Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Walter Stevenson

Second Advisor

Dr. John Gordon


This thesis attempts to answer the question of why Julian went on his ill-fated Persian expedition. It argues that Julian was a fanatical ideologue and that his reforms, foreign policy, and, most importantly, Persian campaign must be viewed through Julian's ideological framework. The paper asserts that Julian's fanatical nature drove him to invade Persia because he was witnessing the failure of his ideologically driven domestic initiatives, and these failures were shocking and unacceptable to him. This process of failure drove him to the foreign facet of his ideology, which centered on an Alexander the Great complex and an invasion of Persia in connection with that complex. Julian's Persian expedition occurred because of his fanatical ideology and his inability to deal realistically with his failed domestic initiatives.