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Literary Aspects Of Ammianus' Second Digression On Rome

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with literary aspects of Ammianus' second digression on Rome. Attention is given to its place within the Res Gestae and its relation to the first digression and to chapter 28.1 on trials in Rome. The chapter also discusses the satirical character of the digression as well as its literary antecedents. Few readers will accept Ammianus' picture of Roman society at face value. The place where Ammianus inserted his second digression on Rome into the Res Gestae poses a serious problem. It begins with the programmatic statement Diu multumque a negotiis discussus urbanis adigente cumulo foris gestorum ad ea strictim exsequenda regrediar exorsus ab Olybrii praefectura. One might have expected such a statement in 26.3, where Ammianus resumes his series of reports on the urban prefecture after the long interruption in the Julianic books.

Keywords: Ammianus' second digression; literary aspects; Res Gestae; Rome



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