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Greek And Roman Parallel History In Ammianus

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Chapter Summary

This chapter collects the comparative examples taken by Ammianus from the Greek and Roman past. Ammianus' Res Gestae is a work of outstanding historical scholarship. The pleasure with which the author evokes the past, often in the form of exempla, equals his desire to display his learning and erudition in that part of paideia. There are thirty-two strictly historical references which we will define as legendary, including the Trojan War, eighteen concern the history of the Near East from Ninus and Semiramis through the Persian Kings up to the founder of the Parthian dynasty, Arsaces, and fifteen are devoted to Alexander the Great, conditor altissimus of Alexandria in Egypt. Ammianus intends to contribute towards shaping the conscience of the Eastern cultured class with governmental responsibilities in the same way as Plutarch had wished to instil in his Roman and Greek readers respect for and pride in ancient Hellas.

Keywords: Alexander the Great; Ammianus; Eastern cultured class; Greek; Parthian dynasty; Persian Kings; Plutarch; Res Gestae; Roman; Trojan War



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