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Commentary On Chapter 3

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Chapter Summary

Ammianus turns to the events in Rome which took place under three urban prefects, Symmachus, the father of the famous orator of that name, Lampadius and Viventius, who held the prefecture successively in the years 364366. Symmachus was a scholarly man, prosperity reigned during his term in office, and he made himself popular by building a new bridge across the Tiber. Ammianus admits that Lampadius acted occasionally with austerity and frugality, but his main characteristics were arrogance and vanity. Viventius, who was as a respectable and able administrator, had to face grave disturbances caused by internal strife between the followers of two pretenders to the See of Rome, Damasus and Ursinus. Ammianus completely ignores the denominational background to this dispute and instead focuses on the fanaticism of the contending parties.

Keywords: Ammianus; Damasus; Lampadius; Rome; Symmachus; Ursinus; Viventius



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