The Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus
Ammianus Marcellinus (325/330-after 391) was a fourthcentury Roman historian. His work chronicled in Latin the history of Rome from 96 to 378, ... Show synopsis Ammianus Marcellinus (325/330-after 391) was a fourthcentury Roman historian. His work chronicled in Latin the history of Rome from 96 to 378, although only the sections covering the period 353-378 are extant. Like many ancient historians, Ammianus had a strong political and religious agenda to pursue, however, and he contrasted Constantius II with Julian to the former's constant disadvantage; like all ancient writers he was skilled in rhetoric, and this shows in his work. His work, the Res Gestae, has suffered terribly from the manuscript transmission. Aside from the loss of the first thirteen books, the remaining eighteen are in many places corrupt and lacunose. The sole surviving manuscript from which almost every other is derived is a ninth-century Carolingian text, V, produced in Fulda from an insular exemplar. The only independent textual source for Ammianus lies in M, another ninth-century Frankish codex which was, unfortunately, unbound and placed in other codices during the fifteenth century. Only six leaves of M survive; however, the printed edition of Gelenius (G) is considered to be based on M, making it an important witness to the textual tradition of the Res Gestae.