John Matthews' brilliant analysis of Ammianus and his world is foundational for the study of the Roman Empire in the fourth century CE. Matthews' Ammianus is a man very much in touch with his times, engaged in many of the exciting events that he describes, and a commentator motivated by a passionate devotion to justice.
The empire that he depicts in The Roman Empire of Ammianus is undergoing a profoundly important intellectual transition as Christians and non-Christians dealt with each other in new ways, and a profoundly important political transition as Rome's ability to control its frontiers was severely challenged.
This new edition of the volume offers a new Introduction by the author, and corrections to the original text. In Matthews' brilliantly researched and compellingly written pages we encounter brigands, philosophers, bishops, barbarians and one of the most extraordinary figures in all of Roman history: the Emperor Julian, who occupies for Matthews - as he did for Ammianus - a central place in the history of these times.
Ammianus has been recognized for centuries as the last great historian of the Classical Latin tradition. It is thanks to Matthews that we can at last begin to appreciate the brilliance and complexity of the tapestry he wove with his words.
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