Ammianus Marcellinus

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Ammianus Marcellinus

(ămēā`nəs märsĭlī`nəs), c.330–c.400, Roman historian, b. Antioch. After retiring from a successful military career, he wrote a history of the Roman Empire as a sequel to that of Tacitus, his model. The history, in 31 books, covered the years from A.D. 96 to 378; only Books XIV–XXXI, covering the years A.D. 353–78, survive. Though written in an extremely rhetorical style, this reliable and impartial history is praised not only for its coverage of military events, but for detailed information concerning economic, administrative, and social history, biographical information about the various emperors, and tolerant descriptions of foreign cultures. Although a pagan and an admirer of Julian the Apostate, Ammianus was able to write about Christianity without prejudice.


See E. A. Thompson, Historical Work of Ammianus Marcellinus (1947); Ammianus Marcellinus (his work tr. by J. C. Rolfe 1935, repr. 1963); R. Syme, Ammianus and the Historia Augusta (1968).

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On the wall at the museum you will see these words "The Fairest City of the Orient" Ammianus Marcellinus, XXIII, which says everything about how things were in Antakya.
Lupicinus, in a show of good faith, allowed both Alavivus and Fritigern to leave, but, in the words of historian Ammianus, who may have witnessed many of these events, the seeds of war had been irrevocably sown:
Philological and Historical Commentary on Ammianus Marcellinus XXIX
Brown's false perspective of the middle decades of the fourth century becomes most evident in his comments on a passage in which the historian Ammianus Marcellinus makes a disparaging reference to beggars on the Vatican.
The world had gotten used to a unified narrative framework of the kind we still find in the fourth-century historian Ammianus Marcelinus, but if the story of a vibrant Empire less and less could provide this framework, the story of forming Christendom could.
Claudianus, Lactanctius, Jerome, Ammianus Marcellinus, Basil, and Chrysostom all denounced the moral decadence of fourth-century society at large.
For example, Ammianus holds the boiling summer heat partially responsible for the defeat against the Goths (miles fervore calefactus aestivo), Amm.
190-91) but his sober version will have a job competing with the wild, green-eyed, flame-haired furies that Ammianus Marcellinus conjured up when he wrote about Gaulish women in the late fourth century AD (see Chapter 8 by Sarah Rey).
In the 380s the pagan Ammianus Marcellinus noted that the Roman bishops' lifestyle had escalated, "wearing clothing chosen with care, and serving banquets so lavish that their entertainments outdo the tables of kings.
The whole earth was made to shake and shudder," wrote the Roman historian, Ammianus Marcellinus, as he described how ships were thrown a mile or two inland onto the roofs of houses in Alexandria.
117] One report by Ammianus Marcellinus[118] recounts that the district was razed to the ground,[119] and one scholar, at least, is convinced that this is the event that destroyed the entirety of the Great Library.
69) Ammianus Marcellinus specifically notes Constantius's diplomatic efforts to maintain the loyalty of "Arsaces and Meribanes, kings of Armenia and Hiberia respectively .