Initially growing up in Bithynia, raised by his maternal grandmother, at the age of seven Julian was under the guardianship of Eusebius of Nicomedia, the semi-Arian Christian Bishop of Nicomedia, and taught by Mardonius, a Gothic eunuch, about whom he later wrote warmly. After Eusebius died in 342, both Julian and Gallus were exiled to the imperial estate of Macellum in Cappadocia. Here Julian met the Christian bishop George of Cappadocia, who lent him books from the classical tradition. At the age of 18, the exile was lifted and he dwelt briefly in Constantinople and Nicomedia.
He became a lector, a minor office in the Christian church, and his later writings show a detailed knowledge of the Bible, likely acquired in his early life. (Looking back on his life in 362, Julian wrote, in his thirty-first year, that he had spent twenty years in the way of Christianity and twelve in the true way, i.e., the way of Helios.)
Julian studied Neoplatonism in Asia Minor in 351, at first under Aedesius, the philosopher, and then Neoplatonic theurgy from Aedesius’ student, Maximus of Ephesus. He was summoned to Constantius’ court in Mediolanum (Milan) in 354 and kept there for a year; in the summer and fall of 355, he was permitted to study in Athens. While there, Julian became acquainted with two men who later became both bishops and saints: Gregory of Nazianzus and Basil the Great. In the same period, Julian was also initiated into the Eleusinian Mysteries, which he would later try to restore.
Sf. Vasile a studiat la Cezarea, la Constantinopol și Atena, remarcându-se încă de tânăr prin profunde cunoștințe în filosofie, astronomie, geometrie, medicină și retorică. La Atena a legat o strânsă prietenie cu Grigore de Nazianz, care a fost întotdeauna impresionat de inteligența și spiritul său profund. Sf. Vasile a devenit apoi un strălucit profesor în NeoCezarea.
The fact that Christian charities were open to all, including pagans, put this aspect of Roman citizens’ lives out of the control of Imperial authority and under that of the Church. Thus Julian envisioned the institution of a Roman philanthropic system, and cared for the behaviour and the morality of the pagan priests, in the hope that it would mitigate the reliance of pagans on Christian charity, saying: „These impious Galileans not only feed their own poor, but ours also; welcoming them into their agapae, they attract them, as children are attracted, with cakes.”