The Later Roman Empire (A.D. 354-378)
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A Roman historian chronicles Rome on the brink of collapse
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.
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the curtains of his tent with its head and horn of plenty veiled. For a moment Julian remained in a state of stupor; then he rose above all fear and committed the future to the will of Heaven. The night was far spent and he was fully awake, so he left his bed, which was on the ground, and betook himself to prayer, using the ritual appropriate to avert evil. Then he thought he saw a blazing light like a falling star, which clove its way through part of the air and vanished. He was horror-struck by
hellish judge went beyond his last, to use the proverbial phrase, and reported to the emperor out of pure malice that frightful crimes committed by several people at Rome could be investigated and punished only by using harsher methods. At this the emperor, who was passionate rather than rigorous in his antipathy to wrongdoing, issued in a rage a general ordinance to cover cases of this kind, which he arbitrarily identified with the crime of treason, and decreed that all who were exempted from
these few some set their hearts upon statues, believing that in this way their fame will be secured for ever, as if there were more satisfaction to be gained from senseless bronze figures than from the consciousness of a well-spent life. They have these statues covered in gold leaf, a privilege first granted to Acilius Glabrio for his skill and courage in defeating king Antiochus. But Cato the censor showed how much finer it is to despise these vanities and to set one’s steps on what the bard of
his baby to be killed (16.10); died before 361. A. praises her for beauty and kindness (21.6). EUSEBIUS (11) Grand chamberlain of Constantius, intrigues against Gallus (14.11) and Ursicinus (15.3, 18.4, 20.2); present at Constantius’ deathbed (21.15); executed by Chalcedon commission (22.3). Also an Arian and enemy of Athanasius. EUSEBIUS (40) Brother of Hypatius, q.v. EUTHERIUS (1) Chamberlain of Constantius 356–60; defends Julian against accusations (16.7); negotiates on his behalf with
B Strasbourg see Argentorate Strymon, R. river of Thrace (Struma) B Succi pass between Thrace and Dacia (Ihtiman pass) B Sumere fortress on Tigris (Samarra) C Sunonensian Lake lake in Bithynia D Tabernae city of Germany (Rheinzabern) A Tarsus capital of Cilicia D Taurini city of north Italy (Turin) B Taurus Mts range in Cilicia D Thebes city of Egypt Gen. Theiss, R. (Parthiscus) tributary of Danube B Thervingi Gothic tribe east of R.