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Ammianus On The Revolt Of Firmus

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents a (re-)evaluation of Ammianus' account of the Firmus revolt and the revolt itself. It argues that Ammianus' report leaves to be desired with respect to the completeness concerning geographical and chronological information. The Firmus revolt has not gone unnoticed in the scholarly literature. Themes discussed are the nature of the revolt, Firmus' motives, his goals, and his supporters. In all discussions of the Firmus revolt the account of Ammianus has been taken for granted and hardly ever been questioned. The chapter explains why Ammianus presents such an elaborate account of a revolt which was regionally limited and not a serious threat to Valentinian's power. It also presents an image of Theodosius founded on Ammianus' account. The rebellion of the Moorish tribes under the command of Firmus had its origin in a family conflict, but soon developed into a separatist movement aimed at autonomy from Roman rule.

Keywords: Ammianus' account; Firmus revolt; Moorish tribes; Roman rule; Valentinian's power



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