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Vom Tsunami Von 365 Zum Mimas-Orakel: Ammianus Marcellinus Als Zeithistoriker Und Die Spätgriechische Tradition

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Chapter Summary

There are striking parallels between books 26-31 of Ammianus' Res Gestae and historical works from the Late Greek and Byzantine periods, e.g. in the description of the tsunami of 365 and the oracles predicting the death of Valens. The explanation for these parallels must be that the Byzantine sources and Ammianus made use independently of material in the form of literary historiography. This in turn casts doubts on the currently prevailing view that at least in his account of contemporary events Ammianus, like Thucydides, made use of primary material only. Kelly comes to the remarkable conclusion that Ammianus in his account of the events of 365 largely depends on a narrative source, which ultimately underlies also the report later Byzantine sources, namely the report of Theophanes and George Hamartolos. The passages were presented in German translation.

Keywords: tsunami; oracles; Greek tradition; Ammianus; Byzantine periods; Res Gestae



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