Saint Julius I
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|St. Julius I|
Archduke of Urceopolis
|Predecessor||Adrian I (727-749) as Duke|
|Successor||Adrian II (800-803)|
|Religion||Levantine Catholic Church|
Julius I, also known as Archduke Saint Julius (June 13th 714-July 24th 800) was the last elective Dux of Urceopolis and the first Archduke of Urceopolis. He came from a relatively obscure Urceopolitan family who had never held the the elective Duchy before his election. He married Finbara, a scion of the Conine dynasty and relative of Emperor Conchobar I of the Holy Levantine Empire.
Following his election in 749, Julius was effectively given leadership of the Latin League which was on the brink of collapse in the face of Hištanšahr in the south and Gallawa in the north. Following effective resistance for several years, Gallawa began to make gains against the Latins and in 759 Julius allowed them to enter Urceopolis rather than continue to fight fellow Christians in a doomed attempt at resistance. There, the Gallawaen King Conchobar was crowned Emperor of the Levantines, forming the Levantine Empire. Julius swore fealty to the new Empire and served dutifully and faithfully as a vassal, being elevated to the hereditary Archducal rank. He spent the remainder of his life ruling over the Archduchy, and later in life made a great effort to convert conquered areas of Hištanšahr as well as some of the peoples of Sarpedon, leading to being called by some the "Missionary King", despite his Archducal rank. It was for these efforts - as well as his avoidance of violence with Conchobar - that lead to his canonization in 1097.
St. Julius's legacy as an able but merciful ruler became a foundational part of the cultural heritage of Urcea, as St. Julius not only became the model ruler for his descendants but generally a paragon of virtue and piety for all Urceans of the future to follow. His integration of Urceopolis into the new Levantine Empire, which led to his brother being given the Grand Duchy of Yustona, laid the geopolitical building blocks necessary for the later creation of the Apostolic Kingdom of Urcea. For that reason, he is considered to be the "founding father" of Urcea, and its distinction as apostolic is in relation to the descent of its rulers, the Apostolic Kings of Urcea, descending from him.