Gonzalez, Justo L. The Story of Christianity: The Early Church to the Reformation. Revised and Updated ed. Vol. 1. New York: HarperCollins, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Ch. 18, “The Pagan Reaction: Julian the Apostate” Loc. 3542-3621.
There was a period of confusion after the death of Constantine. “It is clear that after Constantine’s death there was some question as to who would succeed him, and that the army then killed most of his relatives - not in order to set up another dynasty, but rather in order to make sure that power would belong indisputably to Constantine’s three surviving sons” (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 3549). Constantius was often assumed to be responsible for this slaughter. In 351 some of the realm fell to Gallus, one of the two surviving cousins of Constantius. Gallus was succeeded after a few years by his younger brother, Julian (Ibid., Loc. 3567). Julian, who had been baptized as a Christian, had studied philosophy in Athens, become interested in the pagan mystery religions, and converted to Greek paganism (Ibid., Loc. 3571). Julian was a capable administrator and general, who was a threat to Constantius (Ibid., Loc. 3579). In 361, Julian claimed rule of the whole empire. He condemned his enemies to deat and “sought both to restore the lost glory of paganism, and to impede the progress of Christianity” (Ibid., Loc. 3584). Meanwhile, he structured the paganism in manners quite similarly to Christianity, with high priests and lower ranks in different areas (Ibid., Loc. 3594). Rather than using persecution, Julian made laws which would hinder Christians. For instance, they were not allowed to teach classical literature (Ibid., Loc. 3606). Julian’s reign, though not terribly long, did interrupt the movement of Christianity in its growth and social acceptance.