Ammianus' digressions and their narrative impact

Book chapter


Hanaghan, Michael Peter. (2024). Ammianus' digressions and their narrative impact. In In Baumann, Mario and Liotsakis, Vasileios (Ed.). Digressions in Classical Historiography pp. 309 - 328 De Gruyter.
AuthorsHanaghan, Michael Peter
EditorsBaumann, Mario and Liotsakis, Vasileios
Abstract

Ammianus’ Res Gestaecontains some thirty-two digressions. These vary considerably in length and content. This chapter examines the narrative impact of four of these digressions, namely Julian’s Thracian campaign (22.8.1–48), the Persian pearls (23.6.85–88), the tragedian Phrynichus (28.1.2–5), and the bissextile day (26.1.7–14). These digressions suggest alternate histories, foreshadow plot developments, engage in metaliterary reflections on the narra-tive, and develop coded polemics, all the while providing powerful symbols for understanding the motivations and challenges of the leaders of the Roman empire in the fourth century. Each digression is directly connected to the main text, situ-ated within a network of digressions, as they reflect the history and historical vantage point of Ammianus’ age, and provide ample scope for metaphorical, allusive, narratological, and political implications.

KeywordsAmmianus Marcellinus; late antiquity; historiography; Emperor Julian; Persia
Page range309 - 328
Year01 Jan 2024
Book titleDigressions in Classical Historiography
PublisherDe Gruyter
Place of publicationGermany
EditionVol 150
SeriesTrends in Classics - supplementary volumes
ISBN978-3-11-132090-8
Web address (URL)https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/9783111320908/html#overview
Open accessOpen access
Research or scholarlyResearch
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Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online01 Apr 2024
Publication process dates
Deposited05 Jul 2024
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© 2024 with the author(s), editing © 2024 Mario Baumann and Vasileios Liotsakis,
published by Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
For details go to https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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