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Commentary On Chapter 3

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Chapter Summary

Apronianus' vigorous fight against the crime of veneficium, which includes both poisoning and magic. Ammianus emphasizes repeatedly that such cases were dealt with swiftly and harshly. The reasons for his insistence on this point seem to be twofold. Firstly, as Sabbah has suggested, he defends Julian against criticisms that during his reign magical practices had increased, and secondly the reader is prepared for the terrible accounts of the persecutions of people, both guilty and innocent, on similar charges under Valentinian and Valens.

Keywords: Ammianus; Julian; Valens; Valentinian; veneficium



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