Ammianus Marcellinus: The Allusive Historian / Edition 1

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Ammianus Marcellinus is usually regarded as our most important source for the history of the second half of the fourth century AD, while his literary qualities are neglected. This book demonstrates what a subtle and manipulative writer Ammianus is; attention is paid particularly to his rich and variegated intertextuality with earlier classical literature and history. Questioning the prevailing interest in the historian's life as the key to his work, Dr Kelly evaluates the historiographical function of the vivid and thrilling autobiographical passages. The range of Ammianus' allusions is surveyed, including his use of classical examples, his relationship with historical source-texts and the workings of internal echoes within the history. His interactions with other texts are seen as carefully controlled and meaningful; and both his allusive techniques and writing in general, it is argued, are better viewed as reflecting a classical, rather than a late antique, aesthetic.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Gavin Kelly's Ammianus Marcellinus: The Allusive Historian is a thought-provoking and original study of a key fourth-century author. It makes a valuable contribution to the field of late antique studies and of Ammianus in particular by focusing on the literary aspects of the historian's text. engaging interpretation of Ammianus as a creative and erudite writer. ...a very valuable study that should appeal to a variety of scholars: late antique historians, scholars of Ammianus, Latinists, classicists interested in historiography and the use of classical texts in the late Empire, students of rhetoric and literature." —BMCR

"...this book is a stimulating work of pure scholarship that modern scholars will wrestle with for some time. It joins the works of Matthews and Barnes as a major Anglophone contribution on the Res gestae of Ammianus." —Journal of Late Antiquity

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521842990
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/30/2008
  • Series: Cambridge Classical Studies
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 390
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

GAVIN KELLY is Lecturer in Classics at the University of Edinburgh. A specialist in the literature and political history of the Roman Empire, he has published articles in leading journals on the historical work of Ammianus Marcellinus.

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Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I. The Elusive Historian: 1. The bones on the battlefield; 2. The adventures of Ammianus; 3. The limits of biography; Part II. The Allusive Historian: 4. Ammianus' intertextuality; 5. Sources; 6. The exemplary historian; 7. Julian's monument; Epilogue.

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