was ordained bishop of Rome, as the successor of Mark, on the 6th of February, A. D. 337, a short time before the period when the persecution against Athanasius was most fiercely revived in consequence of the permission accorded to him by Constantinus, Constantius, and Constans to quit Trèves, where he had been living in exile, and return to Alexandria. Julius, who desired to be considered the arbiter of the dispute, invited both parties to appear before a council summoned to meet at Rome in the month of June, 341, a proposal gladly accepted by Athanasius, but evaded by his opponents.
The cause of the former having been fully investigated before this assembly, he and his adherents were declared guiltless of all the crimes with which they had been charged, and were restored to the full exercise of all their rights,--a decision confirmed by the synod of Sardica, held A. D. 347, by permission of Constantius at the solicitation of Constans, in the proceedings of which the Arian dignitaries refused to take any share, because the bishops whom they had condemned were not excluded. Throughout the struggle, the prelates of the Western churches, in their eagerness for victory, made many most important admissions with regard to the authority of the Roman see, admissions which were carefully noted, and at a subsequent period turned to the best account. Julius died on the 12th of April, A. D. 352, after having occupied the papal chair for upwards of fifteen years.
Many epistles of this pope connected with the Athanasian controversy have perished; but two, unquestionably genuine, are still extant, written in Greek, one addressed to the inhabitants of Antioch in 342, the other to the Alexandrians in 349, both preserved in the Apologia contra Arianos
of Athanasius. They will be found also in the Epistolae Pontificum Romanorum
of Coustant (fol. Par. 1721), p. 350, p. 399, and Append. p. 69, with notes and illustrative pieces; and in the Bibliotheca Patrum
of Galland, vol. v. (fol. Venet. 1769), p. 3.
The letters Ad Dionysium Alexandrinum; Ad Docum; Ad Cyrillum Alexandrinum,
on topics connected with the Incarnation; fragments of a Sermo de Homousio,
and various other tracts collected in the compilation of Coustant, Append. p. 69, all of which have at different periods been ascribed to Julius, are now universally admitted to be the work of other hands, many of them being forgeries by the Eutychians.
(See Du Pin, Ecclesiastical History of the Fourth Century;
Schonemann, Biblioth. Patrum Lat.
vol. i. cap. 4.3; Bähr Geschicht. der Röm. Litterat.
Suppl. Band. IIte Abtheil. § 61.)