Philological and Historical Commentary on Ammianus Marcellinus XXIX
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My point is only that Ammianus did not want to risk any possibility that his readers might assume otherwise, correctly or not, and that this was in accordance with his consistent bias in favour of Julian. The second example concerns an apparent instance of reduplication within Ammianus' text which, if accepted as such, makes him seem rather careless in his work.
In his initial description of how Procopius came to power, Ammianus reports that he took advantage of the fact that the Divitenses and Tungricani Iuniores were in Constantinople at the time, stopping for two days while on their way to Thrace, to persuade them to support his revolt Later, following a description of the success of the revolt, and how Valens reacted to news of it, he describes how Procopius managed to win over some units of infantry and cavalry which happened to arrive in Constantinople at that point while on their way to Thrace The similarities between these descriptions are so pronounced that it is difficult to believe that they do not refer to the arrival of the same group of units at Constantinople.
Unfortunately, the authors of this commentary do not accept this possibility. However, they proceed to argue against the identification of They do not seem to envisage the possibility that Ammianus may have accidentally repeated himself as he used two different sources in the composition of his account. Hence their arguments against the identification of the military units described at The disconcerting feature, however, is their determination not to admit that Ammianus could have carelessly repeated himself. The commentary diplays another weakness also, a common failure even to try to identify the precise office held by several key individuals.
This weakness is directly related to the last in that it reveals an inability by the authors to distance themselves from the authorial viewpoint.
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If Ammianus does not think it worth his effort to identify these individuals by their office, then our authors do not seem to think it worth their efforts to inquire too closely either, although the identification of these offices ought to be of prime importance for a correct understanding of what is being described.
Two examples will illustrate my point. Ammianus records that when the emperor Julian invaded Persia, he left Procopius in Mesopotamia in joint command of a large army with Sebastian The present commentary does not attempt to identify the precise office held by Sebastian at that time, simply referring us back to the commentary on Now, nothing is more certain than that Sebastian must have held some military office in , since he had previously served as dux Aegypti and would later die as a senior infantry commander at Adrianople in I have suggested elsewhere that he probably held the office of magister per Orientem during the Persian expedition.
Next, there is the failure even to consider to what office Valens may have appointed his father-in-law Petronius following his accession. Ammianus reports that Petronius had been commander of the Martenses , that Valens had promoted him to the rank of patricius , and that he had fiercely pursued debts to the state dating back even as far as the emperor Aurelian Here it is important to distinguish between rank and office. The fact that Petronius had been promoted to the rank of patricius did not in itself give him the right to pursue debts in the way that he did.
The obvious suggestion is that he had been appointed to a senior financial post also, perhaps as either comes sacrarum largitionum or comes rerum privatarum.
Philological and Historical Commentary on Ammianus Marcellinus
Certainly, some stronger comment is necessary here than a brief statement that it is not known whether he had held any other office before he became patricius apart from command of the Martenses p. Interesting ideas abound, although it occasionally difficult to establish whether the idea is original or not. For example, the authors read This is a very different interpretation of the text to that in the two most common English translations by J. Rolfe and W. Hamilton, but this is not properly acknowledged or explained.
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Whatever the case, I find it convincing. However, there remains a problem. Lex Varia de Maiestate Historia 16, , Cicero and the Word Popularis CQ 66, , Valerius Maximus 7. Venustus, lepidus, bellus, salsus: Notes on the Language of Catullus Latomus 33, , Horace Odes 1.
The Return of the Standards in 20 B. LCM 2, , Aqua araneae non haeret: a Postscript on Cicero QF 2.
Two Notes: 1. Statius Silvae 5. Vt dux cunctator et tutus : the Caution of Valentinian Ammianus Ammianus and the Status of Armenia in the Peace of Chiron 26, , Ammianus, Theodosius and Sallust's Jugurtha Histos 1, www. Tacitus Annals 1.
Philological and Historical Commentary on Ammianus Marcellinus
The Guilt or Innocence of Sex. Roscius Athenaeum 95, , Smith, Cicero the statesman Latomus 26, , Birley, Septimius Severus History 58, , Stylow, Libertas und liberalitas JRS 63, , Errington, The dawn of empire CR 89, , Adcock - D. Bauman, Impietas in principem JRS 66, , Hennig, L. Aelius Seianus JRS 67, , Lucas, Les obsessions de Tacite CR 91, , McGushin, C. Levick, Tiberius the poliician CR 92, , Bleicken - C. Meier - H. Wistrand, Caesar and contemporary Roman society CR 94, , Meier, Caesar; C.
Fornara, The nature of history in ancient Greece and Rome; W. Keppie, The making of the Roman army History Today 34, , Bradford, Julius Caesar: the pursuit of power History Today 34, , Finley, Politics in the ancient world CR 99, , Roddaz, Marcus Agrippa CR , , Griffin, Nero, the end of a dynasty CR , , Cartledge - F. Harvey, Crux LCM 11, , Hans Teitler , Ph. He is the author of Notarii and Exceptores Amsterdam All those interested in the history and literature of Late Antiquity, Early Christianity, Late Latin, source criticism, literary aspects and the historiographical method of Ammianus Marcellinus.
Philological and Historical Commentary on Ammianus Marcellinus 18 vols.
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