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Commentary On Chapter 5

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Chapter Summary

This chapter provides the implementation of a momentous decision of Valentinian. It also provides a foretaste, with the description of Valentinian's anxious reaction to the bad, but at first very vague, news from the East. The chapter presents an outline of the military history of the entire period of Valentinian and Valens rather than a description of the manifold crises at its beginning. Ammianus' report provides a vivid picture of Valentinian's grave worries, caused by the lack of clear and reliable information, and his indecision as to whether he should leave Gaul to cope directly with Procopius or stay to combat the Alamans. Valentinian got the news of the usurpation from his general Equitius, who, in Illyricum at the time, was ill-informed himself, as Amm. explains in 26.5.10.

Keywords: Alamans; Ammianus report; Valens; Valentinian



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