The Later Roman Empire: A.D. 354-378

Overview

He was not a professional man of letters but an army officer of Greek origin born at Antioch and contemporary with the events described in what remains of his work. He set himself the task of continuing the histories of Tacitus from A.D. 96 down to his own day. 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. He was a ...
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Overview

He was not a professional man of letters but an army officer of Greek origin born at Antioch and contemporary with the events described in what remains of his work. He set himself the task of continuing the histories of Tacitus from A.D. 96 down to his own day. 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. He was a pagan and an admirer of the apostate Julian, to whose career about half the surviving books are devoted. Nevertheless, his treatment of Christianity is free from prejudice and his impartiality and good judgement have been generally acknowledged.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140444063
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/28/1986
  • Series: Penguin Classics Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 462,802
  • Product dimensions: 5.19 (w) x 7.78 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Walter Hamilton (1908–1988) was master and honorary fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge. His translations for Penguin Classics include Plato’s Phaedrus and Letters VII and VIII.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2008

    Last Great Roman Historian

    Ammianus Marcellinus is considered by many to be the last great Roman Historian. The vivid details he provides allows us to view and better understand the Roman Empire during late antiquity. The 4th century, which his histories cover, shine a bright light on the short but highly interesting reign of the Roman Emperor Julian, nephew of Constantine the Great and given the epithet of 'The Apostate' by the Christian Church for his move to belief in pagan worship. Though a pagan himself and an admirer of Julian, Ammianus often balances his praises with criticism and his often eyewitness reports give the reader a true sense of authenticity. Chronicling Julian's attempt to 'turn back the clock', his treatment of the final struggle between paganism and that of Christianity is also very fair-minded. Originally written to continue the histories of Tacitus which ended with the reign of Roman Emperor Domitian, Ammianus' work deserves every comparison with the great author he worked to emulate and complement.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2000

    An excellent documentation of the Roman War machine

    Ammianus was a pagan Greek general who had a tolernace for the Christians ina time when paganism was threatened to be snuffed out by the Church. He was an admirer of Julian, the last Pagan emperor of Rome and whom was a military disaster. If you like to read about war in the ancient world, here is your book. Ammianus also documents the Huns who he portrays as savage horseman.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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