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Julian of Aeclanum and the Hirpini in Late Antiquity


Julian of Aeclanum (ca. 380-445CE), aristocrat and leading cleric in southern Italy, fell foul of the establishment when he led a group of bishops to protest against the condemnation of Pelagius in 418.

Exiled to southern Turkey, he returned first to Constantinople and later to Rome and southern Italy to continue his campaign.

It is his off-centre position that makes Julian such an interesting character. Although relatively little is known about himself, he can be linked to most leading figures and important events of his age and thus allows us to see them in a new light.

Aims of Project

This project looks in particular at Julian's intellectual profile, his education, his approaches to Classical literature, philosophy, Biblical exegesis, and his controversy with Augustine of Hippo.

The aim of the project is to improve knowledge of Julian's life, work and thought and to contribute to a better understanding of his role in his time.


Methods employed include biographical research, editorial and source criticism, research in the history of Biblical and philosophical exegesis in Late Antiquity, and research in reception history.


Various parts of the project have been funded by Cardiff University, the city of Mirabella-Eclano, the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation, Catholic University Leuven, the Exzellenzcluster "Religion and Politics" Münster, the British Academy and the British Arts and Humanities Research Council.


Research was presented at colloquia and conferences in Mirabella Eclano, Oxford, Leuven, St. Andrews, London and Cardiff. The project involves collaboration and contacts with researchers worldwide including centres in Naples, Leuven, Vienna, London and Bordeaux.


Key publications emerging from this project include

Lössl, J., Julian von Aeclanum. Studien zu seinem Leben, seinem Werk, seiner Lehre und ihrer Überlieferung (Leiden: Brill, 2001)

Lössl, J., 'Julian of Aeclanum on Pain,' Journal of Early Christian Studies 10 (2002) 203-243

Lössl, J., 'Julian of Aeclanum’s “Rationalist” Exegesis. Albert Bruckner Revisited,' in: Augustiniana 53 (2003) 77-106

Lössl, J., 'Teodoro di Mopsuestia e Giuliano di Eclano sulle cause naturali dei terremoti,' in: A. V. Nazzaro (ed.) Giuliano d'Eclano e l'Hirpinia Christiana. Atti del Convegno 4-6 giugno 2003 (Naples: Arte tipografica editrice, 2004) 103-111

Lössl, J., 'Sallust in Julian of Aeclanum,' in: Vigiliae Christianae 57 (2004) 179-202

Lössl, J., 'Julian of Aeclanum’s Prophetic Exegesis,' in: Studia Patristica 43 (2006) 409-421

Lössl, J. 'Augustine, ‘Pelagianism’, Julian of Aeclanum, and Modern Scholarship,' in: Journal for Ancient Christianity 11 (2007) 129-150

Lössl, J., Pauline Exegesis in Patristic Commentaries of Old Testament Prophets: The Case of Julian of Aeclanum's Tractatus in Amos,' in: Journal for Late Antique Religion and Culture 4 (2010) 1-27

Lössl, J., 'The Bible and Aristotle in the Controversy Between Augustine and Julian of Aeclanum,' in: J. Lössl & J. Watt (eds), Interpreting the Bible and Aristotle in Late Antiquity: The Alexandrian Commentary Tradition Between Rome and Baghdad (Farnham: Ashgate, 2011), 111-120