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Rerum gestarum libri XXXIHe 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 AD 96 down to h. How charming are ancientmedieval amateur historians So incredibly charming The 'standard' historians eg Thucydides Livy Appian Rufus Plutarch Xenophon Procopius Sallust et al are also uite good of course yet I can't help but infinitely prefer the wacky and digressive ones Diogenes Laertius' Lives Arrian's biography of Alexander Gregory of Tours' History of the Franks Diaz's Conuest of New Spain etc Who wants dry academic history when you can have astrology philosophy life advice random anecdotes first person accounts of battles how to guides for black magic With Ammianus we haveSuper important details p 230I will not dwell because it has been related so often on the fact that Constantius was never seen in public wiping his face or nose or spitting or turning his head on either side and that he never in his life tasted fruitAn obvious partiality for Julian the Apostate which he claims is totally not exaggerated at all p 89My narrative of Julian which is not a tissue of clever falsehoods but an absolutely truthful account based on clear evidence will not fall far short of a panegyric because it seems that the life of this young man was guided by some principle which raised him above the ordinary and and accompanied him from his illustrious cradle to his last breathDigressions literally within digressions when describing a battle on p 205Besides this there were continual rainbows a phenomenon of which I will give a brief explanation Helpful how to guides for the black arts p 208And since this learned prince whose curiosity embraced all forms of knowledge has been charged by his enemies with practicing black arts to divine the future we must briefly consider how a wise man may acuire this by no means unimportant branch of learning The spirit which directs the eternal bodies that constitute the elements Charmingly straightforward patriotism p 131Thus those kings once inordinately swollen with pride who had been in the habit of enriching themselves by plundering our people bowed their necks to the Roman yoke and obeyed the imperial commands without a murmurRandom philosophical reflections p 232 p 342 etcThe truest glory is won when a man in power totally subdues his cruel and savage and angry impulses and erects in the citadel of his soul a splendid memorial of his victory over himselfThere is in fact no way of correcting wrongdoing in those who think that the height of virtue consists in the execution of their willThis guy really hates elephants p 165Wrinkled monsters of enormous height a sight dreadful than any other form of horror as I have often declared Getting down to the real causes of human action p 63These and countless other events of this kind are brought to pass from time to time by the operation of Adrastia who punishes evil and rewards good deeds and whom we also call Nemesis She is the sublime manifestation of a powerful divinity dwelling men believe above the orbit of the moon Modern Western military campaigns should really bring back sorcererphilosopher debates p 261A soldier named Jovian and two horses which he was bringing back from watering in the river were struck dead by a thunderbolt The interpreters of such things were sent for and uestioned; they declared with confidence that this of the type known as 'advisory' the name they give to an omen which neither prohibits or prescribes a particular course the philosophers on the other hand maintained that there was no particular significance it was merely a violent blast of wind pushed down from the upper air by some force If it portended anything it was an increase of honor for the emperor at the outset of his glorious enterprise since it is common knowledge that fire naturally flies upward if there is nothing to check itWherein Ammianus has strong feelings about eunuchs except for one guy who was cool p 95In this context I feel impelled to add a brief account of the eunuch Eutherius It may sound incredible because if even Numa Pompilius or Socrates were to speak well of a eunuch and back their statements with an oath they would be accused of departing from the truth But roses grow in the midst of thorns Wherein we learn that Pablo Escobar has nothing on Emperor Valentinian p 382One thing however it would be wrong to pass over or suppress Valentinian had two savage man eating she bears called Gold dust and Innocence to which he was so devoted that he had their cages placed near his bedroom and appointed reliable keepers to see that nothing was allowed to impair the destructive fury of the brutes In the end after seeing many people buried whom Innocence had torn to pieces he rewarded her services by returning her safe to the wild in the hope that she would produce cubs like herselfA Roman soldier's perspective on the complex theological debates of the first Ecumenical Councils p 232The plain and simple religion of the Christians was bedeviled by Constantius with old wives' fancies ie TrinitarianChristological theology lol Instead of trying to settle matters he raised complicated issues which led to much dissension and as this spread widely he fed it with verbal argument Public transport hurried throngs of bishops hither and thither to attend what they call synods and by his attempts to impose comformity Constantius only succeeded in hamstringing the post serviceI mean who wants scholarly accuracy and footnotes and hedging when you can have all glorious nonsense Anyway the main thing I learned in terms of actual history is that the late Roman Empire and maybe even the earlier Empire basically consisted of giant marauding bands of brigands called legions of Roman soldiers collouially who had all the power political and otherwise See eg p 189 when the legions wanted to make Julian emperor Julian finding that there was no way out and perceiving that continued resistance would place him in instant danger promised each man five gold pieces and a pound of silver Does this sound like an emperor to you Or a hostage To be clear the Roman soldiers literally put a crown on Julian's head and said they would kill him unless he got them money In other words this is essentially an organized criminal band using the insignia of a former empire murderingrapingpillaging random villages and cities in Asia and Europe and occasionally sending a figurehead aristocrat back to Rome or Byzantium to get them money When you combine this corruption with how many battles the legions were losing by the end of Ammianus' narrative I can't say that I'm surprised by the collapse of the Western Empire

Ammianus Marcellinus Å 7 Read & Download

Is own day The first thirteen of his thirty one books are lost; the remainder describe a period of only twenty five years AD 354 378 and the reigns of the emperors Constantis Julian Jovian Valentinian and Valens for which he is a prime authority H. Some absolutely hilarious entries particularly Book 28 Chapter 4 on the vices of Roman Society A wonderful chronicle of the later Roman Empire with scathing reviews of all Emperors and generals throughout

Summary Rerum gestarum libri XXXI

characters Rerum gestarum libri XXXI ✓ eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB ↠ 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 AD 96 down to E 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 acknowledg. In general I enjoyed this book It is a primary source dealing with my favorite time period Late Antiuity and the early middle ages However the choices that EditorTranslator Walter Hamilton made in assembling this volume were extremely aggravating and frustrating This volume is an abridgment of what remains of Ammanius's full work Let that sink in for a minute This is an abridgment of a work which is already incomplete To made this worse Hamilton chose to effectively omit virtually ALL of the material dealing with the non Roman groups So that by the time you get to the battle of Adrianople the bulk of the material fleshing out the background of the Goth's and Huns the construction of the Limes on the Rhine and Danube the incursions by the Franks and Saxons into Gaul and Britain have all effectively been skipped and replaced with 1 2 sentence long summaries Considering what this volume cost and considering it bears the lofty name of Penguin Classics I find it inexcusable for such a substantial portion of material to be missing Penguin similarly did this with their edition of the Prose Edda leaving out a full 13rd of it Ammanius's prose and eye for details are well worth the read but if you're looking for a comprehensive and complete publication of his Works it's best to get the Public Domain one that is freely available online rather than spend the money on this abridgment