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CALL. 15.01.2018: Ammianus Marcellinus: From Soldier to Author - Cork (Ireland)




LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: University College Cork (Cork, Ireland)


INFO: call -


Ammianus proudly declares at the conclusion to his history that he wrote ut miles quondam. In his Res Gestae, he provides disjointed glimpses into his own military career, and focusses very much on the military history of the mid-fourth century. Consequently, Ammianus’ military career has been used to contextualise other evidence concerning the military history of this period, the working of the late Roman army, the nature of the military hierarchy, the relationship between the civil and military arms of the government, the ‘barbarisation’ of the army, and so forth. This conference proposes to re-evaluate how his training and experience as a soldier, who lived through and sometimes even participated in the events that he describes, are reflected in his performance as author.

Potential papers might consider topics including, but not limited to:

* Ammianus’ representation of his own career;

* use of his military experience as a source;

* the reasons for his positive or negative attitudes towards various military officers;

* his views on the proper relationship between military and civilian authority;

* his views on the advisability of military action, whether as a first or last resort;

* his use, or failure to use, technical military vocabulary;

* the role of religion and god(s) in military success or failure;

* what view, if any, does he have on the ‘barbarisation’ of the army;

* potential tensions between literary aims and military realism;

* contrasts or similarities between his work and that of other ancient authors with military experience;

We invite papers of 20 minutes duration. Proposals should include a name, e-mail address, title, and an abstract of no more than 250 words. An edited volume of selected papers arising from the conference is envisaged following a suitable peer-review process. Please send abstracts to or by 15 January 2018. Accommodation will be provided for speakers.

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