Julian (Latin: Flavius Claudius Julianus) (331?–363), Roman emperor, 361–63. He is called Julian the Apostate because he turned from Christianity to paganism. Julian was the last pagan emperor of Rome. Though anxious to restore the old Greek and Roman gods, Julian did not put Christians to death. He abolished subsidies for the church, however, and barred Christians from holding public office.
Julian was a nephew of Constantine the Great. Emperor Constantius II, his cousin, gave Julian the title of caesar in 355 and sent him to rule Gaul (France). Julian defeated the Germans who were overrunning Gaul and reestablished the Rhine as the frontier of the Roman Empire. His troops proclaimed him emperor in 360. When Constantius died in 361, Julian became undisputed emperor. He was killed in a campaign against the Persians.