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Philomelus (d.354) was the leader of the Phocians at the start of the Third Sacred War. After a series of early victories he committed suicide to avoid capture after suffering a heavy defeat at the battle of Neon (354 BC). Philomelus was the son of Theotimus, and was a high ranked citizen of the city of Ledon in Phocis.
In around 356 the Thebans, then the dominant power in Greece, used the Amphictyonic Council to accuse the Phocians of sacrilege for having cultivated the sacred plain of Crisa, lands that had been dedicated to the sanctuary at Delphi. The Council found the Phocians guilty, and issued them with a heavy fine. Philomelus led a faction that argued against paying the fine, and he was able to convince the Phocians to give him command of the army. His main arguments were that the fine was too large to be just, as the area under cultivation was very small, and that Phocis had a good claim to be the sole guardian of Delphi, a role she had held in the past.
Having been given the command, Philomelus went to Sparta, where he met with King Archidamus III. Sparta was no longer a Greek superpower, having lost much of her land in the Peloponnese after the defeat at Leuctra (Theban-Spartan War (379-371) and a series of Theban invasions (War of the Theban Hegemony, 371-362 BC), but her support was still worthwhile. Archidamus agreed to support the Phocians, but for the moment limited his active support to providing fifteen talents. Philomelus matched this, and used the money to hire a force of mercenaries. He used this force, combined with 1,000 Phocians, to seize the sanctuary at Delphi.
This caused outrage across parts of Greece. The Locrians, long term opponents of the Phocians, were the first to react, although sadly this part of Diodorus's narrative appears to repeat itself, so the exact order of events is unclear.
Diodorus records the defeat of a Locrian army near Delphi, after which Philomelus hacked the Council's judgement against Phocis from the stone tablets on which they were recorded. He then sent out messages explaining his case and promising not to plunder the oracle. He then hired more mercenaries, offering higher pay than normal, giving him 5,000 men, and built a wall around the shrine. The Boeotians voted to go to war. Philomelus reacted by invaded Locria. He besieged an unnamed stronghold, but had to abandon the attack. He then lost 20 men in a battle with the Locrians, who refused to allow him to retrieve the bodies, on the grounds that temple robbers shouldn't be buried. This triggered a second Phocian attack, in which the bodies were retrieved. He then returned to Delphi to consult with the oracle.
After a digression on the history of the tripod used by the oracle, Diodorus appears to repeat himself. Philomelus sends ambassadors to Athens, Sparta, Thebes and other cities, explaining his case and promising not to interfere in the sacred properties of the oracle. Athens, Sparta and others agreed to support the Phocians, while Thebes, the Locrians and others decided to prosecute the war. Philomelus hires mercenaries and recruits the best Phocians and defeats a Locrian attack near the Phaedriades cliffs. The Locrians respond to their defeat by asked for help from Thebes.
These two sections probably describe the same series of events - the seizure of Delphi, dispatching of ambassadors, defeat of a Locrian invasion at Phaedriades, and the declaration of war by the Council, all probably in 355 BC.
In 354 the Phocians faced several enemies, while their allies were yet to provide any military support. In order to expand his army Philomelus probably now decided to use some of the treasure dedicated to the Oracle at Delphi, and he soon had at least 10,000 men at his disposal.
Philomelus led his new army into Locris. He defeated a joint Locrian and Boeotian army in a cavalry battle at an unnamed location. The Thessalians were next to arrive, but they only had 6,000 men, and were defeated in battle near an otherwise unknown hill called Argolas (354 BC).
Philomelus's run of success finally came to an end later in the same year. The Boeotians raised a more sizable army (given as 13,000 strong), supported by 1,500 men from Achaea on the northern coast of the Peloponnese. For some time the two armies camped close together, and the mood between the two camps became rather dark. The Boeotians captured a number of Philomelus's mercenaries, announced that they would be executed as temple robbers, and killed them. Philomelus's mercenaries responded by demanding that they should do the same. A number of Boeotians were captured and executed, and as a result both sides abandoned this practise.
The two armies then moved into the area north of Phocis. As they were advancing through a heavily wooded area their two vanguards clashed in an encounter battle. Both sides clearly fed in more of their troops, but the outnumbered Phocians were soon defeated. The battle took place in broken difficult country near the village of Neon (354 BC), and many of the Phocians and their mercenaries were killed in the retreat. Philomelus was wounded in the battle, and was eventually trapped. In order to avoid capture and probable torture he threw himself off a cliff.
Command of the army passed to his brother Onomarchus, who was also suffer a fairly gruesome fate after some early successes.
Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo ( / ɔː ˈ ɡ ʌ s t ɪ n / Latin: Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis 13 November 354 – 28 August 430  ), also known as Saint Augustine, was a theologian, philosopher, and the bishop of Hippo Regius in Numidia, Roman North Africa. His writings influenced the development of Western philosophy and Western Christianity, and he is viewed as one of the most important Church Fathers of the Latin Church in the Patristic Period. His many important works include The City of God, On Christian Doctrine, and Confessions.
According to his contemporary, Jerome, Augustine "established anew the ancient Faith". [a] In his youth he was drawn to the major Persian religion, Manichaeism, and later to Neoplatonism. After his conversion to Christianity and baptism in 386, Augustine developed his own approach to philosophy and theology, accommodating a variety of methods and perspectives.  Believing the grace of Christ was indispensable to human freedom, he helped formulate the doctrine of original sin and made significant contributions to the development of just war theory. When the Western Roman Empire began to disintegrate, Augustine imagined the Church as a spiritual City of God, distinct from the material Earthly City.  His thoughts profoundly influenced the medieval worldview. The segment of the Church that adhered to the concept of the Trinity as defined by the Council of Nicaea and the Council of Constantinople  closely identified with Augustine's On the Trinity.
Augustine is recognized as a saint in the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion. He is also a preeminent Catholic Doctor of the Church and the patron of the Augustinians. His memorial is celebrated on 28 August, the day of his death. Augustine is the patron saint of brewers, printers, theologians, and a number of cities and dioceses.  Many Protestants, especially Calvinists and Lutherans, consider him one of the theological fathers of the Protestant Reformation due to his teachings on salvation and divine grace.    Protestant Reformers generally, and Martin Luther in particular, held Augustine in preeminence among early Church Fathers. Luther was, from 1505 to 1521, a member of the Order of the Augustinian Eremites.
In the East, his teachings are more disputed and were notably attacked by John Romanides.  But other theologians and figures of the Eastern Orthodox Church have shown significant approbation of his writings, chiefly Georges Florovsky.  The most controversial doctrine associated with him, the filioque,  was rejected by the Orthodox Church.  Other disputed teachings include his views on original sin, the doctrine of grace, and predestination.  Nevertheless, though considered to be mistaken on some points, he is still considered a saint and has influenced some Eastern Church Fathers, most notably Gregory Palamas.  In the Orthodox Church his feast day is celebrated on 15 June.   The historian Diarmaid MacCulloch has written: "Augustine's impact on Western Christian thought can hardly be overstated only his beloved example, Paul of Tarsus, has been more influential, and Westerners have generally seen Paul through Augustine's eyes." 
The latest issue finally arrived in my mailbox today! Here's the inside track:
Editorial: The Great Modron Month, by Erik Mona - Erik talks about humor in D&D as being part of the experience of just playing the game with friends and not taking things too seriously (hence the modrons), and not as joke articles.
Scale Mail - Letters this month include complaints about issues whose articles cover only a single subject, praise for issue #352, and thanks for the increased Forgotten Realms coverage.
First Watch - I usually don't cover the First Watch section, but this month's talked about some especially cool stuff, such as Wolfgang Baur's adventure open design, A horror film titled The Dead Matter by Midnight Syndicate, and EN Publishing's War of the Burning Sky Campaign Saga.
Core Beliefs: Heironeous, by Sean K Reynolds - The newest Core Beliefs article covers the Archpaladin, talking about Heironeous, the role of clerics and paladins in his church, his relationship with other religions, the Knights of the Holy Shielding paladin order, holidays, myths, suggested prestige classes, relics of the faith, three new divine spells (all variants of existing spells), some NPCs in his service, and his planar ally. Sidebars cover the basics about Heironeous, his holy texts, the Shield Lands, the Heironean Code, aphorisms of his religion, and customized summon monster lists.
Return of the Modrons, by Ken Marable - The modrons march again (figuratively speaking)! This article opens by recounting the recent history of the modrons - after what is now called the Rogue March, and Tenebrous vacated the Energy Pool, his lingering taint caused the unthinkable to occur: a secundus objected to the ascension of another besides itself to become the new Primus. It invoked an ancient clause to challenge for the right to ascend. It and another secundus took up a challenge to see who could slay the most chaotic beings in a set period of time. While the uncorrupted secundus cut through slaad on Limbo, the tainted one had his minions go slaughter gnomes on Bytopia. The remaining two secundi found in favor of the one who went to Limbo, as that one had personally undertaken the challenge, and had slain the enemies of Law. Refusing to accept this, since he had (by proxy) slain more chaotic creatures, the tainted secundus left Regulus in a fury, and took nearly a million modrons with him, settling in Acheron to plan to take the Energy Pool by force.
Crippled, the modrons were then subjected to a genocidal attack by formians, who saw this as an opportunity to try and wipe out their competitors. While the modrons were able to repulse the formians, they lost much territory before a truce was called. Moreover, the inevitables, emotionlessly seeking more materials for themselves to be constructed from, found the modrons easy to push back for a time, gaining greater prominence as they did so.
After this spellbinding history, the article then covers the personality and castes of the modrons, paying special attention to not only rogue modrons, but also exiled ones exiled modrons are those who are declared so, and have their link to the Energy Pool broken before being cast out (becoming living constructs). The five base modrons are then discussed, each as a separate caste. Modron physiology, advancement, and communication is covered (there are a few exceptions to modrons only being able to communicate with their own caste, as well as those of the next higher and lower ones). After this, PC modrons are covered, both as rogues (who use the normal modron statistics, but with a different alignment) and exiles (who have different PC stats due to the exiling process). Stats are given next for the base five types of modrons, along with three modron-based adventure seeds. Finally, a quick modron ecology is given, along with ECL's for the playable modrons types, as well as where they place on summoning spells, and even a note on having a monodrone familiar! Sidebars cover the living construct subtype, Tony DiTerlizzi's modron memories, and results about modrons on a Knowledge (the planes) check.
Ancient PCs, by Hal Maclean - This article covers playing an Elder, a member of a race that has lived far, far longer than his kind normally does (the article uses the default of having lived at least a thousand years). It opens with methods for how a creature could get to be that old, from methods of having accidentally lived that long, to playing a creature that is naturally ageless. A new background feat (Wedded to History) is given in a sidebar for Elder characters, along with seven different Elder backgrounds that colorfully denote your "style" of Elder (last servant of a forgotten god, a prophecied character, a throwback, etc.). Seven new feats that build on those are then given also. Sidebars cover how to play an ancient character with comparatively low class levels (since most PCs gain all of their levels in a short amount of game time), the new Endless special quality, which lets you live until yoru killed, and a new spell kissed by the ages, that lets you bestow that quality on another.
The Ecology of the Kopru, by Tito Leati - The kopru are covered in grim detail, including their history, physiology, psychology and society, ruins, the Cult of Demogorgon, and an advanced kopru is given. Sidebars cover what you know about them on a Knowledge (nature) check, their use of skull deformation on certain newborn kopru to encourage strong physical and mental growth, their use of special clam shells as a material component to augment spells, kopru with the amphibious special quality, their prophecies, and a very interesting table depicting their number system.
Savage Tidings: Heart of Darkness, by Greg Vaughan - The latest Savage Tidings presents the Totemic Demonslayer prestige class, who arose from the Olmans of the Isle of Dread who needed to push back against the corruption on their Isle. The prestige class itself is covered, along with playing one, their combat roles, lore about totemic demonslayers, an example NPC (Jakara, from the Savage Tide), and what totemic demonslayers know about the Isle of Dread's central plateau.
Volo's Guide: Cormanthor: War Amidst the Trees, by Eric Boyd, with special introduction by Ed Greenwood - This installment of Volo's Guide gives a timeline of Cormanthor over the last two-and-a-half years, and notes that it has spoilers on a fairly diverse range of novels and game products because of that. It then briefly covers some of the factions fighting in and around Cormanthor.
Dragonmarks: Boromar Clan, by Nicolas Logue - The newest Eberron article covers the organized crime family of Sharn that is the Boromar clan. A notation of various family members is given, along with how the family operates, before covering one of their best-kept secret bodyguards. Their affiliation information is then given.
Sage Advice, by Andy Collins - This month, the Sage covers questions about the Tome of Battle.
Adventurer: Elements of Surprise, by Jasin Zujovi - Three replacement class features are given for ninjas, based around the elements of fire, water, an earth (as standard ninjas are like elemental air).
Arcane: Power Word, Spell, by Eric Jansing - Class spell lists are given for the sorcerer/wizard and wu jen of all the spells in the PHB and Spell Compendium that require no somatic components.
Divine: Aztec Mythos II, The second installment of this series covers the gods Chalchihuitlicue and Tlaloc, noting their portfolio, domains, favored weapon, cleric training, quests, prayers, temples, rites, and herald and allies. Sidebars also note the previous article in the series, and alterations to clerical alignment restrictions that should be made when they're clerics of the Aztec gods.
Warrior: Barbarian Guide, by Amber E. Scott - This article summarizes the basic powers and class features of barbarians, with tables for various skill uses and increasing class features. A sidebar covers sundering magic items.
Comics - Nodwick, by Aaron Williams Dork Tower, by John Kovalic and The Order of the Stick, by Rich Burlew.
NEXT MONTH IN DRAGON #355
CREATURE CATALOG VI
by Kevin Baase, C. Wesley Clough, et al.
You can never have too many monsters! The sixth entry into our long-running series of bestiaries presents eleven new threats and old favorites, including the cannon golem, the obilviax, the rot giant, the scarecrow, and more!
SEVEN SAINTLY DOMAINS
by Hal Maclean
Standing in opposition to the seven deadly sins, these goodly domains allow your cleric to extoll the virtues of charity, chastity, generosity, humility, patience, temperance, and zeal.
MUSIC IN D&D
by Jose Montero
Take advantage of your iPod, iTunes, and some of our own playlists to jazz up your next game.
The Ecology of the Devourer, Volo's Guide, Dragonmarks, Class Acts, Scale Mail, Sage Advice, Savage Tidings, and comics, including The Order of the Stick, and more!
T-D-I, . (2018, November 07). Roman Sanctuary near Augusta Raurica - 3D View. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.worldhistory.org/image3d/354/roman-sanctuary-near-augusta-raurica---3d-view/
T-D-I, . "Roman Sanctuary near Augusta Raurica - 3D View." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified November 07, 2018. https://www.worldhistory.org/image3d/354/roman-sanctuary-near-augusta-raurica---3d-view/.
T-D-I, . "Roman Sanctuary near Augusta Raurica - 3D View." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 07 Nov 2018. Web. 18 Jun 2021.
Third Sacred War : 355 to 352 B.C.
|T HE P YTHIA ON THE TRIPOD|
The war occurred several years after the death of Epaminondas ended Thebes' dominance of military affairs on mainland Greece. Athens had begun to assume power by attempting to reestablish its Athenian Empire in the Aegean, but was having difficulties holding its allies together. Sparta had lost its domination of the Peloponnese and was still recovering from the oppressions of the Theban era. In short, there was no city state, or league of city states in Greece at the time that was powerful and organized enough to bring order to the situation, as it became increasingly threatening.
Hostilities began in 355 BC when Boeotia used its influence in the Amphictyonic Council (a league of city states charged with the protection of the Oracle of Delphi) to force penalties and retribution against Phocis, which was the region in which the shrine of Delphi was located. Instead of submitting to these penalties however, the Phocians, led by two generals, Philomelus and Onomarchus, sized Delphi and used its riches to hire a mercenary army. With an army of between five and ten thousand, the Phocian leaders invaded Boeotia and Thessaly and were not driven back until Philip of Macedon interfered.
By 352 BC both Philomelus and Onomarchus had been killed in battles, but by then Philip of Macedon had brought all of Thessaly under his rule. This finally roused Athens, spurred on by the orator Demosthenes, to awareness of the danger Philip's presence in Northern Greece. The southern city-states, led by Athens finally united to resist Philip's passage at Thermopylae, but over the next few years Philip used diplomacy rather than force to make enough separate alliances with various southern city states that they could not resist him effectively. In particular, he provided aid to Athens' client state Euboea and encouraged it to rebel from Athenian domination. Although Phocion won back control of Euboea at the battle of Tamynae, the other rebellions in the Aegean kept Athens too busy holding its empire together, to resist Philip's increasing influence. Through all this time, Demosthenes constantly preached about the Macedonian threat, but to no lasting avail.
The Sacred War did not officially end until 346 BC at which time Athens and all the other southern city states abandoned their support of Phocis, and left Philip II free hand to annex this territory to his growing dominion.
The Later Roman Empire : (a.D. 354-378)
This is a great book that begins about 20 years after the death of Constantine the Great in 337 AD and describes the tribulations of his children. Now Ammianus is not Tacitus or Livy in terms of . Читать весь отзыв
Very readable history surrounding the reign of Julian the Apostate. I believe there's a novel by Gore Vidal that uses this as a source. Ammianus Marcellinus is one of the last voices of the classical era, making this a book of particular interest, closing a chapter that begins with Heraclitus. Читать весь отзыв
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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.
Oxidative Hemolytic Anemia
Oxidative hemolysis occurs when normal processes are unable to reduce ferric (3+) iron, also known as methemoglobin, to ferrous (2+) iron, which carries oxygen. This results in methemoglobinemia (i.e., the denaturing of ferric hemoglobin into multimers, called Heinz bodies), leading to premature RBC destruction by phagocytosis. G6PD is integral to these protective systems, and when it is deficient, oxidative insults may cause hemolysis. G6PD deficiency is an X-linked disorder and is common in individuals of Mediterranean and African descent. Classically, fava beans, sulfa drugs, and primaquine were the primary triggers of oxidative hemolysis, but the list of medications to avoid in persons with G6PD deficiency is extensive22 , 23 (see https://www.aafp.org/afp/2005/1001/p1277.html#afp20051001p1277-t3). The diagnosis is made by G6PD activity testing, although this may be normal during or just after a hemolytic episode.24 Amyl and butyl nitrate, topical benzocaine, phenazopyridine, dapsone, ribavirin, and paraquat ingestion can also cause oxidative hemolysis, even with normal G6PD levels (Table 4) . Treatment is discontinuation of the drug and supportive care. Methylene blue is indicated for the treatment of severe methemoglobinemia from a non-G6PD cause, but it is possibly harmful and contraindicated in persons with G6PD deficiency.25
The Later Roman Empire (A.D. 354-378)
This is a great book that begins about 20 years after the death of Constantine the Great in 337 AD and describes the tribulations of his children. Now Ammianus is not Tacitus or Livy in terms of writing style, but he had an advantage over many of these ancient historians namely, he lived and participated (i.e., was an eye witness) to most of the events he describes.
The only unfortunate part about this book is that the editor deemed necessary to omit a large number of sections from the original This is a great book that begins about 20 years after the death of Constantine the Great in 337 AD and describes the tribulations of his children. Now Ammianus is not Tacitus or Livy in terms of writing style, but he had an advantage over many of these ancient historians namely, he lived and participated (i.e., was an eye witness) to most of the events he describes.
The only unfortunate part about this book is that the editor deemed necessary to omit a large number of sections from the original manuscript. Although these sections may appear, at a superficial glance, trivial from a historical perspective (like Ammianus' opinions of what causes earthquakes), to me these kind of passages have greater value than descriptions of battles. One can find description of battles or other main events in any contemporary summary of history. But it is only by reading these ancient texts that we find out how people thought, how they spoke, their habits and culture. And sometimes, it is the off the cuff remark that reveals some surprising facts. For example, in describing Julian's campaign against the Persians he mentions of a town that was deserted "by its Jewish inhabitants because of its low walls." This town was close to today's Basrah in southern Iraq, close to the beginning (or end) of the Persian Gulf. To me this was unexpected as I never thought that Jewish people lived in their own towns so far away from Jerusalem.
How charming are ancient/medieval amateur historians? So incredibly charming. The more &aposstandard&apos historians (e.g., Thucydides, Livy, Appian, Rufus, Plutarch, Xenophon, Procopius, Sallust, et al.) are also quite good, of course, yet I can&apost help but infinitely prefer the wacky and digressive ones, Diogenes Laertius&apos Lives, Arrian&aposs biography of Alexander, Gregory of Tours&apos History of the Franks, Diaz&aposs Conquest of New Spain, etc.
Who wants dry academic history when you can have astrology, philos How charming are ancient/medieval amateur historians? So incredibly charming. The more 'standard' historians (e.g., Thucydides, Livy, Appian, Rufus, Plutarch, Xenophon, Procopius, Sallust, et al.) are also quite good, of course, yet I can't help but infinitely prefer the wacky and digressive ones, Diogenes Laertius' Lives, Arrian's biography of Alexander, Gregory of Tours' History of the Franks, Diaz's Conquest of New Spain, etc.
Who wants dry academic history when you can have astrology, philosophy, life advice, random anecdotes, first-person accounts of battles, how-to guides for black magic. With Ammianus we have:
Super-important details (p. 230):
An obvious partiality for Julian the Apostate, which he claims is totally not exaggerated at all (p. 89):
Digressions literally within digressions (when describing a battle, on p. 205):
Helpful how-to guides for the black arts (p. 208):
Charmingly straightforward patriotism (p. 131):
Random philosophical reflections (p. 232, p. 342, etc.):
The truest glory is won when a man in power totally subdues his cruel and savage and angry impulses and erects in the citadel of his soul a splendid memorial of his victory over himself.
There is in fact no way of correcting wrongdoing in those who think that the height of virtue consists in the execution of their will.
This guy really hates elephants (p. 165):
Getting down to the real causes of human action (p. 63):
Modern Western military campaigns should really bring back sorcerer/philosopher debates (p. 261):
Wherein Ammianus has strong feelings about eunuchs (except for one guy, who was cool), p. 95:
Wherein we learn that Pablo Escobar has nothing on Emperor Valentinian (p. 382):
A Roman soldier's perspective on the complex theological debates of the first Ecumenical Councils (p. 232):
I mean, who wants scholarly accuracy and footnotes and hedging when you can have all glorious nonsense?
Anyway, the main thing I learned in terms of actual history is that the late Roman Empire (and maybe even the earlier Empire?) basically consisted of giant marauding bands of brigands -- called "legions of Roman soldiers," colloquially -- who had all the power, political and otherwise.
See, e.g., p. 189, when the legions wanted to make Julian emperor: "Julian, finding that there was no way out and perceiving that continued resistance would place him in instant danger, promised each man five gold pieces and a pound of silver." Does this sound like an emperor to you? Or a hostage?
To be clear, the Roman soldiers literally put a crown on Julian's head and said they would kill him unless he got them more money. In other words, this is essentially an organized criminal band (using the insignia of a former empire) murdering/raping/pillaging random villages and cities in Asia and Europe and occasionally sending a figurehead aristocrat back to Rome or Byzantium to get them more money.
When you combine this corruption with how many battles the legions were losing by the end of Ammianus' narrative, I can't say that I'm surprised by the collapse of the Western Empire. . more
I decided to read Ammianus because I understood he was a self-conscious successor to Tacitus, whose work is probably my favorite of the contemporaneous Roman histories. Then I realized that his history would probably seem very familiar to me, having already read Gibbon&aposs &aposDecline and Fall&apos and Heather&aposs &aposFall of the Roman Empire&apos, for which Ammianus serves as a primary source. The beginning of Ammianus&aposs work, covering the reign of Constantine, is lost, but the surviving portions focus on the em I decided to read Ammianus because I understood he was a self-conscious successor to Tacitus, whose work is probably my favorite of the contemporaneous Roman histories. Then I realized that his history would probably seem very familiar to me, having already read Gibbon's 'Decline and Fall' and Heather's 'Fall of the Roman Empire', for which Ammianus serves as a primary source. The beginning of Ammianus's work, covering the reign of Constantine, is lost, but the surviving portions focus on the emperor Julian and his failed invasion of Mesopotamia and conclude with Valens's disastrous defeat at Adrianople in 378, so there are important historical turning points in the chronology.
Given this background, Ammianus does not disappoint. Like Tacitus, his style is much closer to modern history than ancient biography (eg, Plutarch, which I found to be frustrating). As such, the chronology is much easier to follow, although there is still little analysis. The focal point of his history is the brief--and seemingly unsuccessful, or at least inconsequential in broader scheme of things--reign of the pagan emperor Julian. This choice is not entirely clear to me as a contemporary reader, but it fits Ammianus's personal experience and available resources, so his account is filled with detail. The book is most engaging in its lengthy, visceral descriptions of the campaigns in Mesopotamia, although the modern reader will blanch at the exaggerations and imagined speeches (although these are apparently indigenous to the genre). The accounts of the various lesser political intrigues at the periphery of the empire are confusing at times--it's hard to keep track of the characters and their relative positions--but they provide interesting documentation of politics in the late empire. Ammianus uses them pedagogically, hitting his main themes of traditional virtue and modern decay that will be familiar to any reader.
Given the limitations of his times, Ammianus does a good job of being objective and descriptive. His history is essential reading for anyone interested in ancient history from the source. The period may not be as familiar or glamorous to the novice reader, but it's an important one, and Ammianus's historical mode is accessible and readable. . more
In general I enjoyed this book. It is a primary source dealing with my favorite time period, Late Antiquity and the early middle ages. However, the choices that Editor/Translator Walter Hamilton made in assembling this volume were extremely aggravating and frustrating. This volume is an abridgment of what remains of Ammanius&aposs full work. Let that sink in for a minute. This is an abridgment of a work which is already incomplete. To made this worse, Hamilton chose to effectively omit virtually ALL In general I enjoyed this book. It is a primary source dealing with my favorite time period, Late Antiquity and the early middle ages. However, the choices that Editor/Translator Walter Hamilton made in assembling this volume were extremely aggravating and frustrating. This volume is an abridgment of what remains of Ammanius's full work. Let that sink in for a minute. This is an abridgment of a work which is already incomplete. To made this worse, Hamilton chose to effectively omit virtually ALL of the material dealing with the non-Roman groups. So that by the time you get to the battle of Adrianople, the bulk of the material fleshing out the background of the Goth's and Huns, the construction of the Limes on the Rhine and Danube, the incursions by the Franks and Saxons into Gaul and Britain, have all effectively been skipped and replaced with 1-2 sentence long summaries. Considering what this volume cost, and considering it bears the lofty name of Penguin Classics, I find it inexcusable for such a substantial portion of material to be missing.
Penguin similarly did this with their edition of the Prose Edda, leaving out a full 1/3rd of it.
Ammanius's prose and eye for details are well worth the read, but if you're looking for a comprehensive and "complete" publication of his Works, it's best to get the Public Domain one that is freely available online rather than spend the money on this abridgment. . more
The closest thing to a time machine to the late 300s, not just to its events but even its mindset. What stands out most in his account are the Goths (who are strangely like Anglo-Americans in the 1800s, with covered wagons and everything), that horrible battle against them at Adrianople and his picture of Julian, the last man to rule the Roman Empire who believed in the old gods. Much of what seems “Christian” in Augustine’s world view really was not: it was just the received wisdom of the age. The closest thing to a time machine to the late 300s, not just to its events but even its mindset. What stands out most in his account are the Goths (who are strangely like Anglo-Americans in the 1800s, with covered wagons and everything), that horrible battle against them at Adrianople and his picture of Julian, the last man to rule the Roman Empire who believed in the old gods. Much of what seems “Christian” in Augustine’s world view really was not: it was just the received wisdom of the age. As it turns out, Ammianus believed many of the same things yet was not Christian.
What&aposs left of his writings cover the reigns of Emperors Constantius II, Julian, Jovian, Valentinian (plus Gratian) and Valens. I specially enjoyed his account of Julian&aposs short reign, the war against Shapur II and the Battle of Adrianople.
My only issue is with the translator, some of his choices were off-putting, using sayings/terms in french, using &aposscotfree&apos, etc. And he also omitted parts of the work, why? What's left of his writings cover the reigns of Emperors Constantius II, Julian, Jovian, Valentinian (plus Gratian) and Valens. I specially enjoyed his account of Julian's short reign, the war against Shapur II and the Battle of Adrianople.
My only issue is with the translator, some of his choices were off-putting, using sayings/terms in french, using 'scotfree', etc. And he also omitted parts of the work, why? . more
This edition of Marcellinus&aposs late 4th Century CE history is a (mostly) readable translation that does a very good job of making the text and the period accessible for modern Anglophone readers. There are aspects of the book that may deter the more casual classical historian, including the obvious tropes and stylistic conventions that Marcellinus copied or adopted from earlier writers such as Tacitus. For example, the pogrom during the reign of Valens against divination and acts of magic reminds This edition of Marcellinus's late 4th Century CE history is a (mostly) readable translation that does a very good job of making the text and the period accessible for modern Anglophone readers. There are aspects of the book that may deter the more casual classical historian, including the obvious tropes and stylistic conventions that Marcellinus copied or adopted from earlier writers such as Tacitus. For example, the pogrom during the reign of Valens against divination and acts of magic reminds one of earlier descriptions of the regimes of the Julio-Claudians, Domitian etc. The use of set-piece speeches that are almost certainly 100% fabrications (or perhaps at best reconstructions) are also a reminder of what Marcellinus has inherited from his predecessors. However there are times when even the least avid reader of classics or the most jaded of scholars finds much to appreciate and even enjoy from reading this history.
The focus on the life and career of the emperor Julian in the first half of the book is a pleasing historical narrative structure, and whilst Marcellinus plots the so-called 'Apostate' rulers' progress with some degree of partisanship, he is also aware of and willing to discuss the flaws he detects in his subject. Perhaps I am reading too much into how Marcellinus has positioned Julian, however I think it's reasonable to suggest that the emperor is cast as the very human hero of (arguably) the last flourishing period in Roman history.
There are also some rather engaging sections of the text where Marcellinus brings his historical narrative alive, such as the death of Valentinian I as a result of his anger at a Quadi embassy, or the siege of Amida. His description of how the urban upper classes in Rome itself had lost the erudition and culture of past generations is entertaining, and he does his best to make the various confusing struggles between members of the imperial elite understandable. However, even with the addition of notes in this edition (placed somewhat inconveniently at the end of the book) in the later parts of Marcellinus' book it does become a bit of a blur.
I cannot comment on the accuracy of the translation nor do I have enough insight into the academic literature and study on both the author and/or the period he covers. However I will observe that the omission of certain passages out of this edition from the preferred original text does leave one feeling a little disappointed. When I read a book, no matter it's age or transmission history, I prefer to read the whole text within reason. I would suggest leaving out some of the digressions and extraneous content that exists in previous editions of Marcellinus doesn't give the reader the option to judge for him or herself the value of these passages.
In summary, this Penguin Classics edition fo Ammianus Marcellinus's text is a fairly readable translation that will satisfy those wanting to develop their understanding of late Roman history. It may not have the compelling scenes of Roman highs and lows found in Tacitus, Suetonius or Livy, however it still aspires to find a place in these great authors' tradition. . more
Probably if you decided to read Ammianus, you already have interest in Classics, so perhaps you already know something about Late Roman Empire and had heard something about the author.
So, here I would like to give some insights about what are you going to get from this book:
1) some interesting things about imperial bureaucracy structure, officials and their responsibilities. Occasionally the amount of names might be overwhelming but not too often
2) extremely colourful description of battles with Probably if you decided to read Ammianus, you already have interest in Classics, so perhaps you already know something about Late Roman Empire and had heard something about the author.
So, here I would like to give some insights about what are you going to get from this book:
1) some interesting things about imperial bureaucracy structure, officials and their responsibilities. Occasionally the amount of names might be overwhelming but not too often
2) extremely colourful description of battles with blood and gore from the ordinary soldier's perspective, though heavily embellished with nearly poetic conventions of Latin prose
3) thought author often appeals to "good old days" of Republic (just like Tacitus did), he is also completely aware about the advantages of the present time and it's good features also
4) perhaps some notions of "late Roman Empire decay" will fade away while reading Ammianus' book - you are going to see numerous flourishing regions, sophisticated and well-tuned state apparatus and sense of honour and spirit of patriotism still living in bold and sturdy Roman commanders and soldiers
5) couple of really complicated descriptions of siege engines
6) balanced and reasonable attitude of Ammianus towards both good and bad features of historical figures
Sometimes it is said that Ammianus had written his "Res Gestae" as a kind of eulogy to Julian the Apostate, the notion I cannot agree with. Author notices emperor's kind and benevolent acts, military leadership but still Ammianus is able to discern Julian's biases against Christians (though Ammianus is not a Christian himself), weird adherence to abundant sacrifices.
Overall, Ammianus' work is well written, well balanced and interesting to read. It is no wonder that it is often referred to as the one of the best sources on the period of 4th century Roman empire.
It is an absolute 'must read' for any classicists and good starting point for people interested in Late Roman empire. If you are beginner in the field of ancient history, my suggestion would be to start with Caesar, Titus Livius and Tacitus and. . more
It took me ages to finish this book. It&aposs mostly Marcellinus talking about the various military campaigns of Julian, who is now my favourite Roman Emperor. He was very just and noble. There were a few interesting characters, besides Julian, such as Paul (The Chain) and Silvanus (who deserved better). I didn&apost know Constantius was so petty and paranoid. Here are a few things I learnt from this book:
1. Cleopatra was clever! She had a causeway built linking Pharos to the mainland in seven days, to It took me ages to finish this book. It's mostly Marcellinus talking about the various military campaigns of Julian, who is now my favourite Roman Emperor. He was very just and noble. There were a few interesting characters, besides Julian, such as Paul (The Chain) and Silvanus (who deserved better). I didn't know Constantius was so petty and paranoid. Here are a few things I learnt from this book:
1. Cleopatra was clever! She had a causeway built linking Pharos to the mainland in seven days, to avoid paying taxes to Rhodians (because Pharos was an island and presumably, according to Rhodian Maritime Law, islands in the Mediterranean had to pay taxes).
2. Augury bird divination.
3. Apis bull and its ritual sacrifice.
4. Oaks of Dodona . more
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Pelagius, (born c. 354, probably Britain—died after 418, possibly Palestine), monk and theologian whose heterodox theological system known as Pelagianism emphasized the primacy of human effort in spiritual salvation.
Coming to Rome about 380, Pelagius, though not a priest, became a highly regarded spiritual director for both clergy and laity. The rigorous asceticism of his adherents acted as a reproach to the spiritual sloth of many Roman Christians, whose moral standards greatly distressed him. He blamed Rome’s moral laxity on the doctrine of divine grace that he heard a bishop cite from the Confessions of St. Augustine, who in his prayer for spiritual continence asked God to grant whatever grace the divine will determined. Pelagius attacked this teaching on the grounds that it imperilled the entire moral law and soon gained a considerable following at Rome. Henceforth his closest collaborator was a lawyer named Celestius.
After the fall of Rome to the Visigoth chieftain Alaric in 410, Pelagius and Celestius went to Africa. There they encountered the hostile criticism of Augustine, who published several denunciatory letters concerning their doctrine, particularly Pelagius’s insistence on humankind’s basically good moral nature and on individual responsibility for voluntarily choosing Christian asceticism for spiritual advancement.
Pelagius left for Palestine about 412. There, although accused of heresy at the synod of Jerusalem in 415, he succeeded in clearing himself and avoiding censure. In response to further attacks from Augustine and the Latin biblical scholar St. Jerome, Pelagius wrote De libero arbitrio (“On Free Will”) in 416, which resulted in the condemnation of his teaching by two African councils. In 417 Pope Innocent I endorsed the condemnations and excommunicated Pelagius and Celestius. Innocent’s successor, St. Zosimus, at first pronounced him innocent on the basis of Pelagius’s Libellus fidei (“Brief Statement of Faith”), but, after renewed investigation at the council of Carthage in 418, Zosimus confirmed the council’s nine canons condemning Pelagius. Nothing more is known of Pelagius after this date.
Origin of Christmas Traditions
Many of the pagan customs became associated with Christmas. Christian stories replaced the heathen tales, but the practices hung on. Candles continued to be lit. Kissing under the mistletoe remained common in Scandinavian countries. But over the years, gift exchanges became connected with the name of St. Nicholas, a real but legendary figure of 4th century Lycia (a province of Asia). A charitable man, he threw gifts into homes.
Around the thirteenth century, Christians added one of the most pleasant touches of all to Christmas celebration when they began to sing Christmas carols.
No one is sure just when the Christmas tree came into the picture. It originated in Germany. The 8th century English missionary, St. Boniface, Apostle to Germany, is supposed to have held up the evergreen as a symbol of the everlasting Christ. By the end of the sixteenth century, Christmas trees were common in Germany. Some say Luther cut the first, took it home, and decked it with candles to represent the stars. When the German court came to England, the Christmas tree came with them.
Puritans forbade Christmas, considering it too pagan. Governor Bradford actually threatened New Englanders with work, jail or fines if they were caught observing Christmas.
In 1843, in Victorian England, Charles Dickens published his novelette "A Christmas Carol." It became one of the most popular short works of fiction ever penned. Although the book is more a work of sentiment than of Christianity, it captures something of the Christmas spirit. The tightfisted grump, Ebenezer Scrooge, who exclaimed "humbug!" at the mention of Christmas, is contrasted with generous merry-makers such as his nephew, Fred and with the struggling poor, symbolized by Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim. The book's appeal to good works and charitable contributions virtually defines Christmas in English-speaking lands.
Whatever the ins and outs of Christmas, we are still unwrapping the gift of God's Son--and what an incentive to generosity and joy that gift is!