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Encyclopedia > Ammianus Marcellinus

Ammianus Marcellinus (325/330-after 391) was a fourth-century Greek historian [1][2]. His is the last major historical account of the late Roman empire which survives today: his work chronicled the history of Rome from 96 to 378, although only the sections covering the period 353 - 378 are extant. [3] Events May 20 - First Council of Nicaea - first Ecumenical Council of the Christian Church: The Nicene Creed is formulated, the date of Easter is discussed. ... Events May 11 - Constantine I refounds Byzantium, renames it New Rome, and moves the capital of the Roman Empire there from Rome. ... Events All non-Christian temples in the Roman Empire are closed Quintus Aurelius Symmachus is urban prefect in Rome, and petitions Theodosius I to re-open the pagan temples. ... For other uses, see Roman Empire (disambiguation). ...

Contents

Biography

He was born between 325 and 330 to an educated family of Greek descent[4][5][6][7][8], probably at Antioch (the probability hinges on whether he was the recipient of a surviving letter to a Marcellinus from a contemporary, Libanius - Matthews 1989: 8). The date of his death is unknown, but he must have lived until 391, as he mentions Aurelius Victor as the city prefect for that year. The surviving books of his valuable history cover the years 353 to 378; the work is sometimes referred to by a Latin title as Res Gestae. Ammianus served as a soldier in the army of Constantius II in Gaul and Persia. Events May 20 - First Council of Nicaea - first Ecumenical Council of the Christian Church: The Nicene Creed is formulated, the date of Easter is discussed. ... Events May 11 - Constantine I refounds Byzantium, renames it New Rome, and moves the capital of the Roman Empire there from Rome. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Antakya. ... Events All non-Christian temples in the Roman Empire are closed Quintus Aurelius Symmachus is urban prefect in Rome, and petitions Theodosius I to re-open the pagan temples. ... Sextus Aurelius Victor (ca. ... A prefect (from the Latin praefectus, perfect participle of praeficere: make in front, i. ... Events Battle of Mons Seleucus - Constantius II defeats the usurper Magnentius. ... Events Mid-February: Lentienses cross frozen Rhine, invading Roman Empire. ... Flavius Iulius Constantius, known in English as Constantius II, (7 August 317 - 3 November 361) was a Roman Emperor (337 - 361) of the Constantinian dynasty. ... For other uses of this term see: Persia (disambiguation) The Persian Empire is the name used to refer to a number of historic dynasties that have ruled the country of Persia (Iran). ...


He was "a soldier and also a Greek" ut miles quondam et graecus (Amm. 31.16.9) he tells us, and his enrollment among the elite protectores domestici (household guards) shows that he was of noble birth. He entered the army at an early age, when Constantius II was emperor of the East, and was sent to serve under Ursicinus, governor of Nisibis in Mesopotamia, and magister militiae. Flavius Iulius Constantius, known in English as Constantius II, (7 August 317 - 3 November 361) was a Roman Emperor (337 - 361) of the Constantinian dynasty. ... Ursicinus was the master of cavalry (magister equitum) in the Eastern Roman Empire 349-359. ... The newly excavated Church of Saint Jacob in Nisibis. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


He returned to Italy with Ursicinus, when he was recalled by Constantius, and accompanied him on the expedition against Silvanus the Frank, who had been forced by the allegedly unjust accusations of his enemies into proclaiming himself emperor in Gaul. With Ursicinus he went twice to the East, and barely escaped with his life from Amida (modern Diyarbakır), when it was taken by the Sassanid king Shapur II. When Ursicinus lost his office and the favour of Constantius, Ammianus seems to have shared his downfall; but under Julian, Constantius's successor, he regained his position. He accompanied this emperor, for whom he expresses enthusiastic admiration, in his campaigns against the Alamanni and the Sassanids; after the death of Julian, he took part in the retreat of Jovian as far as Antioch, where he was residing when the conspiracy of Theodorus (371) was discovered and cruelly put down. Claudius Silvanus (died 7 September 355) was a Roman general of Frankish descent who became Roman Emperor (recognized only in Gaul) for 28 days in 355. ... Gaul (Latin: ) was the name given,in ancient times, to the region of Western Europe comprising present-day northern Italy, France, Belgium, western Switzerland and the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the west bank of the Rhine river. ... Diyarbakır (Ottoman Turkish: دیاربکر land of the Bekr as derived from Persian; Kurdish Amed; Syriac ; Greek Amida; Armenian Ô±Õ´Õ«Õ¤ Amid) is a major city in the Southeastern Anatolia region of Turkey. ... Shapur II was king of Persia (310 - 379). ... Flavius Claudius Iulianus (331–June 26, 363), was a Roman Emperor (361–363) of the Constantinian dynasty. ... Area settled by the Alamanni, and sites of Roman-Alamannic battles, 3rd to 6th century The Alamanni, Allemanni, or Alemanni were originally an alliance of west Germanic tribes located around the upper Main, a river that is one of the largest tributaries of the Rhine, on land that is today... After Islamic Conquest  Modern SSR = Soviet Socialist Republic Afghanistan  Azerbaijan  Bahrain  Iran  Iraq  Tajikistan  Uzbekistan  This box:      The Sassanid Empire or Sassanian Dynasty (Persian: []) is the name used for the fourth Iranian dynasty, and the second Persian Empire (226–651). ... This siliqua of Jovian, ca 363, celebrates his fifth year of reign, as a good omen. ... Theodore, ot the Latin equivalent Theodorus, can refer to: Theodorus of Cyrene a mathematician from Greek antiquity Theodore of Amasea, a Christian saint Pope Theodore I, Pope from 642 to 649 Theodore, Syrian Patriarch of Antioch, Syrian Patriarch of Antioch from 649 to 667 Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury...


Work

Eventually he settled in Rome during the early eighties of the fourth century, where, in his fifties (calculating his age to be coeval to Julian, who was born in 331 - cf. Syme 1968: 216), he wrote (in Latin) a history of the Roman empire from the accession of Nerva (96) to the death of Valens at the Battle of Adrianople (378), thus forming a continuation of the work of Tacitus. This history (Res Gestae Libri XXXI) was originally in thirty-one books, but the first thirteen are lost. The surviving eighteen books cover the period from 353 to 378. As a whole it has been considered extremely valuable, being a clear, comprehensive and, according to Gibbon, impartial account of events by a contemporary. Recent studies have, however, shown the rhetoric power in his histories. Like many ancient historians, Ammianus supposedly had a strong political and religious agenda to pursue, and he contrasted Constantius II with Julian to the former's constant disadvantage. For other uses, see Nerva (disambiguation). ... Combatants Eastern Roman Empire Goths Commanders Valens â€  Fritigern, Alatheus, Saphrax Strength 15,000–30,000 10,000–20,000 Casualties 10,000–20,000 Unknown The second Battle of Adrianople (August 9, 378), sometimes known as the Battle of Hadrianopolis, was fought between a Roman army led by the Roman... Gaius Cornelius Tacitus Publius or Gaius Cornelius Tacitus (c. ... Events Battle of Mons Seleucus - Constantius II defeats the usurper Magnentius. ... Rhetoric (from Greek , rhêtôr, orator, teacher) is generally understood to be the art or technique of persuasion through the use of oral, visual, or written language; however, this definition of rhetoric has expanded greatly since rhetoric emerged as a field of study in universities. ... Flavius Iulius Constantius, known in English as Constantius II, (7 August 317 - 3 November 361) was a Roman Emperor (337 - 361) of the Constantinian dynasty. ... Look up Julian in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Edward Gibbon judged Ammianus as "an accurate and faithful guide, who composed the history of his own times without indulging the prejudices and passions which usually affect the mind of a contemporary" (Gibbon 26.5). Ammianus was a pagan, and some have said that he marginalises Christianity repeatedly in his account. Some maintain that his style is harsh, often pompous and extremely obscure, occasionally even journalistic in tone, due the author's foreign origin and his military life and training. On the other hand, some authors admire him as writer. Ernst Stein goes as far as praising Ammianus as "the greatest literary genius that the world produced between Tacitus and Dante".[9] Edward Gibbon (1737–1794). ... Pagan and heathen redirect here. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is...


Further, the work being intended for public recitation, some rhetorical embellishment was necessary, even at the cost of simplicity. It is a striking fact that Ammianus, though a professional soldier, gives excellent pictures of social and economic problems, and in his attitude to the non-Roman peoples of the empire he is far more broad-minded than writers like Livy and Tacitus; his digressions on the various countries he had visited are particularly interesting. A portrait of Titus Livius made long after his death. ...


In his description of the Empire —the exhaustion produced by excessive taxation, the financial ruin of the middle classes, the progressive decline in the morale of the army— we find an explanation of Rome's fall to the Goths twenty years after his death. This article is about the Germanic tribes. ...


Notes

  1. ^ Robert Burton: The Anatomy of Melancholy Volume VI, Robert Burton, John Bernard Bamborough, Oxford University Press, p.303
  2. ^ The History of Scotland, George Buchanan, James Aikman, 1827 Blackie, Fullarton, p.31
  3. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica Online - Ammianus Marcellinus
  4. ^ Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Classical World, Israel Shatzman, Michael Avi-Yonah, 1975 Harper and Row, p.37, ISBN 0060101784
  5. ^ East and West Through Fifteen Centuries: Being a General History from B.C. 44 to A.D. 1453, George Frederick Young, 1916 Longmans, Green and Co, p.336
  6. ^ University of California Publications in Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley, 1943 University of California Press, p.3
  7. ^ Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes, Cambridge University Press, p. lxvii
  8. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica Online - Ammianus Marcellinus
  9. ^ E. Stein, Geschichte des spätrömischen Reiches, Vienna 1928

References and further reading

  • Latin text and facing English translation (by J.C. Rolfe) in the Loeb Classical Library, 1935‑1940 with many reprintings.
  • Walter Hamilton (trans.) The Later Roman Empire (AD 354-378). Penguin Classics, 1986. An abridged translation.
  • Barnes, Timothy D. Ammianus Marcellinus and the Representation of Historical Reality (Cornell Studies in Classical Philology). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1998 (hardcover, ISBN 0-8014-3526-9).
  • Gibbon, Edward. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
  • Matthews, J. (1989) The Roman Empire of Ammianus. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989.
  • Syme, R. "Zeitkritik und Geschichtsbild in Werk Ammianus," JRS 58, Parts 1 & 2 (1968) 215–218.
  • Crump, Gary A Ammianus Marcellinus as a military historian Steiner, 1975, ISBN 3515019847.
  • Drijvers, Jan Wi Late Roman World and its Historian Routledge, 1999, ISBN 041520271X.
  • Rowell, Henry Thompson Ammianus Marcellinus, soldier-historian of the late Roman Empire University of Cincinnati, 1964.
  • Seager, Robin Ammianus Marcellinus: Seven Studies in His Language and Thought Univ of Missouri Pr, 1986, ISBN 0826204953.
  • This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

The Loeb Classical Library is a series of books, today published by the Harvard University Press, which present important works of ancient Greek and Latin Literature in a way designed to make the text accessible to the broadest possible audience, by presenting the original Greek or Latin text on each... Edward Gibbon (1737–1794). ... Encyclopædia Britannica, the eleventh edition The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910–1911) is perhaps the most famous edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Ammianus Marcellinus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (784 words)
Ammianus Marcellinus (325/330-after 391) was a Roman historian who wrote during Late Antiquity.
Ammianus was a pagan, and some have said that he marginalises Christianity repeatedly in his account.
It is a striking fact that Ammianus, though a professional soldier, gives excellent pictures of social and economic problems, and in his attitude to the non-Roman peoples of the empire he is far more broad-minded than writers like Livy and Tacitus; his digressions on the various countries he had visited are particularly interesting.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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