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Jan den Boeft, Jan Willem Drijvers, Daniël den Hengst and Hans C. Teitler

This commentary is the fifth volume in a series of commentaries on the fourth-century historian Ammianus Marcellinus, which continues the commentaries by P. de Jonge on Books XIV-IXX. In XXIV the Persian expedition of Julian is described, from its successful start until the failure to take the capital Ctesiphon. The commentary deals both with the philological, literary and linguistic problems in the Latin text and with the historical and geographical details that are necessary for an understanding of the course of events. Special attention is given to the author’s highly personal involvement as a participant in the expedition.
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Jan den Boeft, Jan Willem Drijvers, Daniël den Hengst and Hans Teitler

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Jan den Boeft, Jan Willem Drijvers, Daniël den Hengst and Hans Teitler

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Jan den Boeft, Jan Willem Drijvers, Daniël den Hengst and Hans Teitler

In Book 28 Ammianus describes the military activity of Valentinian on the Rhine. The historian speaks with admiration about his efforts to strengthen the northwestern border of the empire. He shows a similar esteem for the general Theodosius, who re-established order in Britain. However, in the greater part of Book 28 there is an air of gloom. Ammianus writes reluctantly about the judicial terror inflicted on the Roman aristocracy by powerful magistrates. In his digression about Roman manners he speaks with contempt about the senatorial elite and the Roman plebs, because they fail to live up to the standards of their ancestors. The final chapter illustrates the disastrous effects of the mismanagement of the province of Tripolis by corrupt officials.
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Edited by Jan den Boeft, Jan Willem Drijvers, Daniël den Hengst and Hans Teitler

Book 26 of Ammianus' Res Gestae is the first of the hexad which deals with the rule of the emperors Valentinian and Valens (364-378). In the first five chapters Ammianus describes the election of Valentinian, who appointed his brother Valens as his co-ruler, and subsequently divided the empire into an eastern and a western part. The next chapters deal with the revolt of Procopius. They offer the most detailed account of a coup d' état in Roman historiography. The memory of Julian, whose death was the central theme of the preceding book, is still very much alive. None of the three protagonists of Book 26 was remotely his equal. His loss meant a turn for the worse in the history of Rome.
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Ammianus after Julian

The Reign of Valentinian and Valens in Books 26 - 31 of the Res Gestae

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Edited by Jan den Boeft, Jan Willem Drijvers, Daniël den Hengst and Hans C. Teitler

In Books 26–31 Ammianus Marcellinus deals with the period of the emperors Valentinian and Valens. The representatives of the new dynasty differ greatly from their predecessor Julian, both personally and in their style of government. The Empire is divided between the two rulers, and suffers increasingly from barbarian invasions. Faced with these changes, Ammianus adapts his historical method. His treatment of the events becomes less detailed and more critical. The years following on the death of Julian are painted in dark colours, as the disaster at Hadrianople casts its shadow before. The papers in this volume, on History and Historiography, Literary Composition and Crisis of Empire, were presented during the conference "Ammianus after Julian" held in 2005.
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Jan den Boeft, Jan Willem Drijvers, Daniël den Hengst and Hans C. Teitler

Book 27 deals with events between 365 and 370. Military operations in the western and eastern half of the Empire take up a large part of the available space. Apart from military matters Ammianus deals with internal affairs. He discusses the terms of office of four Roman urban prefects and paints a picture of Petronius Probus, the mightiest civil official of the period. The most striking part of the book contains a portrait of the emperor Valentinian. This passage forms the centre of the book, which therefore has the structure of a triptych: of the two outer parts each contains military affairs in the West and the East and reports on some notable non-military events, whilst in the central panel Valentinian takes pride of place.
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Jan den Boeft, Jan Willem Drijvers, Daniël den Hengst and Hans Teitler

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.