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Commentary On Chapter 10

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with the last convulsions of Procopius' revolt and the reprisals that followed it. After the execution of the insurgent, the protector Marcellus, a relative of Procopius, took the lead. His first action was to kill Serenianus, one of Valens' closest associates. Ammianus, who heartily disliked this man because of his cruelty, applauds his execution. The description of the tsunami has received much attention in recent years, both as a splendid piece of writing in its own right, and because it offers valuable insights into the source material consulted by Ammianus, and the way in which he adapted it for his own purposes. There can be little doubt, that Ammianus wanted his readers to reflect upon the relation between this natural disaster and the political upheavals he had dealt with in Book 26 and was going to deal with in the rest of his work.

Keywords: Ammianus; Marcellus; Procopius; Serenianus; tsunami; Valens



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