Quotations from Chapter 19 of Edward Gibbon's History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire ("Constantius sole Emperor --- Elevation and Death of Gallus --- Danger and Elevation of Julian --- Sarmatian and Persian Wars --- Victories of Julian in Gaul (351 - 360 A.D.)"):

Under these melancholy circumstances, an inexperienced youth was appointed to save and to govern the provinces of Gaul, or rather, as he expresses it himself, to exhibit the vain image of Imperial greatness. The retired scholastic education of Julian, in which he had been more conversant with books than with arms, with the dead than with the living, left him in profound ignorance of the practical arts of war and government; and when he awkwardly repeated some military exercise which it was necessary for him to learn, he exclaimed with a sigh, 'O Plato, Plato, what a task for a philosopher!' Yet even this speculative philosophy, which men of business are too apt to despise, had filled the mind of Julian with the noblest precepts and the most shining examples; had animated him with the love of virtue, the desire of fame, and the contempt of death. The habits of temperance recommended in the schools are still more essential in the severe discipline of a camp.

(see also Gibbon _-_Table_of_Contents, Gibbon_-_Thoughts_Upon_Reading, ... and for a single-page presentation of Gibbon quotes)


(correlates: Gibbon - Table of Contents, PlansAndSituations, WebsOfEvidence, ...)