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Commentary On Chapter 2

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Chapter Summary

The heavy defeat which the Alamans had inflicted on a Roman army led by Charietto and Severianus called for a swift reaction. The magister equitum Dagalaifus was charged with the task to set things right. He proved to be the wrong man for warfare against the guerrilla-like tactics of the adversary, so that he was relieved by another experienced general, Iovinus, who twice caught a section of the Alamans' forces by surprise and defeated them with ease. Sabbah 205-206 regards Ammianus' description of Iovinus' operations as an adaptation of the general's official report. Details showing this are, the references to the information gathered by espionage, the precise numbers of victims on both sides, the ascription of partial setbacks to subordinates, and the explicit mention of the general's excellent military virtues.

Keywords: Alamans' forces; Iovinus; Roman army



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