Julian on Polution

I've been re-reading a book, which I cannot recommend enough - Adrian Murdoch's The Last Roman: Julian the Apostate and the Death of the Ancient World. It's both beautifully written - I read the openning aloud the other night, and his style was universally aclaimed - and very approachable.

Since we've been concentrating recently on climate and polution, I found this little passage particularly amusing (pp. 13-14 in the paperback). Julian gave a friend some land towards the end of his life (d. 363), and makes a virtue of it being some four kilometers inland, rather than on the coast. It seems that c*** on beaches is nothing new! Amongst its strong points, he writes in the letter (Ep. 25 - Loeb trans.), being off the sea:
"Nor will you have to stand on seaweed and brambles, or be annoyed by the rubbish that is always thrown out on beaches and sands, which is so very unpleasant and unmentionable."

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