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Commentary On Chapter 10

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter Ammianus Marcellinus gives a detailed account of Valentinians campaign against the Alamanni in the year 368. He opens his report with two incidents, which, although they are not directly related to the campaign, are relevant because they illustrate the audacious and aggressive nature of these enemies of Rome. Ammianus reports a raid on the city of Mainz by the Alamannic prince Rando, who in a surprise attack carried off men, women and a large booty while many citizens were celebrating a Christian festival. The historian presents the elimination of another Alamannic war monger, Vithicabius, as a great and unexpected success for the Roman cause, despite the fact that the Romans had to resort to bribery and murder to reach their end. Ammianus emphasizes the unprecedented scale of the expedition and the care with which Valentinian assembled and equipped his large army.

Keywords: Alamanni; Ammianus Marcellinus; Valentinian



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