Julian the Apostate
Julian the Apostate (Flavius Julius Apostrophe) was Roman Emperor from 361-363. He wanted to be called "Julian the Plumber" or "Julian the Pagan Hairdresser" but the Christians called him 'the apostate' because they couldn't spell apostrophe.
Julian was a cousin of Emperor Constantius II. He was out in the garden when Roman soldiers sent by Constantine's angry sons killed all his family. They said it was a Christian thing to do so after that Julian decided he wanted to be a pagan like earlier emperors.
Always a bit of a sensitive soul, Julian spent the next five years in his bedroom to mope and read a bit. He got spots early and said he wished to be a writer. Alas, these earlier works have not survived but its rumoured they were sarcastic poems why Christianity stank.
Get a Job
Emperor Constantius II asked Julian if he wanted to replace his own brother Gallus as Caesar in the Roman Empire. When Julian said there was no vacancy, Gallus's head was delivered to his home by DHL (Dead Head Letter service). Seeing this as an omen, Julian took up Constantius's offer and governed bits of Roman Empire as required. However he also took time out to hang around with a bunch of seedy pagans who told him about the good old days of cutting up animals to read entrails. Julian was hooked and took a matching pair of bull's testicles to play with on the bus until he got home. He then left his bible in the Vestal Virgins shower locker. He never went back to collect it.
Constantius was getting on everyone's tits about his 'Arian' Christian leanings. At length to shut the emperor up, a top secret messenger under the pay of people who had not benefited from Constantius's rule was sent by 'Roman Citizens for the Election of Julian as Emperor'.
Julian took up the offer and headed to Constantinople where he learnt Constantius had dropped down dead whilst talking about whether Jesus needed body spray to stay cool. Everyone present thought that was a divine sign and ushered Julian into a room where he was drapped with in the purple and proclaimed emperor. It seemed a popular choice, Julian was good looking and he was member of Constantine the Great's formerly extensive family.
Christians Get Upset
However the Pope got the message that Julian wasn't into all this Christianity business and wanted to reopen the pagan temples. The Christians were very upset and spent time thinking of new names for their bad emperor. Even the pagans were unhappy - they thought Julian spent too much time with funny old men called Phil, Soc and 'Sissy' Rowe.
Off to Persia
Julian decided that the only way to become popular again was to go to war in the Middle East. He chose the Persians as they looked easy to duff up and wanted to be known as Julian the Conqueror.
However the Persians wouldn't come out to fight and Julian and his army had to set up a camp in the desert. After running out of songs from the 'Roman Legionary Jokes in Tight Situations' - someone fired an arrow at Julian - wounding him mortally. Julian was upset and didn't see the funny side to this. He blamed everyone and said Jesus had killed him. He lingered on a few days - enough time to finish his tax returns and biography which he buried in the sand for Gore Vidal to find.
Julian had no children and with his death it wasn't funny anymore to be a pagan. The church made sure they bought up all copies of Emperor Julian Was a Really Good Ruler and replaced them with Julie - You Had It Coming! Don't Cross a Christian!!.
- As all of Julian's work except his school report were burnt after he died - the only writings we have on him are by mean minded Christians.