in 359. The first thirteen of his thirty-one books are lost; the remainder describe a period of only twenty-five years (A. are also quite good, of course, yet I can't help but infinitely prefer the wacky and digressive ones, Diogenes Laertius'. This volume is an abridgment of what remains of Ammanius's full work. Updates? Ammianus Marcellinus, (born c. 330, Antioch, Syria [now Antakya, Tur. Although most military histories captivate me, this one leaves me unsatisfied. 2. In general I enjoyed this book. Probably if you decided to read Ammianus, you already have interest in Classics, so perhaps you already know something about Late Roman Empire and had heard something about the author. Fascinating history, just about the last significant output in the genre from the ancient world. However, the choices that Editor/Translator Walter Hamilton made in assembling this volume were extremely aggravating and frustrating. Much of what seems “Christian” in Augustine’s world view really was not: it was just the received wisdom of the age. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Ammianus admired Julian as a man, a soldier, and a leader; yet, although they were both pagans, he criticized Julian’s religious policies. As it is, and even weighing into consideration his prejudice (possible) rooted in his time as a staffer for the General Ursicinus, this historian gives you the turmoil after Constantine is incredibly vivid detail. by Penguin Classics. The beginning of Ammianus's work, covering the reign of Constantine, is lost, but the surviving portions focus on the emperor Julian and his failed invasion of Mesopotamia and conclude with Valens's disastrous defeat at Adrianople in 378, so there are important historical turning points in the chronology. He does go on several asides, though I think these add to the character of the work.

He does go on several asides, though I think these add to the character of the work. So, to what extent does Ammianus see the emperor’s character influencing the fortunes of the Empire? As a work of history it's more professional than Livy. To made this worse, Hamilton chose to effectively omit virtually ALL of the material dealing with the non-Roman groups. Then I realized that his history would probably seem very familiar to me, having already read Gibbon's 'Decline and Fall' and Heather's 'Fall of the Roman Empire', for which Ammianus serves as a primary source. The closest thing to a time machine to the late 300s, not just to its events but even its mindset. It is a primary source dealing with my favorite time period, Late Antiquity and the early middle ages. Ammianus Marcellinus is one of the last voices of the classical era, making this a book of particular interest, closing a chapter that begins with Heraclitus. Although Ammianus was clearly influenced by Tacitus’s Historiae, Cicero is the Latin author he quotes and refers to most often. You do not need to use outside sources, sources should be cited fully and properly using footnotes in the Chicago Manual of Style format. This is a great book that begins about 20 years after the death of Constantine the Great in 337 AD and describes the tribulations of his children. Yet, he does relate many instances of Roman cruelty and duplicity that scream out for vengeance. The first thirteen of his thirty-one books are lost; the remainder describe a period of only twenty-five years (A.D. 354-378) and the reigns of the emperors Constantis, Julian, Jovian, Valentinian and Valens, for which he is a prime authority. Marcellinus goes out of his way to excuse Roman defeats not on incompetence of leaders or the better tactics of the enemy but on auguries that were ignored. It did add to my knowledge of Roman History, but found the daily account of the military battles somewhat tedious. It only encompasses 24 years of the mid to late fourth century, but this bloke was there and witnessed it first hand. How charming are ancient/medieval amateur historians? A wonderful chronicle of the later Roman Empire, with scathing reviews of all Emperors and generals throughout. Walter Hamilton, trans.

Corrections? How much does Ammianus see the armies as political actors? Ammianus’s history, Rerum gestarum libri (“The Chronicles of Events”), consisted of 31 books, of which only the last 18, covering the years 353–378, survive. (In light of the need for 18 books to cover 26 years, the first 13 must have been relatively sparse in their account of the period from 98 through 352.) Decided to reread this classic of late Roman historiography after reading Donna Tartt's, This volume contains a substantial narrative of political and military events, highlighting major episodes such as the conversion of Constantine, the creation in the East of the pious Christian state, and the resurgence of Roman ambition under the emperor Justinian. The paper on Amminaus Marcellinus. Rome at this time was horribly corrupt and deserved to be sacked. Yet through it all, there is no sense of impending doom. Besides shedding light on many events from the reign of Constantius to the calamitous defeat at Adrianople - including striking portraits of emperors Julian and Valentinian - his work offers as well a compelling description of Late Roman society. The use of set-piece speeches that are almost certainly 100% fabrications (or perhaps at best reconstructions) are also a reminder of what Marcellinus has inherited from his predecessors. He used the regular techniques of later Roman historiography—rhetoric in his speeches, ethnographical digressions in descriptions, such as that of the culture of the Huns, and biographical conventions in character sketches along with fondness for literary allusion, overabundant metaphor, and much ornament. Much of what seems “Christian” in Augustine’s world view really was not: it was just the received wisdom of the age. The paper on Amminaus Marcellinus. ]—died 395, Rome [Italy]), last major Roman historian, whose work continued the history of the later Roman Empire to 378. Ammianus Marcellinus is awesome. The context is the setting in authority over them of the disagreeable Alexander of Heliopolis as consularis (not ‘prefect’, as Fornara, 338 n. 21). Ammianus fought against the Persians under the emperor Julian and took part in the retreat of his successor, Jovian. The Empire itself is crushing under the weight of; government corruption, heavy taxation, endless civil wars, and nearby invading tribes.