Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

7 Unreliable Witness: Failings of the Narrative in Ammianus Marcellinus

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

Ammianus Marcellinus' Res gestae is the most important surviving history of the Later Roman empire. This chapter discusses a different approach to understanding the 'failings of the narrative'. It discusses an analysis of the account of how Ammianus observed from a mountain in Corduene the invading Persian army. The narrator's authority is put under heavy pressure because the text is constructed in such a way that most readers find it difficult to believe these claims to autopsy. Ammianus was an eyewitness, but what he pretends to have seen belongs to the world of the adynata. Finally, in the Craugasius episode, the historical text is generically undermined. An intertext with the novel, the genre of lies, subverts the historical text, the discourse of truth. The conclusion situates Ammianus' literary technique in the social context in which it was produced.

Keywords: adynata; Ammianus Marcellinus; Craugasius episode; Persian army; Res gestae; Roman empire



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Literature and Society in the Fourth Century AD — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation