Julian the Apostate

Roman Emperor Julian II (there was also an emperor Didius Julianus). Ruled from 361 to 363 A.D. Is mainly notable as being the last Pagan emperor of Rome. All subsequent emperors were Christians. He was one of the two nephews of Constantine I, who was not murdered by his son Constantinus II (the other, Gallus, was later executed for corruption). He was given the rank of Caesar in 355, and became governor of Gaul. He proved an able administrator, and won the hearts of the people by winning decisive victories against the barbarians. Constantinus sought to decrease the growing power of Julian and his armies by removing his troops and sending them to the east to fight the Persians. Julian's troops rebelled, declaring him to be the true emperor. Constantinus was moving his armies to meet those of Julian, but he died en-route, and Julian assumed command of the empire.

Julian was a philosopher emperor who wrote his thoughts down, many of which survive even today. He led the neo-pagan movement which sought to return Rome to the old gods of its past. Though he found many followers in his lifetime, Christianity was firmly entrenched by this time, and Julian simply didn't live long enough to bring about any meaningful change. He was killed in 363 while fighting the Persians, and Jovian was named emperor after him.

See Roman Emperors