Ammianus Marcellinus

The Later Roman Empire
  • The Later Roman Empire

  • Ammianus Marcellinus was the last great Roman historian, and his writings rank alongside those of Livy and Tacitus. The Later Roman Empire chronicles a period of twenty-five years during Marcellinus' own lifetime, covering the reigns of Constantius, Julian, Jovian, Valentinian I, and Valens, and providing eyewitness accounts of significant military events including the Battle of Strasbourg and the Goth's Revolt. Portraying a time of rapid and dramatic change, Marcellinus describes an Empire exhausted by excessive taxation, corruption, the financial ruin of the middle classes and the progressive decline in the morale of the army. In this magisterial depiction of the closing decades of the Roman Empire, we can see the seeds of events that were to lead to the fall of the city, just twenty years after Marcellinus' death.

Ammianus Marcellinus was the last great Roman historian, continuing the histories of Tacitus from AD 96 down to his own day. The first thirteen of his thirty-one books are lost: the remainder describe AD 354 - 378. Walter Hamilton translated Plato's Symposium, the Gorgias, Phaedrus and Letters VII and VIII for Penguin Classics. Andrew Wallace-Hadrill is Professor of Classics at Reading University. His books include Suetonius: the Scholar and his Caesars.

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