Philological and Historical Commentary on Ammianus Marcellinus XXIX


Book 29 opens with the judicial terror in Antioch following the discovery of a plot against the emperor in the East, Valens, who played an active role in hunting down and executing the culprits. The account of these internal troubles is balanced by two long chapters at the end of the book dealing with warfare in Africa and Central Europe. The general Theodosius mercilessly crushed the revolt of the Moorish prince Firmus, while the emperor in the West, Valentinian, had to deal with violent invasions of the Quadi and the Sarmatians. The two central chapters are devoted to different aspects of Valentinian’s character, his cruelty on the one hand, his diligence in reinforcing the border defenses on the other.

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Biographical Note

Jan den Boeft, Ph.D. (1970) in Latin, Leiden University, is emeritus Professor of Latin at the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam and of Hellenistic Religions at Utrecht University. He has published on i.a. Ambrose, Augustine and Erasmus.

Jan Willem Drijvers, Ph.D. (1989) in History, University of Groningen, is Senior Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Groningen. He is author of i.a. Cyril of Jerusalem: Bishop and City (Leiden 2004).

Daniël den Hengst, Ph.D. (1981) in Latin, University of Amsterdam, is emeritus Professor of Latin at the University of Amsterdam. He has published on Late Antique Historiography.

Hans Teitler, Ph.D. (1983) in Ancient History,Utrecht University, was formerly Senior Lecturer in Ancient History at Utrecht University. He is the author of Notarii and Exceptores (Amsterdam 1985).


All those interested in the history and literature of Late Antiquity, Early Christianity, Late Latin, source criticism, literary aspects and the historiographical method of Ammianus Marcellinus