple stakeholders, providing the reader a variety of sidelong views of the time, and the personage, Julian. As it is a tale of the rise and fall of an Emperor, it is at once entertaining, full of intrigue and guile, and informative historically. It is an exquisite novelist's history of Julian and his times, with the characteristically wry conversations you would expect from Vidal -- but they proceed from his characters -- their comments interwoven throughout their epistles. There is humor, hubris, sadness for a lost world of philosophy -- times that are gone -- and a wistfulness for political leadership once that examined thought and beauty -- times clouded as they gave way to the era of papal infallibility, faith and belief -- as Christianity took hold. Most highly recommended!