Quotations from Chapter 23 of Edward Gibbon's History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire ("The Religion of Julian --- Universal Toleration --- He attempts to restore and reform the Pagan Worship --- To rebuild the Temple of Jerusalem --- His Artful Persecution of the Christians --- Mutual Zeal and Injustice (351 - 363 A.D.)"):

Instructed by history and reflection, Julian was persuaded that, if the diseases of the body may sometimes be cured by salutary violence, neither steel nor fire can eradicate the erroneous opinions of the mind.

Actuated by these motives, and apprehensive of disturbing the repose of an unsettled reign, Julian surprised the world by an edict which was not unworthy of a statesman or a philosopher. He extended to all the inhabitants of the Roman world the benefits of a free and equal toleration; and the only hardship which he inflicted on the Christians was to deprive them of the power of tormenting their fellow-subjects, whom they stigmatised with the odious titles of idolaters and heretics.

It is the common calamity of old age to lose whatever might have rendered it desirable....

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


(correlates: Gibbon - Table of Contents, CountermeasureAndGodshatter, EducationVersusEduction, ...)