June 26, 363 ACE is the anniversary of the Battle of Samarra, a battle against the vicious Sasanian Empire that threatened Rome’s borders.
Julian was a wise and noble warrior, but on this day an error was made, and Julian rode into battle in the late afternoon without armour on horseback. When his guards were scattered and the enemy routed, a Saracen auxilary working under the Sasanians struck our beloved Julian, piercing through his ribs and hitting his liver while also clipping the wall of his gut. The bodyguards of the emperor immediately attacked the Saracen and decapitated him. Julian pulled the spear out, but fainted in the process, later recovering consciousness and climbing back onto his horse before passing out again. Roman Soldiers placed Julian on a shield and carried him to camp, where he was laid out on the lion skin and a straw bed in his tent where he received medical attention from his trusted personal physician, Oribasius.
Philostrogius writes that Julian had died after 3 days of suffering. If we count inclusively, as the Romans did, that places Julian’s death on June 28th, not June 26th. Instead, June 26th is to be remembered as a day a brave emperor had been injured in battle.
After spending three days going in and out of consciousness, the wounds on Julian’s side gaped wide and the veins in his throat swelled up, obstructing his breathing. He asked for and drank some cold water, and at midnight was granted passage into Elysium, his corporeal bonds broken by Lord Serapis who placed him in the light of the sun’s divine rays, lifting him into henosis.