Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

The Sphragis And Closure Of The Res Gestae

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

The closing sentence of the Res Gestae has been interpreted both as a recommendation that qualified successors should continue Ammianus' history in the same grandiose and allusive manner, and also as a warning that events after Theodosius' accession can only be narrated in the medium of panegyric. This chapter argues that, though in some ways contradictory, both interpretations should be accepted. In particular it argues for the purposed ambiguity of the closing words, in which Ammianus advises his successors 'to forge their tongues to grander styles', though in this case the contrasting readings can be reconciled. The chapter finally suggests that the last words of the sphragis are open to two contrasting inferences about what lies beyond the end of the Res Gestae, and, less straightforwardly, that instead of choosing one and standing by it, or attempting to reconcile them, we should accept the contradiction.

Keywords: Ammianus; Res Gestae; Sphragis; Theodosius



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Ammianus after Julian — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation