Hosios: A Semantic Study of Greek Piety Saskia Peels elucidates the semantics of the Ancient Greek adjective
hosios and its cognates. Traditionally rendered as ‘piety’,
hosios was a key notion in Classical Greek religion and reflected a core value in Athenian democracy. Since antiquity, its meaning and usage have puzzled many. This study sets out to resolve various scholarly debates on the semantics of
hosios by focusing on the idea of lexical competition. It illuminates the semantic relationship between
hosios and its near-synonyms
dikaios, and the connection to the notion of the ‘sacred’. Using insights from modern linguistic theory, the book also aims to improve methods for research into the lexical semantics of a dead language.
The first part of Book 30 of Ammianus Marcellinus’
Res Gestae is devoted to the military and diplomatic struggle for Armenia between Valens, emperor of the East, and king Sapor II of Persia. The Romans successfully defend their position, until they are forced to deal with the Goths who threaten to cross the Danube border. The second half of Book 30 is dominated by Valentinian I, emperor of the West. Ammianus presents a kaleidoscopic picture of this emperor alternating between admiration for his military qualities and devotion to his duty and bitter criticism of his avarice and cruelty. The account of his death forms the conclusion of Ammianus’ treatment of the history of the western half of the Empire.
This is the final volume in the series of commentaries on Ammianus'
Res Gestae. The last book of Ammianus Marcellinus’
Res Gestae is the most important source for a momentous event in European history: the invasion of the Goths across the Danube border into the Roman Empire and the ensuing battle of Adrianople (378 CE), in which a Roman army was annihilated and the emperor Valens lost his life. Many contemporaries were of the opinion that this defeat heralded the decline of the Empire. Ammianus is sharply critical of the way Valens and his generals handled the military situation, but holds on to his belief in the permanence of
Roma Aeterna, reminding his readers of earlier crises from which the Empire had recovered and pointing to the incompetence of the barbarians in siege craft.