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Gibbon Chapter XIX

  • Another excellent narrative chapter. Constantius II, having become sole emperor, is faced with the problem of how to handle his cousins Gallus and Julian, who have been brought up essentially in prison to prevent them being a threat. Eventually Gallus is old enough to be made Caesar of the East; he screws up massively and is executed. Julian, six years younger, is in due course made Caesar of the West, and does much better both in terms of fighting off the Germans and in terms of domestic governance. In the meantime the Persians have woken up under Sapor and attempt to conquer Mesopotamia but make only modest gains. A wide geographic spread with action in today's Iraq, Hungary and Belgium (and surrounding territories) which would make a good mini-series on its own.
    (tags: gibbon)

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