In addition to the infiltration of Christianity, seeping into Hellenic culture, as this historian memorably puts it, ‘like a damp-stain’, I also liked description of the Roman Emperor Julian’s (r. 361-63) clarity as having been borne of hatred.  Whence presumably his sobriquet of Julian the Apostate.

This is from a slim and colourfully illustrated history of a neglected era, commonly dismissed as ‘dark’.  The historian Peter Brown breathes new life into it with his lively writing.

‘It was not that Julian was unrealistic. He saw, with a clarity bred of hatred, one blatant feature of his age – Christianity rising like a damp-stain up the wall of his beloved Hellenic culture.’ 


Source: Peter Brown, The World of Late Antiquity, AD 150-750 (London: Thames & Hudson, 1971 (1995)), p. 93

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